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Local Atmosphere Heated Rapidly Before Japan Quake

Soulskill posted more than 2 years ago | from the shake-and-bake dept.

Earth 202

eldavojohn writes "A new paper presented at NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Maryland shows the rapid heating of the atmosphere directly above the fault days before the devastating earthquake hit. This is theorized to be the Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling mechanism that occurs when large amounts of radon are released due to massive stress in the fault right before the quake. This can be detected with satellites analyzing infrared waves: 'The radioactivity from this gas ionizes the air on a large scale and this has a number of knock on effects. Since water molecules are attracted to ions in the air, ionization triggers the large scale condensation of water. But the process of condensation also releases heat and it is this that causes infrared emissions.' This is a shift from the Haiti earthquake where DEMETER was used to monitor ultra low frequencies. The presence of radon could also possibly explain erratic wildlife behavior prior to an earthquake."

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202 comments

HAARP (1)

GeorgeMonroy (784609) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168810)

Or one of Japan's enemies.

Re:HAARP (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36168870)

Bingo. Looks like the smoking gun for US Involvement has been found.

Connect the dots for us (2)

spun (1352) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169194)

We have been blinded by the Vast Oligarchical Masonic Banking Illuminati Conspiracy (or VOMBIC) and we can not see the forest for the trees. Please enlighten us, how did the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project cause the release of radon, local ionization of the lower atmosphere, and subsequent water vapor condensation leading to localized lower atmospheric heating?

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169396)

VOMBIC did not do that, the reptilians did. They are in charge of High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project for Sea Earth Air and Land.

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

smelch (1988698) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169796)

My God, it encompasses earth and land? Fucking reptilians, is nothing safe?

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

h4rr4r (612664) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169920)

HARRP SEAL is indeed terrifying.

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

spun (1352) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170046)

Do not be fooled by their furry cuteness. They would just as soon kill you and everyone you love, for fun.

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

zach_the_lizard (1317619) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169798)

Hey now! Wait just one minute! We reptilians strongly deny any involvement, and are disgusted with this slandering of our good name. We suggest trying the World Zionist-Nazi International Alien Conspiracy (WZNIAC).

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

lgw (121541) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169608)

You have only the word of the VOMBIC-controlled media that any of that happened - these "facts" that make you doubt that HAARP was responsible are disinformation planted for just this purpose!

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169702)

We have been blinded by the Vast Oligarchical Masonic Banking Illuminati Conspiracy (or VOMBIC) and we can not see the forest for the trees. Please enlighten us, how did the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Project cause the release of radon, local ionization of the lower atmosphere, and subsequent water vapor condensation leading to localized lower atmospheric heating?

Piezo-electric effect.

Re:Connect the dots for us (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170088)

Conspiracy theorists are too busy making shit up to bother investing time in actually learning real science.

Holy grail? (3, Interesting)

Toe, The (545098) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168818)

So does this mean we just might have a reliable earthquake detector, or is it only a sometimes-thing?

Re:Holy grail? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168856)

Satellites predicting massive Earthquakes. Who knew?!

Re:Holy grail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36168912)

Assuming sarcasm, obviously not you, or you would have made the discovery.

Re:Holy grail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36170060)

Satellites relaying snarky remarks over the internet. Who knew?!

Re:Holy grail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36168914)

Curious as well, but i'd wildly guess its reliable on major/abnormal levels spikes wich would be enough to indicate a possible earthquake high on the scale, but that would be great either way!

Re:Holy grail? (2)

Dthief (1700318) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168916)

even if it doesn't detect every earthquake....if you could detect some of them with certainty that would be great!!

My question is whether you can determine the strength/magnitude range beforehand......there are so many quakes all over the world all the time....its only the 5's, 6's and up when people really care (maybe a 4 if its somewhere that doesn't normally get a quake)

Need to predict magnitude (1)

perpenso (1613749) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168952)

So does this mean we just might have a reliable earthquake detector, or is it only a sometimes-thing?

Or it may be a too-often-thing. Many earthquakes are small, barely noticeable. It would be more useful if the magnitude could also be predicted.

