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Ronald Karel
Scientific Researcher & Novelist   


Earthquakes cost tens of thousands of lives in the whole world. All scientific research that allows the pre-determination of earthquakes before they happen must be tried. Even if any scientific research has the possibility of saving one single human life, obstructing this work must be deemed as a crime against humanity
About Me

Seismic precursors are the early warning signs before an earthquake strikes. Many different types of earthquake precursors have been studied by the scientific community: ground movements, seismic signals, fluid or gas emissions, electrical signals, thermal signals, animal behavior, etc. 


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Forecasting earthquakes implies that there are time-varying processes, which depend on the changing conditions deep in the Earth's crust prior to major seismic activity. These processes may be linearly or non-linearly correlated. The research in seismology has traditionally focused on mechanical variables, including precursory ground deformation (revealing the build-up of stress deep below) and prior seismic events (past earthquakes may be related to or even trigger future earthquakes). Since the results have been less than convincing, there is a general consensus in the seismology community that earthquake forecasting on time scales comparable to meteorological forecasts is still quite far in the future, if ever attainable. The starting point of the present review is to acknowledge that there are innumerable reports of other types of precursory phenomena observable on the ground or in near-Earth space ranging from the emission of electromagnetic waves from ultralow frequency (ULF) to near-infrared (NIR) and visible (VIS) light, electric field and magnetic field anomalies of various kinds, all the way to widely reported but never fully understood unusual animal behavior. These precursory signals are intermittent and do not occur systematically before every major earthquake. As a result they are not widely accepted, because no one could fully explain their origins. In addition, the diversity of these signals makes them look unrelatable, hampering any progress. In the first part, we review evidence for a solid-state mechanism based on decades of research bridging semi-conductor physics, solid state chemistry and rock physics, that is capable of providing explanations for the diversity of reported pre-earthquake phenomena. In fact, it appears that all pre-earthquake phenomena might be traceable to a single fundamental process on the atomic scale: the rupture of peroxy bonds via activation of electronic charges, electrons and positive holes, in rocks subjected to tectonic stresses prior to seismic activity. The positive holes are defect electrons in the O2- sublattice. They are unusual inasmuch as they are able to flow out of the stressed rock volume, into and through the surrounding unstressed or less stressed rocks. They form electric currents that travel fast and far, causing along the way a wide range of physical and chemical follow-on processes: electrical ground potentials, stimulated infrared emission, massive air ionization, radon emanation, increased levels of ozone, toxic levels of carbon monoxide (CO) and more. In the second part, we critically examine satellite and ground station data, recorded before a selection of past large earthquakes. Some of the phenomena can be directly related to the peroxy defect theory, namely, radon gas emanations, corona discharges, thermal infrared emissions, air ionization, ion and electron content in the ionosphere, and electromagnetic anomalies. Of course there is a need for further systematic investigations, continuing statistical examination of the relevance and confidence levels of the observable precursors. Only then will the scientific community be able to assess and eventually improve the performance of earthquake forecasts?

Much before and well after seismology developed into a hard science, mainly based on mechanical concepts of static and dynamic deformation of materials, solid state physics may have provided another way to consider the preparatory stages to large earthquake occurrences (for instance, one can trace the connection of earthquakes and electromagnetic phenomena back to the papers of Shida, 1886, and Milne, 1890). Countless reports of precursory phenomena have been accumulated through time, first witnessing visual observations, then recorded by an ever increasing number of ground stations or remote satellites. Those precursory signals reflect the time-varying processes associated with the slow tectonic stress accumulation in the Earth's crust. Such reported pre-seismic earthquake precursors recorded on the ground or from space are compiled and concern very diverse categories such as variations of the magnetic field, electromagnetic fluctuations over various frequency bands, gas emanation from the ground, changes of ionospheric properties, earthquake lights, night glows, up to the controversial reports of weird behaviour of

domestic or wild animals.


As, a dual French-­‐Turkish citizen, I had a long-standing interest in meteorology, in particular in clouds and unusual cloud formations. At the age of 13-­‐14, I began weather forecasts across MY native Turkey. At age 16, on the afternoon of 28 March 1970, I noticed strange “non-­‐ meteorological clouds” above Istanbul. During the following night, a disastrous magnitude 7.2 earthquake struck near Gediz. The same method, looking for unusual cloud formations, led to several more earthquake predictions.


I had a big problem with my family, school teachers, friends, and scientists around the world, saying that earthquakes have nothing to do with the atmosphere. 

Over the years I traveled to different countries in Europe to talk about his approach. He visited WMO in Geneva, UNESCO in Paris, İmperial University in London, and other organizations but no-­‐one wanted to listen. However, in the early 1970s, the technology was not yet advanced enough to capture abnormal weather conditions. During my military service in Askale/Erzurum, Turkey, in the mid-­‐1970s I further developed my “meteoquake” theory. However, it continued to be rejected for over 30 years. From the University of Jussieu in Paris to the New York University in New York City, to the Russian Academy of Sciences and NOAA in Boulder, Colorado, USA, no organization showed interest.


I finally threw his theory into the sea from George Washington Bridge in New York in 1987, March.



In 2002 Bulgarian Geolog Prof Dr Margarita Matova gave a conference in Istanbul explaining that abnormal cloud formations had been seen in the Marmara Sea before the big Kocaeli-Istanbul earthquake in 1999. Her explanation was the same that I showed many years ago when I was a teenager. I had this news by chance in London when I was browsing the Internet.

My life changed again.

In 2005 I created the Meteoquake Research Centre in London and the İnternational Society for Earthquake Precursors, where I have been joined by many scientists from around the world. I participated in the 2006 İUGG Conference in Perugia, İtaly, and the first DEMETER Workshop 2007 in Toulouse, France. Recently Dr. Friedemann Freund from NASA Ames - California provided evidence that massive air ionization at the ground-­‐to-­‐air interface may be linked to the build-­‐up of tectonic stresses in the Earth’s crust before a major earthquake, thereby providing for the first time a physical explanation for unusual cloud formation. Since then several research groups around the world have started to express interest in the Meteoquake theory.

Today I am still fighting with the scientific community to find grants to be able to prove that the correlation between earthquakes and the atmosphere exist.. I started when I was 16, now I am 70 years old. I will fight until I die.

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