No, 'Carbon monoxide explosion' doesn't mean earthquake is coming

Image via Snopes, NASA

A blog post making the rounds on social media claims that a “major carbon monoxide explosion” on the West Coast suggests that a major earthquake could happen any time.

KIRO 7 News contacted Northwest seismologists, who said the explosion doesn't signal an impending quake.

“This pattern correlates with population, and is straightforward to associate with pollution,” said John Vidale of the Pacific Northwest Seismic Network. “The most dangerous volcanoes are equipped with gas sensors, and I've heard no reports that those show anything out of the ordinary.”

The carbon monoxide spike reported by the blog is just a glitch.

NASA released an "important notice" on Tuesday saying that the unrealistic emissions came from satellite observation of fires, which led to elevated concentrations of atmospheric CO.

"NASA's EOS-Terra spacecraft entered safe mode on Feb. 18, 2016, during an inclination adjustment maneuver," NASA said. "This caused the MODIS instrument to enter safe mode, with the nadir and space-view doors closed," the notice said.

"When the Terra MODIS transitioned back to science mode on Feb. 24, 2016, the operating temperatures for the SWIR and LWIR (short-wave infrared and long-wave infrared) focal planes have not yet stabilized. As a consequence, some data products have been severely degraded. This includes the 'fire radiative power' fields that are used by GEOS-5 (model) to compute emissions of CO, CO2 and carbonaceous aerosols by biomass burning."

"GMAO is working to correct this problem. The GEOS-5 analyses will be re-run from Feb. 24, 2016, using only the EOS-Aqua MODIS data, in order to exclude the unrealistic CO emissions. EOS-Terra observations will be reintroduced once the instrument has stabilized."

>> Related: More debunked: Article claiming ‘seismic unrest' at St. Helens lacks scientific support

If you are interested in learning more about "the big one" in Western Washington, you can check out this slideshow here for confirmed geological images.