Re:Holy grail? (1)

plover (150551) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169326)

It will only help if we can just figure out how to employ sheep's bladders to prevent earthquakes.

Re:Holy grail? (4, Interesting)

Beelzebud (1361137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169358)

What it means, is that we have something we really need to observe more examples of, before we jump to conclusions. It's a very interesting observation though. This very well could turn out to be a way to scientifically predict large earthquakes. Only time and more research will tell.

Re:Holy grail? (1)

Hijacked Public (999535) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169728)

Exactly.

The next time a phenomenon such as this is detected I suppose a warning could be issued, but what if people ignored it? Except for governments that have the authority and capability to force people to comply, something as vaporous as 'there might be an earthquake in the next few days' isn't going to change routines.

Giant quakes don't exactly happen often and the further removed generations are from one the more likely they are to have an 'it can't happen to me' mindset. Japan had warnings carved into rock to avoid building in tsunami vulnerable areas, and they built a nuclear plant in one.

Re:Holy grail? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36170174)

Bobby Jindal is disappointed we might spend money on something called "earthquake monitoring".

Cancer risks... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36168880)

While everyone was panicking over the problems with the Fukashima nuclear plants, it sounds like the real danger here is radon, which is a dangerous radioactive gas that can cause cancer after entering the respiratory tract of animals.

Re:Cancer risks... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169222)

While everyone was panicking over the problems with the Fukashima nuclear plants, it sounds like the real danger here is radon, which is a dangerous radioactive gas that can cause cancer after entering the respiratory tract of animals.

I'm glad to know that I've got nothing to worry about - I'm a man, not an animal.

Do you know what Radon is? No? Goodnight. (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36168954)

As an aside, studies have shown that naturally released radon will considerably increase the levels of radiation in the area. Could this, in part, be responsible for the increased rad levels measured around Japan in the time following the quake, and perhaps around the world (considering the magnitude of the earthquake)?

Why haven't we heard of this radiation "concern" following other quakes? Probably because no Nuclear Plants were melting down at time to draw public attention away from the quake itself.

Radon release (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168986)

If there was a large release of Radon days before the quake; is it possible that a certain proportion of the elevated radiation levels locally are due to this, rather than releases of radioactive material (iodine/caesium/etc) from the Fukushima power station? Was there anything detected on local radiation detectors prior to the nuclear incident?

This isn't a "there was no release from Fukushima it was all radon!!" post (because there quite clearly was), I'm just intrigued

Re:Radon release (1)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169218)

No, radon and daughter products make different nuclides than uranium daughter products. Also radon (and daughters) only last a few days.

Re:Radon release (1)

slick7 (1703596) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169758)

No, radon and daughter products make different nuclides than uranium daughter products. Also radon (and daughters) only last a few days.

It becomes a real problem when trapped by an inversion layer.

Re:Radon release (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170044)

Also radon (and daughters) only last a few days.

And this is exactly why radon exposure, unlike iodine and cesium exposure, will actually kill you. Iodine exposure will cause thyroid cancer. Survival rate > 99.9%. Cesium exposure can only kill through radiation sickness, which requires massive doses (you need > 10g in the lungs before levels get truly dangerous. Even smoking the stuff will not cause that).

Radon, on the other hand, will cause lung cancer. Survival rate ~ 30% (and that's 5 years after the diagnosis. 20 years after diagnosis we're not even talking 10%, but that's partly because people hardly ever get diagnosed with lung cancer before they're 55). Generally you will end up ingesting radon through drinking water, which is doubly bad. It's a naturally occuring element, that is linked to cancer increases where the natural exposure is higher than normal (ironically, fresh spring water is the main cause of increased radon exposure).

According to the WHO, radon (the natural background level) is the leading cause of cancer after tobacco [who.int] .

Re:Radon release (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169578)

If there was a large release of Radon days before the quake, was the sea effervescent?

I'm serious. Enough of a substance to raise the temperature of that much atmosphere is a lot of that substance. I'd expect simmering if not outright foaming. We should see the sea getting warmer and bubbling like soda, too.

Otherwise, I call simple weather.

