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How many earthquakes of magnitude 5 or stronger will occur worldwide in May 2018?

This question was generated from the IARPA Global Forecasting Challenge.

This question will be resolved using the United States Geological Survey's Earthquake Catalog. To access the relevant data:

  • Set the Magnitude to a Custom Minimum equal to the magnitude of interest;

  • Set the Date & Time to a Custom Start with the first day of interest and End to the last day of interest;

  • Leave the UTC times to the default settings (00:00:00 & 23:59:59);

  • Set Geographic Region to World;

  • Click Search beneath Output Options.

The number of earthquakes displays in the top left Search Results window. This question will be resolved by consulting the source between 10:00 AM and 4:00 PM ET starting on Monday, 2 July and each Monday thereafter until data are posted. Resolution will be based on the value observed at the time of source consultation.


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Predictions are the heart of Metaculus. Predicting is how you contribute to the wisdom of the crowd, and how you earn points and build up your personal Metaculus track record.

The basics of predicting are very simple: move the slider to best match the likelihood of the outcome, and click predict. You can predict as often as you want, and you're encouraged to change your mind when new information becomes available.

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Note: this question resolved before its original close time. You earned points up until the question resolution, but not afterwards.

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Metaculus help: Community Stats

Use the community stats to get a better sense of the community consensus (or lack thereof) for this question. Sometimes people have wildly different ideas about the likely outcomes, and sometimes people are in close agreement. There are even times when the community seems very certain of uncertainty, like when everyone agrees that event is only 50% likely to happen.

When you make a prediction, check the community stats to see where you land. If your prediction is an outlier, might there be something you're overlooking that others have seen? Or do you have special insight that others are lacking? Either way, it might be a good idea to join the discussion in the comments.

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