Relationship between earthquakes and climate change

Does Climate Change Really Trigger Earthquakes? – NU Sci

relationship between earthquakes and climate change

A new book suggesting a link between man-made climate change and increased seismic events has got some stick, but what does the science. Is there any connection between earthquakes and the Earth's climate? Scientists figure that the atmospheric carbon dioxide and the changed climate are here. Climate change is responsible for many transformations taking place on earth, could activate formerly quiet seismic faults and generate powerful earthquakes. to assess links between seismic activity there and the potential for unexpected.

As mentioned above, the team uses complex modelling approaches to assess these changes and has gradually built up a phased picture of tectonic evolution within the region. The kilometre-long Osning Thrust underwent a series of faulting movements over a million-year period ending about 60 million years ago. The team has shown that movements along this fault also occurred very recently.

Modelling these structures has enabled Dr Brandes and his colleagues to demonstrate that the Osning Thrust was reactivated at the end of the last glaciation, around 12, years ago.

relationship between earthquakes and climate change

This fault reactivation was accompanied by earthquakes, which the team identified from the soft-sediment deformation structures that developed in this area.

Seismology Is Relevant to Our Daily Lives Earthquakes are hugely important globally, effecting millions of people every day. The research of Dr Brandes and his colleagues is key to develop clear pictures of how these phenomena change the nature of the sediments under our feet.

Global Warming May Trigger Greater Seismic Activity

Perhaps more critically, their work reveals how earthquakes are quite likely to be influenced by climate change, as the effects increase over the coming decades. Surprisingly, however, the issue of whether glacial melting can lead to earthquakes is still a subject of debate in many quarters, and research in this area remains controversial.

relationship between earthquakes and climate change

Intuitively, this connection makes sense. Picture a tennis ball with an elastic outer layer that recovers its shape after being squeezed. However, although many regions — such as Greenland, for example — are characterised by a good deal of seismic activity and postglacial rebound, it remains problematic to connect the two. However, some recent studies, such as those carried out in Iceland, suggest that glacial melting might also be related to increasing volcanism.

How climate change triggers earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanoes

We know that humans are having a massive detrimental effect on the climate, causing increasing temperatures that melt polar ice-sheets and glaciers. Is it possible that the changes we are making to our atmosphere are also triggering deeper Earth events, such as volcanic eruptions and earthquakes? Dr Brandes and his colleagues are working hard to gather more evidence.

More than 1, lives lost?

Global Warming May Trigger Greater Seismic Activity | Worldwatch Institute

It must be climate change! The short answer is no.

relationship between earthquakes and climate change

The current hurricane season is by no means extraordinary, and the last few seasons have actually been very tame. The season saw no major hurricanes at all and tied with for the fewest hurricanes since This view was supported recently by Kerry Emanuel, a hurricane scientist at MIT, who pointed to Matthew as a likely sign of things to come.

relationship between earthquakes and climate change

Debate within the hurricane science community has in recent decades been almost as hostile as the storms themselves, with researchers, on occasion, even refusing to sit on the same panels at conferences. At the heart of this sometimes acrimonious dispute has been the validity of the Atlantic hurricane record and the robustness of the idea that hurricane activity had been broadly ratcheting up since the s.

Now, the weight of evidence looks to have come down on the side of a broad and significant increase in hurricane activity that is primarily driven by progressive warming of the climate. For many, the bottom line is the sea surface temperature, which is a major driver of hurricane activity and storm intensification. Last year saw the warmest sea temperatures on record, so it should not be a surprise.

As with hurricanes, Pacific typhoons and the mid-latitude storms that periodically batter the UK and Europe are forecast to follow a similar pattern in an anthropogenically warmed world.

Dr Christian Brandes - Can Climate Change Cause Earthquakes? •

Storm numbers may not rise, but there is likely to be an escalation in the frequency of the bigger storm systems, which tend to be the most destructive. An additional concern is that mid-latitude storms may become clustered, bringing the prospect of extended periods of damaging and disruptive winds.

relationship between earthquakes and climate change

The jury is out on whether climate change will drive up the number of smaller, but potentially ruinous vortices of solid wind that make up tornadoes, although an apparent trend in the US towards more powerful storms has been blamed by some on a warming atmosphere.