Re:Radon release (0)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170108)

There is this thing called causality. It tends to keep things in chronological order. I know that concepts like "before" and "after" an event are strange to you, but they do make a difference. The math just won't let you swap them around like that unless you're very bad at carrying the signs.

Re:Radon release (1)

fridaynightsmoke (1589903) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170268)

There is this thing called causality. It tends to keep things in chronological order. I know that concepts like "before" and "after" an event are strange to you, but they do make a difference. The math just won't let you swap them around like that unless you're very bad at carrying the signs.

Eh?

No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (0)

digitaldc (879047) | more than 2 years ago | (#36168992)

...or flood zones, tsunami zones, or any other areas where natural disasters are more LIKELY to happen.
Alternatively, we could fast-track the production and efficiency of green, renewable energy which sounds like the best solution since it is extremely difficult to predict an earthquake.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

Draknor (745036) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169300)

Is there, realistically, an area on Earth that does NOT have some likelihood of natural disasters?

Speaking about the US specifically, North Dakota not at much risk for earthquakes or tsunamis, but they do get tornadoes, blizzards/heavy snow, spring flooding, etc. Not to mention that its pretty far away from the population centers that actually *need* the electricity being generated, so then you are looking at transmission costs, capacity, maintenance (and of course the risks associated with those).

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

Troed (102527) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169354)

Yes, Sweden.

Please move all valuable infrastructure here.

(I'm only somewhat joking - the only real risk is that we're far enough up north to be quickly affected when the next ice age comes along)

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169648)

Avoiding natural disasters is a canard. Systems can be designed to tolerate worst-case scenarios. The problem at Fukushima is they didn't design for worst-case. They designed for events that weren't nearly far enough out on the tail of the distribution. Someone murdered Japan for a couple of bucks.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170170)

"Murdered Japan" ... I don't know where you get your news, but Japan is very much alive.

Also, please remember the current death tolls :
-> the actual disaster : 12813 and counting
-> the nuclear meltdown : 0 (1 badly burnt, and 2 people got smacked against the building by the tsunami, then died. They are not counted. Although around 2000 people are temporarily relocated, the large majority of them were relocated because of the tsunami when it destroyed their houses)

Frankly, I think that if you want to reduce deaths during quakes and tsunami's ... you don't have to worry about nuclear plants. In fact, you could let them melt down entirely, and feed the local cooling water to the country's babies and you would still barely increase the death count.

Instead, worry about trains, cars, buildings, ... Worry, even, about roof-mounted solar panels falling down and wind towers toppling. They cause more deaths than all damaged nuclear plants together.

Don't forget ... sometimes systems fail. The high speed train to north Japan followed exact procedure after the quake. They stopped the train using the emergency brakes. They locked everything down, disconnected the power systems and evacuated the passengers, got the local police present and got medical aid. Every procedure (presumably) followed to the letter. Then the tsunami came. There were no survivors. Not one.

Sometimes, you're just fucked.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169736)

Not to mention that its pretty far away from the population centers that actually *need* the electricity being generated

Its apparently much cheaper to move the population than to build provably perfectly indestructible infrastructure.

One big problem is attitude. A blizzard (of which I've survived a hundred or so) is pretty much no big deal for the non-darwin award winners who live there and know what to do. Its just windy snow, who cares other than journalists trying to hype it up. A coastie transplant who never saw snow before might run around like a chicken with its head cut off before their first blizzard, but for the natives its pretty much a nice excuse for a day off.

Another problem is people tend to be pretty apathetic about stuff they expect and experience on a regular basis; look at big city dwellers attitudes toward high crime, or Californian attitudes toward earthquakes, for example. Forcing people away from an area that gets a hurricane once a generation, is going to be ... difficult. Best finish getting rid of civil rights before bothering to try it.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169918)

US Southwest.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

SilentStaid (1474575) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170070)

Philadelphia... the only disasters that occur with any regularity here generally relate to an increased choking hazard risk right around playoff time.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169628)

green, renewable energy

No such thing. Not in the quantities needed to supply our activities. We'd have to ration light, heat, all mechanical activities, and food (which is energy too) to fit into the budget that would give us. And ban breeding.

