Predicting Earthquakes. Not.

Predicting Earthquakes. Not.

“Being ready for earthquakes in known quake zones makes sense; creating unwarranted fear does not.” – Jay Lehr

Predicting Earthquakes. Not.

By Alan Caruba

The president of the Space and Science Research Corporation, John Casey, is also the author of “Cold Sun: A Dangerous ‘Hibernation’ of the Sun Has Begun!” and has called attention to a meteorological cycle that until the global warming hoax occurred, was largely unknown to many people and, to a large degree still is.

Nature has not cooperated with the charlatans who made claims about a dramatic warming of the Earth. Since 1998 the planet along with the Sun has been in a solar cycle distinguished by very few, if any, sun spots—evidence of solar storms—and a cooling of the Earth that has some predicting a forthcoming new Little Ice Age.

As Wikipedia reports: “Solar Cycle 24 is the 24th solar cycle since 1755, when extensive recording of solar sunspot activity began. It is the current solar cycle, and began on January 4, 2008, but there was minimal activity until early 2010. It is on track to be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750.” These cycles occur every eleven years.

I was surprised to receive a news release from the Space and Science Research Corporation (SSRC) on Monday with the headline “Earthquake and Volcano Threat Increases” because, frankly, I could have put out the same release and, if such activity did increase, I could claim credit for predicting it and, if not, few if any would recall I had made such a claim. While earthquake activity has been studied for decades, even the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) makes no claim to being able to predicting when or where one will occur.

What the USGS can tell you is that their scientists (and others) “estimate earthquake probabilities in two ways: by studying the history of large earthquakes in a specific area and the rate at which strain accumulates in the rock.” A translation of this is that they have only the most minimal clues when and where one will occur. A recent International Business Times article reported that this may change as the introduction of “big data analytics” kicks in to provide “a leap of accuracy of quake predictions.”

The SSRC news release was about a letter that Casey had sent Craig Fugate, the Administrator of the Federal Management Agency which “disclosed that we are about to enter a potentially catastrophic period of record earthquakes and volcanic eruptions throughout the United States.”

Casey’s letter outlined “how the ongoing dramatic reduction in the Sun’s energy output will not only plunge the world into a decades-long cold epoch, but at the same time bring record geographic devastation in monster earthquakes and volcanic eruptions.”

Other scientists have come to similar conclusions, but after years of sorting through all the claims about global warming and “climate change”, one might want to tread lightly before embracing them.

I asked my colleague at The Heartland Institute, Science Director Jay Lehr, for his reaction and he was quite candid. “I have read it and am extremely skeptical. It sounds like the agency is looking for some press and, of course, when they turn out to be wrong no one will be upset. No harm. No foul. Being ready for earthquakes in known quake zones makes sense; creating unwarranted fear does not.”

Dr. Lehr summed up my own reaction. I would recommend his skepticism to everyone.

Will there be earthquakes here in the U.S.? Yes. The New Madrid earthquakes were the biggest in the nation’s history, occurring in the central Mississippi Valley and so large they were felt as far away as New York and Boston, Montreal and Washington, D.C. President James Madison and his wife Dolly felt them in the White House. They lasted from December 16, 1811 through March of 1812 and there were more than 2,000 quakes in the central Midwest, and between 6,000-10,000 in the boot-heel of Missouri where New Madrid is located near the junction of the Ohio and Mississippi rivers.

When will new earthquakes or volcanic eruptions occur? I doubt anyone knows the answer to that.

© Alan Caruba, 2015


Alan Caruba’s commentaries are posted daily at Warning Signs, and shared on dozens of news and opinion websites. His blog recently passed more than 3.1 million page views.If you love to read, visit his monthly report on new books at It is ideal for anyone who loves to read, reporting on many new fiction and non-fiction titles.For information on his professional skills, is the place.

23 thoughts on “Predicting Earthquakes. Not.

  1. You may not be able to predict just were and when a major earthquake will rupture, but these earth science, scientists have a point.
    The stats are there to see; during Solar Minimums significant activity takes place in terms of earth quakes and volcanism, both hot spot and rifting.
    There is a physical reason for this to happen to our planet, the Sun orbits the Solar System Barry Centre normally in an ordered orbit around it, periodically the Barry Centre moves, dependent on the positions of the four Jovian Gas Giants, the Sun follows this movement as it must try to occupy the deepest part of the Solar System gravity well, in doing so, orbits in a series of Trefoil orbits.
    The Sun’s activity reduces and the Sun Cools in output, this movement activity imparts a significant gravitational energy into our planet’s plate tectonics. This is why we have had a series of increasing severe earthquakes since the 1970s with the first of the shallow Trefoil Orbits AMP B type events, and now are in a major AMP type “A” event of this Modern Solar Minimum.
    I would not be surprised at all if one of the South East Asia Super Volcanoes cleared its throat during the next 10 to 15 years as well as further major Earth quakes, particularly on the boundary of the African Rift. It would seem to me that the Indian Ocean plate is moving the most, with an energy release moving from East to West around it.

