Monday, November 2, 2015

And The Ground Shooketh

Earthquake! Three, actually! OMG!

Down here, everybody is going bonkers over them. I expect Californians and Alaskans who hear about it - should it even make their news - are more or less politely covering their yawns and hiding their snickering. After all, the magnitudes were in the 3.2 to the low 4 point almost nothing range. They occurred a bit north of The Valley, up by Black Canyon City. A few doors rattled. A few people were awakened and got out of their beds, wandering outside to confer with other befuddled neighbors as to what had just happened. (One popular explanation at the time was The Big One had hit California and we were feeling it this far away.)

More than one person reported grabbing their gun and racing downstairs to see who was trying to break into their house. I dunno: can you shoot an earthquake? Is a gun their solution for everything?

Steve and I were still awake for the first one. It passed by unnoticed. No wobble. No rattle. No doggy meltdowns.We apparently slept through the next two, though Ellie did go a little bonkers at about the right time. But then that could have been due to a passing truck, a coyote howling in the distance beyond our hearing capacity, or sheer boredom that there was nobody to give her attention.

I find I am disappointed. Not that it wasn't any bigger or that it did no damage. No, nobody wants that sort of thing. I just feel like I missed out on having felt something that everybody else is talking about this morning.

Maybe next time.

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While we're on the subject of earthquakes, I have a hypothesis that I can't get anyone serious to pay attention to. I believe we will find a correlation in the coming decades between global warming and increasing frequency of earthquakes.

Here's my reasoning. There is a huge amount of water still trapped in glaciers at the poles. It's heavy (duh!), pressing down on whatever tectonic plate it happens to be over. Once they all melt, scientists estimate a rise in sea level over the planet of up to 3 meters!

Yikes! That's a series of disasters in itself, topic for another time. Think dislocations of populations, wars over territory, destruction of coastline buildings especially in major cities, storm damage, disruptions in agriculture. All at once.

I'm just looking at a shift of the distribution of weight over the planet's surface. The poles will rebound, to whatever degree, and the ocean areas will be pressed downward. It may not be much of a difference in the grand scheme of things. But it will be there. I happen to think it logical that earthquakes will increase as the planet adjusts.

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