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Earth Japan News

8.8 Earthquake Near Japanese Coast 431

Posted by timothy
from the surf's-up-and-up-and-up dept.
radioweather writes "USGS is reporting a 8.8 (was estimated first at 7.9) magnitude earthquake off of the east coast of Honshu, Japan. Details from USGS. Tsunami warning issued. Japan's Meteorological agency is saying 20-foot or higher waves are possible from a Tsunami near Miyagi prefecture."
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8.8 Earthquake Near Japanese Coast

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  • Re:Pray (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:42AM (#35450794)

    Sorry, but really... Pray? How about actively supporting in a manner other than preaching to a non-existing man in the cloud.

  • by osu-neko (2604) on Friday March 11, 2011 @03:56AM (#35450856)

    But, damn. That tidal wave footage left me speechless.

    Yeah, I was watching what looked like some water washing across a field carrying some garbage and debris in it, then they zoom in and you see the "garbage" is composed of large buildings, and the "little bits of debris" is a bunch of cars and buses. At which point, the whole sense of scale snaps in and you realize that that water that at first looked to be slowly flowing inland is in fact going far, far faster than you could possibly run if it was coming towards you...

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:03AM (#35450886)

    oh fuck off you pedantic prick

  • Re:Pray (Score:2, Insightful)

    by DrXym (126579) on Friday March 11, 2011 @04:29AM (#35451002)
    Pray to the god who arbitrarily decided to cause this catastrophe? That makes a load of sense.
  • Re:Pray (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Dunbal (464142) * on Friday March 11, 2011 @06:18AM (#35451434)
    This is the same God that decided to create a massive earthquake and tsunami in the first place, right? You can't believe in an omnipotent being and then absolve him of responsibility for a disaster like this, or on the other hand you can't expect him to have mercy for people he has obviously decided to kill. Of course if you were sane, you'd realize that religion is just a form of mind control to prevent the poor from murdering the rich.
  • Re:Pray (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vadim_t (324782) on Friday March 11, 2011 @06:28AM (#35451468) Homepage

    Here's an useful suggestion instead:

    Take that time you'd spend praying and work overtime. Donate the extra money to whoever needs it.

  • by dtmos (447842) * on Friday March 11, 2011 @07:08AM (#35451632)

    when you have massive ejections like yesterdays they can certainly contribute to instability in the Earth's magnetic field, which leads to tectonic shifting.

    Er, no. The way the game of "science" is played, one must first show data establishing a valid statistical correlation between coronal mass ejections and earthquakes, then a plausible model establishing causation. Or, present the plausible model establishing causation, and then predict earthquakes to occur in the future, with a success rate that differs from random chance in a statistically significant manner.

    The reason the relationship between CMEs and earthquakes is not "a more accepted concept than it is", is that no one has done either of the above. It shouldn't be hard: The occurrence of CMEs varies with the sunspot cycle and, therefore, one would expect a cyclic variation in earthquakes if this hypothesis were true. Note that near the solar maximum we expect two or three CMEs per day, so this has to be figured in, too.

    Reviewing your links:

    1. The Mukherjee and Mukherjee paper notes that there was increased solar activity, and then an earthquake occurred (the 2001 Gujarat earthquake). In fact, in the "entire world, a total of 65 earthquakes have been reported on the same day". However, there is no evidence presented that that was an unusually high (or low) number of earthquakes for a day, that other earthquakes occurred on similar days with high solar activity, or that they did not occur on days with low solar activity. In fact, some of that data presented -- in particular, the GOES X-Ray flux data -- is irrelevant to the argument, since X-Rays do not affect the Earth's magnetosphere (the protons arriving two days later, do that) and, in any event, they cannot pass through the Earth's atmosphere and so cannot affect the surface (let alone the rock below). Despite the heading of section 2 of the paper, no "correlation" between CMEs and earthquakes is presented -- just a single coincidence. I went to the dentist on 26 January 2001 -- did that also cause the Gujarat earthquake? The same amount of evidence is presented for both hypotheses.

    2. The de Arcangelis, et al. paper does not even mention a causal relationship between CMEs and earthquakes. Rather, it notes that the statistical properties of the two phenomena are the same: Their distributions are both power-law. This is interesting, but so is the distribution of Internet links, and a million other phenomena. It's nice work, but does not support your hypothesis.

    3. This guy just took a single month's worth of earthquakes and compared it with "solar activity" (without defining the term). Even the author didn't make any conclusions as a result, so why should the reader? Besides, 2010 was one of the quietest years of solar activity in human history -- just wait 'til 2013!

    4. Do you have a link to the entire Jain paper, or are you citing the abstract as the reference? Without the paper it's hard to conclude anything, but even in the abstract the author states, "Our investigation preliminarily shows that each earthquake under study was preceded by a solar flare of GOES importance B to X class by 10-100 hrs. However, each flare was not found followed by earthquake of magnitude >4.0." This situation can occur with unrelated events, simply when one (a flare) is more common than another (an earthquake). Note that B-class flares [spaceweather.com] are incredibly common, and in many years this level of energy represents the standard amount of X-ray flux arriving from the sun, without any flares.

    All of the above does not prove, or even argue, that CMEs do not cause earthquakes. Rather, it says that no significant evidence of such a link has been established. Until it has, one might argue with equal validity that any other random physical phenomenon does, too.

  • Re:Casualties... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by goodmanj (234846) on Friday March 11, 2011 @07:33AM (#35451718)

    We're actually pretty good at emergency response to things like hurricanes. Where we fail is at solving vast existential problems with no quick fix solution. Like "a major city is 20 feet below sea level".

    The Katrina disaster occured decades before the levees failed.

  • by bunratty (545641) on Friday March 11, 2011 @08:58AM (#35452178)
    Earth has had magnitude 9 earthquakes for millions of years. Therefore, obviously, they are nothing to worry about. What's the big deal? Sorry, I can't resist a chance to rib that tired old argument that AGW is not a problem because earth has been warmer in the past.
  • by bws111 (1216812) on Friday March 11, 2011 @09:44AM (#35452510)

    You keep posting this same moronic crap on every story about natural disasters. Where is this magical place on Earth that is free from natural disasters (earthquake, tsunami, volcano, flood, drought, extreme cold, extreme heat, hurricane, tornado, blizzard, typhoon, mudslide, avalanche, wild fire, ...)? And yes, you do get to cry when one befalls you. And yes, people will help you out, because most of civilization has compassion and empathy for others.

  • by gearloos (816828) on Friday March 11, 2011 @10:22AM (#35452916)
    As Usual- I just saw a CBS Weather girl actually say "And it is so surprising that it is sunny on the west coast with all this going on" ! Are media people born with dog shit in their brains or does a small dog have to sit over them while sleeping and make nightly deposits to get it to the level they have in adult life?
  • Re:Nervous... (Score:2, Insightful)

    by Tumbleweed (3706) * on Friday March 11, 2011 @11:39AM (#35453772)

    We here in Seattle won't get hit by a Tsunami. If we were actually on the _coast_ (like Longview or someplace like that), it would be another matter. Check a map sometime. :)

Statistics are no substitute for judgement. -- Henry Clay

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