    • Jimbob, Please get it right: Barycentre, Barycentre, BARYCENTRE! people might start to think that Obama is the cause of all this. /sarc off

      • Your welcome!
        I will have words with my spell checker to get it right.
        Obama is simply a Carbon Credit cheer leader for Gore.

  2. while fearmongering is a bad thing
    awareness isnt
    and it is more than a guess that in low solar activity times the quakes DO pick up
    evidenced by the recent near spotless sun and the amount and the force of the quakes recently,
    suns got some spot now and the quakes globally are fewer and less severe.
    Piers Corbyn uses this conjunction in part in his forecasting and hes pretty good at getting it right.:-)

  3. I have been wondering for years about the correlation between solar minimums and volcanic / earthquake activity. We have been in a solar minimum (sort of) and there has been a lot of volcanic activity along with massive earthquakes. (ex. Thailand in Dec 2004 and Japan in March of 2011)

    Piers Corbin uses solar activity to predict the weather to great accuracy. Why not postulate that it affects the earth geologically?

  4. In the bible , Jesus states that there will be great earthquakes
    famines and plagues (luke 21:11 ) . Could it be that these guys
    have taken to bible study and are just repeating what they
    read ?

  5. It has seemed to me from media reports that there has already been an increase in tectonic and volcanic activity. However, I haven’t seen any “official ” announcements to that effect. Has anyone else?

    • You probably won’t see any ‘official’ announcements about it, unless they can put the blame on AGW!

  6. I haven’t read the mentioned report, but I veer away from “extremely skeptical” about it and towards “taking it with a grain of salt.” The first turns a blind eye, the second looks for proof. There is little doubt that there appears to be an uptick in volcanic activity and earthquakes. There is no reason to assume that it may not be “the new normal,” or it may be paving the way to greater catastrophism. Whether discussing the higher level of activity is going to “create unwarranted fear,” depends on the way the information is presented, not on the information being presented.

  7. There is far more detail to Mr. Casey’s predictions that has not been provided & reviewed. History does seem to demonstrate that there are correlations in Epoch cold periods. Earthquakes and volcanoes seem to often and significantly play a part.

    Mr. Casey has presented his Press release as a warning based on historic evidence found in many scientific documents written by credible scientists including his own studies of the data points.

    I suggest that any who question or challenge my observations should spend some time investigating more of Mr. Casey’s work and the references provided in his work.

    I”m not a scientist and have no ego involved in being correct or incorrect. I have read and reviewed as much info as I can over the last year originating from Mr. Casey and many of his referenced support materials.

    I would remind everyone reading my comment’s that in the 1970’s scientists warned of a Mini Ice Age coming within 50 years. The warning was issued to the United nations in 1972. It took the global warming nuts 2 years to build their counter argument to the Ice Age warning. Does anyone also remember many scientists also warned during that very same period that CA was headed for a MAJOR earthquake within 50 years.

    I respectfully suggest readers check out the history of ice ages and their timing as related to higher than normal earthquake and volcanic activity and how often they are also related to magnetic reversals.

    By the way, volcanic activity is way up as this site seems to report. Maybe looking deeper than a press release would be valuable before dismissing another mans work. Just commenting.

    Alan, you and Mr. Casey should be working together to discover the scientific value of each others observations. I have enjoyed the synergy in the combination of your works. GOD knows we have enough people picking apart the work you and Casey do without you guys discrediting each other.

    Be well.

  8. The quoted Wikipedia article is flat out wrong.
    Alan’s quotation is accurate, i.e., that is indeed what the Wikipedia page says. The quotation comes from Solar Cycle 24, and says “It is on track to be the Solar Cycle with the lowest recorded sunspot activity since accurate records began in 1750.”
    This claim is false. The lowest cycle was Cycle 6 with 48.7 sunspots (May 1816), see List of Solar Cycles. Note that Cycle 24 in this list is at 81.9 sunspots (Apr 2014), which is substantially above the lowest sunspot number ever recorded.
    It appears that the Wikipedia page is very out of date and that someone was making a prediction very early in the cycle.
    Predicting solar cycles is incredibly uncertain and to say, early in a cycle, that a cycle is “on-track” to be the lowest ever is unfounded speculation. Now that it is much later and we are very close to or just past the cycle peak, it would not be unfounded to say that it is “on-track” to be _______ (fill in the blank with your chosen prediction).
    Normally I don’t nitpick second hand quotation accuracy, but in this case Alan is cautioning against believing unfounded claims and predictions, while including an unfounded claim/prediction as educational background in his article.

