Tohoku quake coincided with sky ‘anomalies’

Published in Physics World, 26 May 2011

A preliminary analysis of the atmosphere and ionosphere over Japan in March reveals infrared and electron anomalies coincident with the Tohoku earthquake, researchers in the US and Russia claim. The anomalies are the latest evidence for a possible link between seismic activity and changes in the atmosphere or ionosphere, although sceptics believe they are unrelated.

Seismologists have searched for early-warning signals of earthquakes for more than a century. These range from small tremors in the ground, to aurora-like lights in the atmosphere and even to bizarre animal behaviour. But despite a few records of such incidents coming before quakes – usually noted retrospectively – there has never been any consistent method to accurately predict when a major shock is going to happen. […]

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