Update on Earth Activity Data

In a post just over a year ago, I presented data on earth activity (in particular earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and tropical storms). Given all the buzz on the internet about an increased earth activity over the past several years, I was curious to see this for myself, so I downloaded and analyzed some publicly available data. Surprisingly, though, the data showed no such increase at all. In the current post, I present the updated data for up until the end of 2016, which still shows no sign of any unusual behavior. Judge the plots below for yourself…

Earthquakes
To start again with earthquakes, monthly (Fig. 1) and yearly (Fig. 2) data as calculated from the USGS database is shown below. The main conclusions in the previous post do not change in any way.

The monthly number of global earthquakes of minimum magnitude M5.0 (purple line), M6.0 (green line), and M7.0 (blue line) from January 1996 to December 2016. Click the pic for a full-size view.
Fig. 1: The monthly number of global earthquakes of minimum magnitude M5.0 (purple line), M6.0 (green line), and M7.0 (blue line) from January 1996 to December 2016. Click the pic for a full-size view.
Fig. 2: The yearly number of earthquakes.
Fig. 2: The yearly number of global earthquakes of minimum magnitude M5.0. Click the pic for a full-size view.

Volcanic eruptions
Next up, the number of volcanic eruptions (Fig. 3) as reported by the Smithsonian Institution. Again, the main conclusions in the previous post hold up. The trend (blue line) is statistically not significant.

Fig. 3: The yearly number of global volcanic eruptions from 1976 to 2015. Click the pic for a full-size view.
Fig. 3: The yearly number of global volcanic eruptions from 1976 to 2016. Click the pic for a full-size view.

Tropical storms
And finally, the number of tropical storms (Fig. 4) as reported by the National Hurricane Center. Again, no change in the conclusions from the previous post. In fact, the strongest storm on record (in 2015) does indeed seem to be a freak accident, and not the start of a trend (at least not yet). The trend in number of storms (blue line) does not show a statistically significant increase (in fact, far from it).

Fig. 4: The yearly number of tropical storms (red line), average strength (green line), and maximum strength (black line) from 1999 to 2015. Click the pic for a full-size view.
Fig. 4: The yearly number of tropical storms (purple line), average strength (green line), and maximum strength (red line) from 1999 to 2016. Click the pic for a full-size view.

So, as last year, the main conclusion is that the data (which is publicly available to everyone) does not show any significant increasing trend. Make sure to read the previous post for a more detailed (statistical) analysis and explanation of the data. Here, I simply provide updated plots for up to the end of 2016.