  9. Dr. Casey is making his forecast based on past data which shows clearly an increase in geological activity is associated with prolonged minimum solar conditions.

    If mainstream want to continue to ignore this data as it does with all of the other data so be it they will find out when it will be to late.

  10. Having read the letter, I see no reason for a particularly negative reaction to it. I do know, however, how it will be attacked by the green left.

    With the “highlighting” of the New Madrid fault, the paper implies that increased seismic activity in the area can be attributed to the unknown affect of the quiet Sun. Such a statement will be looked at as trying to alibi away the seismic activity attempting to be linked to fracking in this region, and any other region lying near a known – or still unknown – fault line.

    I don’t see this letter as attempting to “predict” earthquakes, and have no idea why Caruba presents it in that manner, beyond the rather wide window it sets for the next large quake on the New Madrid. It clearly is intended as a warning of the probability and suggests preparations, not unlike the weather channel coming out in February and warning of the probability of a hurricane hitting in an area prone to hurricanes and suggesting preparations for the possibility.

    I agree with those that have taken the position that this article has been detrimental in affect, and it will certainly affect the way I look at other articles presented by the author. I have disagreed with Caruba in the past, and will now be more careful of what he offers in the future since it now will require my own researching into what he is talking about.

    In that way, I suppose, I should be happy. It is always nice to be reminded that I must do my own thinking, not relying on someone else’s interpretation.

  11. When will new earthquakes or volcanic eruptions occur?
    Answer: Always when you least expect it to happen.
    I tend to worry that USGS scientists will over look long period events thinking them to be traffic because if there really was long period events happening at Yellowstone the consequences would be unthinkable. It would mean that the magma chamber is pressurizing. That would be horrifying to say the least if and when it happens.
    I took a snap shot of an example of a long period event shown in the documentary “volcano hell”, and some of the seismic signals look similar.,d.cWc

    It may be just traffic since it is detected at YMR only.
    Traffic looks like a stretched diamond pattern and LP events appear to be like a horizontal stretched kite shaped pattern.

    Like an ice age nobody has ever studied the onset of a super eruption or even a minor eruption at a super volcano as far as I know. The chances are there isn’t a danger at this time but given the nature of the problem; Yellowstone needs to be closely watched and honestly reported on.

  12. I have a MS in Geography and I specialized in natural hazards; my thesis was looking at the spatial distribution of deaths and injuries due to high fatality earthquakes. It’s been a while since I worked in that field (I switched to public health some time ago), but I do monitor earthquake activity over the past 30 years or so. No major “uptake” in seismic activity if you ask me …. and to the best of my knowledge no one has yet found a way to predict them.

    Some people have ideas on possible ways to predict quakes coming, but to the best of my knowledge, none have been proven. I’d be more included to pay attention to wildlife and pets than anything else… they seem to get stressed before them, although that’s with only a few minutes warning.

    The main thing is there are plenty of places known to be seismically active, and it is likely that those places will continue to be.

    Way too many postings on various websites from people who think because they read the bible they have some kind of special knowledge of these things… quite a bit of foolishness getting posted by some (mostly women I’ve notice) who haven’t a clue about normal seismic activity. There is nothing alarming to me hearing that there is some volcano or another erupting in the “ring of fire”… that is why it’s called that!

    • It may be beneficial to use a wider period of years to study the data. With more volcanoes erupting it isn’t a leap to conclude that the hundreds of quakes that precede them must have some impact on any study.

      I understand 30 year computer models are what the left uses to make their claims of global warming.

      • When I say I’ve been monitoring earthquake activity I’m not talking about doing a research study; it’s just that I have been looking at the USGS website for earthquakes on almost a daily basis to see “what’s up”.

        But yes, I agree that if you want to look at trends in many things you need to look at data for more years (like geology, climate, or most cancers). At the same time there are some topics where researching trends over a shorter time period would work. For example, if you are researching the lives of fruit flies (the classic) or mosquitoes (some I’ve studied are considered “old” at 14 days), they only live days so you get many more data points for a shorter period.

  13. This I will say just since 2000 when I started keeping track of volcanism there has been a dramatic uptick…As Mr.Felix has pointed out an ice age can happen very quickly and volcanoes play a key role in that…like the expected eruption of karakatu in Indonesia. ..that particular volcano when it goes is expected to drop global temps by 11C…it all ties together

  14. According to news reports you can now cause earthquakes by standing naked on a mountain top. Several tourists are being prosecuted for causing earthquakes. Its the law.

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