We need to stop using fossil fuels, build nuke plants, and continue in the search for high-efficiency solar power.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

OeLeWaPpErKe (412765) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170214)

No such thing. Not in the quantities needed to supply our activities. We'd have to ration light, heat, all mechanical activities, and food (which is energy too) to fit into the budget that would give us. And ban breeding.

Not in any quantities. Not a single millionth of a picowatt. Any such energy would violate the second law of thermodynamics.

In practice. Oil use means doing :
sun -> plants -> tectonic movement -> heating up the stuff -> more tectonic movement -> digging it up -> using the energy

The plants used in oil -> energy conversion were long dead.

BUT: "renewable energy"

sun -> using the energy
sun -> wind -> using the energy

See what is missing in that chain ? "plants" ...

I don't get people that think that directly using solar power will be better for nature. We have to steal the energy from plants directly when using solar or wind power (yes, it's sometimes hard to point out which plants exactly are affected by a specific solar panel. However, there's no getting out from under thermodynamics : if you're getting power from the sun, that can only happen if some plant is not receiving it).

Large scale solar or wind power implementations will not be good for nature. Right now the effect is a drop in an empty bucket, but that won't remain so.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (2)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169630)

Let's see, it would take covering 15% of all flat land in Japan with 10% efficient PV panels to produce the same amount of electricity as they used in 2008 (1,000TWHr's) (~75,000km^2 flat ground, ~3kWHr/m^2/day). It would only cost about $4.5 Trillion to do. Oh and that doesn't account for storage, distribution, or maintenance costs or the fact that you'd need a much larger installation to handle peak demand. I'm not sure that spending 6% of GDP per year (figure other costs are about equal to panel costs over 30 years) just for electricity generation is something Japan is willing to do even after this disaster.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

vlm (69642) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169782)

it would take covering 15% of all flat land in Japan

Why do PV panels require flat land? Or, for that matter, land?

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

afidel (530433) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169846)

Because building a solar farm on mountains or floating barges is going to be even more expensive.

Re:No more dangerous plants on fault lines... (1)

bluemonq (812827) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170222)

PRODUCING renewable energy is relatively cheap and easy. STORING renewable energy is not.

So the real question this raises is (1)

Intron (870560) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169028)

what are "knock on effects"?

Re:So the real question this raises is (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169686)

Effects caused by the original effects.

E.g., giant earthquake has the effect of causing a giant tsunami, the knock-on is that the tsunami knocks out the generators at the nuke plant, and so on and so on, knocking on until eventually someone gets fired for not wearing their dosimeter at the Tepco HQ in Tokyo.

I wonder (4, Interesting)

airfoobar (1853132) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169116)

If this has anything with the mysterious white lights that were reported during the quake (apparently not an entirely uncommon [wikipedia.org] , but still unexplained, phenomenon), and if there could be any connection with what some researchers are saying [pesn.com] about major earthquakes being linked with solar flare activity.

Re:I wonder (1)

blair1q (305137) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169730)

Ball lightning is unexplained?

Earthquakes cause changes in stresses in piezoelectric rock (e.g., quartz, which is very common). Massive piezo charges form, causing discharges, causing plasmas, i.e., ball lightning.

Now, while this is explainable, it's incredibly difficult to prove, because to prove it you need objective evidence, and to do that you have to have systems in place to observe an earthquake, which means you have to, in some way, predict an earthquake to occur at some time in some locale, which is not hard conceptually but involves enormous locales and time spans, and so is something we haven't yet got the fiduciary gonads to pay for.

Re:I wonder (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36170114)

Can you site the piezoelectric cause of the earthquake lights or is this purely speculation on your part?

In rural Greece we have a word for that (4, Interesting)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169144)

In my mother country, Greece, we have a word for this: koufovrasi. Supposedly (or so the superstition goes), a few hours before an earthquake, the weather becomes hot, stale, like you're choking, and it's like the sound doesn't travel as much (that's why it's called as such, which in free translation it means "deaf, boiled weather"). In the villages of the mountain Epirus, this is a known "sign" that an earthquake might hit soon. I personally experienced this kind of weather once or twice during in my early life there, but I don't remember if an earthquake ever hit soon afterward or not.

