Even though the rotation fluctuations of the Earth are small, they can still produce the release of an incredible amount of underground energy.
Roger Bilham (University of Colorado at Boulder) and Rebecca Bendick (University of Montana in Missoula) were initially looking to identify any trends within large-scale earthquakes that occurred since 1900.
During these periods, the researchers say that major earthquakes - that is, quakes that register a magnitude of 7 or greater - happen with much greater frequency.
These periodic slowdowns - which we can't feel because it is so fractional - often last about five years, and the last year, according to the pattern the researchers noticed, featured an increase in intense earthquakes.
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Kiwi scientists have questioned the validity of new findings that suggest we are likely to see a significant increase in the number of devastating earthquakes striking around the globe in 2018.
Now that 2018 heralds a period of enhanced global seismic productivity with a duration of at least five years, they warn people to be prepared for more earthquakes.
This might not seem like much, and it is virtually unperceivable by us humans, but put in perspective, we find that today's days are longer than days in the year 1900 by nearly two full seconds.
As per a new report, the 2018 earthquakes are going to be higher in magnitude, and the main reason behind it is the slowing of Earth's rotation. Earth's rotation, as with many things, is cyclical, slowing down by a few milliseconds per day then speeding up again.
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"Major earthquakes have been well recorded for more than a century and that gives us a good record to study", Bilham said. The last slowdown began four years ago.
Bilham said it's hard to pinpoint why there's a link between rotation and earthquakes, but the earth's core might be to blame. The thought is that the outer core can at times "stick" to the mantle, causing a disruption in its flow. "We have had it easy this year", the Guardian reported he said. "The Earth is offering us a five-year heads-up on future earthquakes".
Bilham and Bendick predict the impact may be greater in equatorial regions, home to earth's greatest population concentration-about a billion people.
When a day's length changes over decades, there can be a slight adjustment in the planet's magnetic field and both of these fluctuations may be due to the flow of molten metal inside the surface of the Earth, the Science Magazine explained.
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