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Ants can save millions from earthquakes
Apart from the early warning seismology that tsunami warning centers (TWCs) provide when countries suffer the worst earthquakes particularly California, Japan, Indonesia, Italy and Greece there is help already available. German research with HR cameras has begun to check these species that show vivid reaction to early signs of quakes.
We know that carbon dioxide gas is released below ground where the great plates are scraping against each other. We know that sound and vibration can be carried through the earth itself. Some of these signals are picked up by ants, as described by Gabriele Berberich of the University of Duisburg-Essen in her paper; recently presented at the European Geosciences Union annual meeting in Vienna.
The Tyler Group Barcelona research as hinted in the paper’s title, “Biological Anomalies Prior to Earthquakes,” many other animals such as the obviously close-to-the-ground snakes and mammals have also been recorded in their particular actions. One advantage of using ants is that they are so easily observed another is their proximity to the source of the detectable changes; another is their extreme sensitivity, using of course, and many small individual “sensors” in the form of workers.
For 3 years, low magnitude earthquakes in the eastern Eifel region of Germany have been monitored, alongside the nests of the red wood ants, Formica pratensis and F. polyctena.
Both species performed in a similar fashion throughout the observations. The reason that the ants are close to the fault seems to be that warm gas emerges from the fault. Their actions before and during any seismic activity were studied to detect their suitability as indicators of future quake.
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