From NewKerala.com, via the Thin Green Line:
According to Prof McGuire, in Taiwan the lower air pressure created by typhoons was enough to “unload” the crust by a small amount and trigger earthquakes, reports the Scotsman.
Uh, right. We don’t know what triggers earthquakes in general, so we certainly don’t know the affect of atmospheric conditions on earthquakes. This is outrageous speculation from an all night session at the pub, breathlessly reported as actual news.
Let’s do a thought experiment. A strong typhoon might drop local atmospheric pressure by 0.2atm. The pressure at the bottom of the ocean averages 200-600atm, and under a few miles of rock is even higher. I would challenge someone with measurement instruments on a fault to even detect such an atmospheric change. Even on surface faults, we are talking about gigatons of force held in check by friction — this is roughly the equivalent of a feather landing on the Empire State Building and collapsing it.
I sometimes wonder if we will see a future SAT question whose answer is “climate studies are to science as alchemy is to chemistry”.