News Stories

Climate Change: More Volcanoes and Earthquakes

Climate change brings along a couple of companions: Volcano eruptions and earthquakes.

In the Guardian, Bill McGuire writes: "Between about 20,000 and 5,000 years ago, our planet underwent an astonishing climatic transformation. Over the course of this period, it flipped from the frigid wasteland of deepest and darkest ice age to the--broadly speaking --balmy, temperate world upon which our civilization has developed and thrived. During this extraordinarily dynamic episode, as the immense ice sheets melted and colossal volumes of water were decanted back into the oceans, the pressures acting on the solid Earth also underwent massive change. In response, the crust bounced and bent, rocking our planet with a resurgence in volcanic activity, a proliferation of seismic shocks and burgeoning giant landslides.

"As sea levels climb remorselessly, the load-related bending of the crust around the margins of the ocean basins might--in time--act to sufficiently "unclamp" coastal faults such as California's San Andreas, allowing them to move more easily; at the same time acting to squeeze magma out of susceptible volcanoes that are primed and ready to blow."

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