Sunday, December 23, 2012

By the numbers: how many earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, & bank failures were there in 2o12?

At the end of each year I like to look at the numbers. I look at what God has said will happen in the last days and check the quantifiable data. Not that we need data to cement the truth of God's word. God's word is unique in that it alone IS the barometer for truth. As such it stands alone. But on Christmas vacation, I like something to do. Mentally, it's a neat exercise, lol. Take it for what it is.


The return to the Holy Land has been a Jewish aspiration since the Babylonian exile. Large scale immigration to Eretz Israel and later Israel began in 1882. (Wikipedia)

Aliyah is the Hebrew word for immigration of Jews to the Land of Israel. It is a difficult and complicated process. It's not like you pick up your passport and one day decide to emigrate to Israel. It's rigorous, and not everyone makes it. That is why it is called "making Aliyah".

The LORD said He will gather them all back to the Land. So we watch the immigration of Jews to Israel because of what he has said, notably in Ezekiel and Micah.

"I will surely assemble all of you, O Jacob; I will gather the remnant of Israel; I will set them together like sheep in a fold, like a flock in its pasture, a noisy multitude of men." (Micah 2:12)

"Then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, because I sent them into exile among the nations and then assembled them into their own land. I will leave none of them remaining among the nations anymore." (Ezekiel 39:28)

This has never happened before, that all the Jews are back in the land, so we watch.

In 2011, it was reported, "On Israel's 63rd anniversary its population stands at 7,746,000 people, a 2% increase (150,000 residents) compared with 2010. In comparison, on the night of its establishment, the State of Israel consisted of only 806,000 residents."

Aliyah Jumps 20% in 5771 (2011)
"Aliyah to Israel rose by nearly 20% during the Hebrew calendar year of 5771, compared to the previous year, the Immigration and Absorption Ministry announced Thursday. Over 21,000 immigrants settled in the country since last Rosh Hashana, with the majority from the former Soviet Union and North America. Immigrants also arrived from Europe – mostly France and Britain – and South America. The Ministry also said that some 2,800 immigrants came from Ethiopia, double the number in 5770."

It appears that in 2011, more Jews came to Israel from America than emigrated from Israel to America, a reversal of the long-term trend. That trend kept up this year, 2012.

The year 2010 ended with a 16% increase in the number of new immigrants to Israel.
The year 2011 ended with an almost 20% increase over 2010.
I have not been able to find 2012 statistics for Israel immigration

It makes the fourth year that emigration to Israel from North America is significantly up. It doesn't take much to see what the catalyst might be.


"When he opened the sixth seal, I looked, and behold, there was a great earthquake, and the sun became black as sackcloth, the full moon became like blood," (Revelation 6:12)

How can an earthquake blot out the sun? If the earthquake is associated with volcanic eruptions it easily can blot out the sun. This has happened before, in Iceland with the eruption of Laki and in 1883 with the eruption of Krakatoa. Both times, global weather was dramatically altered for a period, as huge amounts of ash was spouted into the air. World temperatures dropped when the sun's light was dimmed. Sunsets were glowingly beautiful for a year after Krakatoa.

Scientists call the phenomenon dry fog. "The sun, at noon, looked as blank as a clouded moon, and shed a rust- coloured ferruginous light on the ground, and floors of rooms; but was particularly lurid and blood-coloured at rising and setting." (Gilbert White, of the Iceland Laki eruption, 1783).

In North America, the winter of 1784 was the longest and one of the coldest on record. It was the longest period of below-zero temperatures in New England, with the largest accumulation of snow in New Jersey and the longest freezing over of the Chesapeake Bay. A huge snowstorm hit the south, the Mississippi River froze at New Orleans and there was ice in the Gulf of Mexico. (Wiki)

So yes, earthquakes combined with volcanic eruptions will have a devastating effect on the earth, moon, and sun. You can read more about dry fog here.

The Smithsonian Institute has a Global Volcanism Program which keeps track of volcanic eruptions. I plotted their data for every year since 1950. I tallied up each decade's number of eruptions and averaged them. Then I plotted the results on a chart.

The chart is below. You can see a big jump in the number of volcanic eruptions for the decade of the 2000s.

Data Source- Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program
Raw Data: Average number of eruptions worldwide in the decade of the
1950s - 52
1960s - 56
1970s - 57
1980s - 59
1990s - 58
2000s - 70

Here is some data plotted long-term, using the same source, to view a longer-term trend.
Data Source: Smithsonian Global Volcanism Program
Raw data:
YEAR #eruptions
1850 22
1860 33
1870 24
1880 30
1890 39
1900 34
1910 43
1920 32
1930 38
1940 46
1950 49
1960 57
1970 55
1980 66
1990 55
2000 67
2010 69
2011 56
(*2012 data not available yet)

Here's the Atlantic's roundup of 2012 volcanic activity, with cool photos. They said that "Out of an estimated 1,500 active volcanoes around the world, 50 or so erupt every year" but that has not been true since 1998. That was the last year that any year had 50-something eruptions. The only exception was 2011 when 56 erupted. For half of the 2000s, over 70 erupted, and the other half over 60 erupted.

I believe the data shows that volcanic eruptions are increasing in number and in impact.