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169182)

Obivously it didn't hit, or you wouldn't still be here to post about it.

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169246)

Obivously it didn't hit, or you wouldn't still be here to post about it.

By your logic everyone dies if close to an earthquakes... Black Pearl anyone?

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (1)

Just Some Guy (3352) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169288)

You've never lived in a quake zone, have you. (Note the lack of question mark.) When I lived in California, the typical reaction was "did you feel that, too? Anyway, as I was saying...."

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (1)

Eugenia Loli (250395) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169610)

Epirus in Greece, where I'm coming from, is a quake zone btw, we have "feel-able" earthquakes regularly there (at least once or twice a year). The biggest ones, where people died, were in 2004, and then back in 1981.

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169306)

Obviously everyone dies in every earthquake.

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (1)

pudding7 (584715) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169386)

Here in California, we call it "earthquake weather" when you have a real hot day out of nowhere.

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169946)

In San Francisco, we call a real hot day out of nowhere "some time in October".

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (1)

CarsonChittom (2025388) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170016)

And in the southeastern US, we call a real hot day out of nowhere "May through November. And probably December, too."

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (1)

Kozar_The_Malignant (738483) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170020)

In San Francisco, we call a real hot day out of nowhere "some time in October".

And, by "real hot" you mean 71 F?

Re:In rural Greece we have a word for that (1)

luder (923306) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170218)

That's interesting. Here in Portugal we also have that superstition, although no special word for it, afaik. Curiously, hours before the latest strong quake (6.0, Richter scale, 12/2009), I remember thinking to myself about the "earthquake heat" that could be felt on that particular hot night. Weird coincidence, I am sure, since the epicenter was located 265 km (165 miles) away.

Crazy Quantum Scientist Conspiracy Theory... (1)

Kamiza Ikioi (893310) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169204)

Or, they were experimenting with quantum physics, and the heat up was a backwards time release of energy from the meltdown to occur days later... oOoOoOo!

I don't believe what I just said, but it sure sounds cool.

Re:Crazy Quantum Scientist Conspiracy Theory... (1)

readin (838620) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170030)

Sounds like a Star Trek plot. Have you considered writing Sci-Fi?

Re:Crazy Quantum Scientist Conspiracy Theory... (1)

Jason Levine (196982) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170242)

Next all you need to do is direct that backwards time release of energy from the meltdown to cause the meltdown to occur. Closed time loop!

... Or it could be just a coincidence... (1)

itranspire (1852960) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169208)

There always exists the possibility that there could be no dependency between the earthquake and the change in the temperature of the atmosphere and it could have happened to be just an unfortunate coincidence resulting in many scientific and non-scientific heads banging themselves against the wall looking for something that isn't there at all....

Quake heat effects? (2)

Fractal Dice (696349) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169214)

A good deal of the vibrational energy of the quake eventually will end up as waste heat, so my first question would be whether there is normally a heat plume seen over the site of a quake (adjusting for wind patterns)? There had also been a significant quake already in the area a week earlier. Can it be ruled out that this heat signature could be the result of the earlier quake's energy?

it traveled for miles through the water? (5, Insightful)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169322)

Radon is a gas and that part of the ocean is very deep. How would it have traveled a few miles to the surface so quickly and without dissolving? You might think that all noble gases are not soluble in water, but radon is actually fairly soluble.

Re:it traveled for miles through the water? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169866)

Bubbles?

Re:it traveled for miles through the water? (2)

gumbi west (610122) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170058)

Start a bubble of a soluble gas under a few feet of water and watch it dissolve as it goes up the water column. Nitrogen (the main component of air) is almost completely insoluble in water, so experiments performed with your lungs at the pool do not give you intuition about what happens to soluble gases.

there would be false negatives and false positives (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169368)

but it wouldn't take a lot of money to get an early warning system up and running. its worth a try at least

Radon released before an earthquake? (1)

FriendlyPrimate (461389) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169370)

If Radon is being released BEFORE a quake occurs, wouldn't it be insignificant to the amount of Radon released DURING and AFTER an earthquake? And therefore, if the atmosphere was heating before the earthquake, wouldn't it be doing so much more significantly during and after the earthquake, so much more so as to be obvious?

