A Gift Over Due

It was a best experience for me to write a letter to my inspiration and life changer to express my gratitude to him because he was the person who inspired me by his powerful words and real life…


独家优惠奖金 100% 高达 1 BTC + 180 免费旋转

Does Climate Change Really Trigger Earthquakes?

Climate change can lead to flooding, hurricanes, droughts, wildfires and habitat loss. But could it also be shaking the ground beneath our feet?

The debate around the connection between climate change and earthquakes has been almost as intense as the earthquakes themselves. When professor Bill McGuire released his book “Walking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes,” in 2012, it was deemed to be “science fiction,” according to an article in the British national newspaper The Sunday Times by motor journalist and climate skeptic Jeremy Clarkson. However, by looking more closely at the evidence, McGuire’s work begins to gain some credibility.

The atmosphere, the ocean, and the ground beneath our feet are all part of the Earth system. They interact with each other, and a perturbation in one can lead to a change in another. The layer of gases that produces the weather and triggers climate change does affect our land, which is referred to as the geosphere. A 2009 paper in Nature by Chi-Ching Liu and his colleagues partially explained the relationship between climate change and earthquakes. Liu and his team provided reliable evidence for a pattern between typhoons and small earthquakes that were shaking the island. They argued that the low-pressure centers of these typhoons allow earthquake faults within the crust to move and release accumulated strain.

Are we facing an increase of geological and geomorphological hazards in the short term? The quick answer is no. The number of earthquakes will not increase dramatically in a short time. It vastly depends on the local geological conditions. However, as previously stated, the low-pressure centers of typhoons can prompt vibrations of earthquake faults. According to a 2016 article in The Guardian, when an earthquake fault is primed and ready to go like a coiled spring, climate change may provide that last bit of power of, as geophysicist John McCloskey of the University of Ulster called it, “the pressure of a handshake,” that sets off the quake that would eventually have occurred anyway.

Another noticeable consequence of climate change is the melting of the ice caps. McGuire’s research suggested that this could also lead to earthquakes. He argued that during the dying days of the last ice age, large ice sheets covering much of our earth melted. They were so dense that the pressure as a whole caused the crust to “bounce back.” If additional ice sheets, like the one covering Greenland, continue to melt due to man-made climate change, it could start more earthquakes, along with tremors and volcanic activities. Andrea Hempel of the University of Hannover’s Geological Institute warned in 2010 that, “future ice loss may trigger earthquakes of intermediate to large magnitude if the crust underneath the modern ice cap contains faults prone to failure.”

When asked on The Guardian’s Science podcast in 2012 whether his fears about Greenland would come to fruition this century, McGuire said:

“Not by the end of this century, no…”

However, he was concerned that, “If we don’t act very soon, then the Earth is going to bite back with a real vengeance over the next 70–100 years.”

Although McGuire alarmingly set the time frame to be 70–100 years, scientists are still struggling to predict specifically when earthquakes are likely to occur.

Global average temperature is rising at an increasingly faster rate and is already more than one degree centigrade higher than preindustrial times. Climate change can’t cause quakes in the solid earth that couldn’t have happened otherwise. But if we don’t act upon it immediately, our mother earth could be shaking us sooner and stronger than we ever expected.

Add a comment

Related posts:

The Problem

While studying for interviews, I’ve been practicing my algorithm skills on LeetCode and other sites quite a bit. Read on for a walkthrough of my JavaScript solution to the Flipping an Image problem…

Born of Stars

August 21st 2017. The first total eclipse across the U.S. in 38 years. Millions traveled to witness the totality, caught off guard by its emotional impact, reminding us of our origins and destination.

Resiliency Skills Training

Over the past couple of years ICAN has greatly expanded our life skills training into the schools. We reach 200 youth each day here at the ICAN building afterschool, but realized that we could reach…