Antinuclear

Australian news, and some related international items

Climate change is bringing about earthquakes, as well as floods

The world we inhabit has an outer rind that is extraordinarily sensitive to change. While the Earth’s crust may seem safe and secure, the geological calamities that happen with alarming regularity confirm that this is not the case……….
Our planet is once again in the throes of an extraordinary climatic transformation — this time brought about by human activities……

Let the sleeping giant lie A changing climate isn’t just about floods, droughts and heatwaves. It brings erupting volcanoes and catastrophic earthquakes too By Bill McGuire -Guardian News, 25 Mar 12,    The idea that a changing climate can persuade the ground to shake, volcanoes to rumble and tsunamis to crash on to unsuspecting coastlines seems, at first,
to be bordering on the insane. How can what happens in the thin envelope of gas that shrouds and protects our world possibly influence the Earth-shattering processes that operate deep beneath the surface?

The fact that it does reflects a failure of our imagination and a limited understanding of the manner in which the different physical components of our planet — the atmosphere, the oceans and the solid Earth, or geosphere — intertwine and interact.
If we think about climate change at all, most of us do so in a very
simplistic way: So the weather may get a bit warmer; floods and
droughts may become more of a problem; and sea levels will slowly
creep upwards. Evidence reveals, however, that our planet is an almost
unimaginably complicated beast, which reacts to a dramatically
changing climate in all manner of different ways; a few — such as the
aforementioned — are straightforward and predictable; some surprising
and others downright implausible. Into the latter category fall the
responses of the geosphere.
The world we inhabit has an outer rind that is extraordinarily sensitive to change. While the Earth’s crust may seem safe and secure, the geological calamities that happen with alarming regularity confirm that this is not the case……….
Our planet is once again in the throes of an extraordinary climatic transformation — this time brought about by human activities……
climate-change projections support the thesis that global average
temperatures could rise as rapidly in the course of the next century
or so as during post-glacial times, reaching levels at high latitudes
capable of driving catastrophic break-up of polar ice sheets as thick
as those that once covered much of Europe and North America. Could it
be, then, that if we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to
rise unchecked and fuel serious warming, our planet’s crust will begin
to toss and turn once again?
The signs are that this is already happening. In the detached state of
Alaska in the United States, where climate change has propelled
temperatures upwards by more than 3C in the past half-century, the
glaciers are melting at a staggering rate, some losing up to 1
kilometre in thickness in the past 100 years. The reduction in weight
on the crust beneath is allowing faults contained therein to slide
more easily, promoting increased earthquake activity in recent
decades. The permafrost that helps hold the state’s mountain peaks
together is also thawing rapidly, leading to a rise in the number of
giant rock and ice avalanches….
Across the world, as sea levels climb remorselessly, the load-related
bending of the crust around the margins of the ocean basins might act
to sufficiently “unclamp” coastal faults, such as California’s San
Andreas, allowing them to move more easily,…..   Bill McGuire is
professor of geophysical and climate hazards at University College
London. Waking the Giant: How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes,
Tsunamis and Volcanoes is published by Oxford University Press. http://gulfnews.com/life-style/environment/let-the-sleeping-giant-lie-1.997255

March 26, 2012 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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