Here is a graph of United States Bank Failures, as per the FDIC website. In looking at the raw data and the graph as visually presenting the data, it is clear that events after 2008 were dramatic.
Raw data, number of FDIC bank failures per year: Some of the source was from FDIC,
2000 - 2
2001 - 4
2002 - 11
2003 - 3
2004 - 4
2005 - 0
2006 - 0
2007 - 3
2008 - 25
2009 - 140
2010 - 150
2011 - 92
2012 - 51

The rest was from here
1999 - 8
1998 - 3
1997 - 1
1996 - 6
1995 - 8
1994 - 15
1993 - 50
1992 - 181
1991 - 271
1990 - 382
1989 - 534
1988 - 470
1987 - 262
1986 - 204
1985 - 180
1984 - 106
1983 - 99
1982 - 119
1981 - 40
1980 - 22
1979 - 10
1978 - 7
1977 - 6
1976 - 17
1975 - 13
1974 - 4
1973 - 6
1972 - 2
1971 - 7
1970 - 7
1969 - 9
1968 - 3
1967 - 4
1966 - 7
1965 - 5
1964 - 7
1963 - 2
1962 - 1
1961 - 5
1960 - 1
1959 - 3
1958 - 4
1957 - 1
1956 - 2
1955 - 5
1954 - 2
1953 - 2
1952 - 3
1951 - 2
1950 - 4
1949 - 4
1948 - 3
1947 - 5
1946 - 1
1945 - 1
1944 - 2
1943 - 5
1942 - 20
1941 - 15
1940 - 43
1939 - 60
1938 - 74
1937 - 75
1936 - 69
1935 - 25
1934 - 9

As Dave Manuel wrote at the site I linked to above, he said, "As you can see, the worst single year for bank failures since the introduction of the FDIC came in 1989. This was at the height of the savings and loan crisis in the United States, and was also the same year that the Resolution Trust Corporation (RTC) was formed."

Even though the failures seem to be subsiding since 2008, in comparing 2000 when 2 banks failed to 2012 when 51 banks failed, it is still a 2,450% increase. Comparing the number of banks failed in year 2000 to year 2010 the percent increase is 7,400%. However we can see that the current recession exceeds the 1930s Depression but is far smaller than the 1980s recession in terms of banks failed. Remember Enron?

Still, it's hard to be poor...

"A poor man is shunned by all his relatives--how much more do his friends avoid him! Though he pursues them with pleading, they are nowhere to be found." (Proverbs 19:7)

But sometimes it's better not to be rich...

"Here now is the man who did not make God his stronghold but trusted in his great wealth and grew strong by destroying others!" (Psalm 52:7)



Jesus said the end time would be characterized by wars and rumors of wars. (Matthew 24:6). While wars have always been among us, beginning with the violence of Cain against Abel and fanning out into tribal and national wars that meet the benchmark of an actual national conflict, the end time is noted to have them in increasing number. (Definition of war: "an armed conflict (interstate or intrastate) with at least 1000 battle related deaths in one year - where a state is one of the belligerents."

I noted last year in the annual data roundup that "John MacArthur preached on the end time verses in Luke 21. He cited the Encyclopedia of Wars as a source and offered the following numbers. He said that in the 1000 years prior to Christ's coming, there were 170 recorded wars. This number excludes skirmishes, conflicts, disturbances, etc. In the 1000 years after Jesus, there were 50 wars. In the 500 years after that, 100 wars. In the 300 years after that, 250 wars. In the last 200 years, there have been 500 wars. And in the last four years (not depicted on graph) there have been 20 wars."

I have not updated the data from last year, as I do not own Riley's Encyclopedia of War and any other sources are too scattered to be quantifiably credible.


One of my favorite tracking by data variables to follow is the number of earthquakes in any given year. God definitely speaks through earthquakes. It is a constant in His vocabulary. Jesus said that His Second Coming would be presaged by "earthquakes in diverse places" (Matthew 24:7) and Revelation is rife with devastating quakes that are prophesied to be used as a judgment upon the wicked. (Revelation 6, 8, 11, & 16).

I got the data from US Geological Survey (USGS). The "Avg Yrly" column is the average number of quakes the USGS says usually happen in a year. If more quakes happen in the next week I'll update. Click on any graph to enlarge.


Ultimately, the Lord said He will come at a time unbelievers do not expect. (Luke 12:40). He will come like a thief in the night, when unbelievers are not paying attention. (1 Thess 5:2). However, believers must stay alert. (1 Thess 5:4-8). Joel Rosenberg wrote,

"In describing these “labor pains,” the apostle Paul echoes the words of the Lord Jesus when he explained in Matthew 24 and Luke 21 that the world will be experiencing “birth pangs” in the last days (1 Thessalonians 5:3). Thus, while we don’t know exactly when or how the Rapture will occur, it seems to come not specifically during a time of intense “contraction” (major wars, terrorist attacks, etc.), but during a time of “release,” a time when things seem to the non-Christian world to be relatively more peaceful and safe than they had previously been (1 Thessalonians 5:3)."

I recommend Mr Rosenberg's essay explaining the rapture. he uses clear language and bible verses. He also addresses many misconceptions, such as the claim that the rapture is a theory, that it isn't in the bible, or that it will happen after or during the tribulation. (It will happen before).

Keep looking for Him from heaven, keep living for Him on earth. Today may be the day...

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