HAARP perhaps?? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169390)

"Lithosphere-Atmosphere-Ionosphere Coupling" Isn't this well within the reported capabilities of the HAARP project? I'm just sayin'.

Nice try (1)

markov_chain (202465) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169486)

They are trying to cover up the fact that Fukushima melted down several days before the tsunami, and actually caused the quake. But they are not fooling me! *clutches tinfoil hat*

Re:Nice try (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169560)

No, it was HAARP! *clutches tinfoil hat tighter*

Any magnetic anomaly? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169572)

This reminds me of Loma Prieta. A Stanford professor reported that there was a low frequency magnetic event before that.

We already have some sophisticated strain guages being planted around California. Maybe we could combine that with radon counts, magnetic readings, and perhaps even ground temperature probes to build a better picture. It would all be networked in real time, and we could correlate it with the frequent small quakes. Sooner or later, we'll correlate it with a big one.

Of course, this takes money and the state and the Fed are both tight these days...

Jesse Ventura was right (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169602)

It's HAARP

Radon transport through water (1)

treeves (963993) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169606)

How does one account for the fact that the fault is underwater, and the radon would have to bubble up through all that water, and not dissolve in it or be carried elsewhere by currents as it came up? Also, is the activity of the radon at the concentration it might reasonably achieve in the atmosphere sufficient to account for significant ionization?

Not CO2? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169706)

...you mean that there is something other than man-made CO2 causing global warming? Say it ain't so...

H_A_r_/R P (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 2 years ago | (#36169710)

H_A_r_/R P

California Resident (1)

BadPirate (1572721) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169888)

I'm gluing radon detectors to all of my clothing. When "The Big One" hits, I'll be looking down from my emergency air balloon and laughing.

Released from the preshock? (1)

antifoidulus (807088) | more than 2 years ago | (#36169890)

TFA doesn't really give a time scale other than "a few days before". I wonder if at least some of this gas was released from the 7.1 preshock that occurred on the exact same fault on March 9(2 days before the big one). Could potentially explain the source.

Veddy interesting (1)

pubwvj (1045960) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170068)

This is one of the most interesting items to float across SlashDot in a long time. This could be very useful.

No it did not. (5, Interesting)

goodmanj (234846) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170138)

No, the atmosphere did not heat up rapidly as a result of the quake. This article is total bullshit.

1) Geology: There is no "buildup of unusual stresses" in the days before an earthquake. The stresses build up over decades: the only thing that changes suddenly is the Earth's motion in response to them.

2) Oceanography: Any radioactive gases released by the fault (the mechanism claimed by the authors) would be released *at the bottom of the ocean*. From there it would have to dissolve in the ocean and be carried to the surface. This takes a *LONG* time.

3) Meteorology: Any gases released will mix rapidly in the atmosphere, forming a plume stretching hundreds of miles from the source in a matter of hours. It will not form a coherent blob hovering over the fault.

4) Statistics : the plot in question is supposedly based on "NOAA OLR data". It's been massaged to within an inch of its life, using a statistical technique which is highly sensitive to what happened not just during 2011, but to the vagaries of weather in 2006-2010. The result is a massive exercise in small-number statistics, which is then amplified by:

5) Data visualization: Notice that the OLR "spikes" form nice concentric circles, and they seem to line up along a latitude line. Why? Because what you're seeing is data smoothed to a radius smaller than the actual size of the atmosphere being measured. The link below is to the *actual* raw NOAA AVHRR OLR data over Japan: there are only 9 real data points in the field of view shown by TFA, and they do not show any sign of a peak in OLR over northern Japan.

https://picasaweb.google.com/lh/photo/veC_EraWL5NUXaCbH6iROcyKBwp3MOnR9qYUE-fJ7v0?feat=directlink [google.com]

Q: How did the radon get up? (2)

kanweg (771128) | more than 2 years ago | (#36170198)

I would expect it would easily dissolve in a couple of kilometers of ocean water above it, especially at those pressures.

Bert

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