Both earthquakes and volcanoes can be triggered by a significant level of global warming. As glaciers melt quickly, the ground underneath rebounds at a fast pace by geologic standards. This means that one of the plates making up the surface of the Earth is rising, and this changes the stresses along plate lines. New zones may be more susceptible to earthquakes and volcanoes.
While the frequency of natural diasters may not be directly related to global warming, the intensity certainly has. Hurricanes and toronadoes for example have been seen to increase in strength due to rising temperatures. Unfortunately, if these connections are made public by politicians, many people will argue that these disasters are being used to push an agenda.
Well what i can say is that maybe those are all sign of a new being of life. Or maybe a warning of something bigger in greater is coming. Everyone is fascinating about, what is going to happen in the year 12-21-2012…so who knows but check my blog and it can give you a idea of things…
Is the a question or are you looking to reach and hope to make a link to globel warming and earthquakes?
The earth has been warming since day 1!!
I just want to know what happend to the senator who claimed high temps in DC and no snow was the effect of globel warming.. and then 3 years or so later says teh same thing but with cold and snow ?
can you riddle me how both ways are globel warming and if you green freaks must have the answer be globerl warming regardless of the issue.. the result is always warming
Actually, no: the world hasn’t been warming since day 1 at all!! It started out a few billion years ago at thousands of degrees.. as hot gases which condensed and cooled and became a partly solid lump, on which we now live. it has warmed at points (after ice ages, for example), but has generally been cooling.
And global warming is a global phenomenon.. the average temperature of the world is increasing. The way the weather works in each place is complicated.. winds are curly and chaotic, but on a large scale, and on average, do roughly the same thing every year – this is stuff like gulf streams etc, kind of like the swirls in a river in a shallow rocky area, or near the banks (not the best analogy, but comes to mind) If you throw a large object in (boulder, log.. empty a bag of sand, or do anything at all infact), the little eddies and flows will all change, and some unfortunate crab which had found a nice stone in a quiet neighbourhood, some way downstream, to enjoy life to the full under, suddenly finds itself in the middle of a raging torrent, and probably considerably on the menu of some hungry fish which doesn’t often get bouncing crab surprise.
If the global temperature goes up, stuff like the ice caps melting (amongst other things), causes changes in the concentraion of salt in the sea in nearby.. this affects the way in which some sea current moves from here – such as sinking or floating, or going left or right when it meets some other current, or some mountain range in the sea.. this then affects the temperature at some far distant point on the surface of the sea, which was either going to be warmed or cooled by this current, but has now gone somewhere else entirely. The lack of the current arriving as expected, affects the air temperature, and thus; the weather around this point, and may change the direction some wind from somewhere else (maybe the arctic or antarctic even) which travels nearby, goes.. maybe you’re unlucky enough to now spend some of the year as the object of one of these wind’s affections.
Feel the love.
This was not supposed to answer the original question about earthquakes.. this was directed at the previous post, and people who might think the same, I didn’t initially see where it had posted as a comment, so re-posted it as a reply (and now can’t delete it)
I agree with some of the answers presented here, and I respectfully disagree with some of the others.
Certainly there are scientists who believe that there is a connection between climate change and increased tectonic activity. The phenomenon that skpennell and aerodog noted are potential explanations for this relationship. There have been hypotheses presented by scientists that hold that climate change may drive or at least modulate magma activity in the Earth’s crust and mantle, which naturally has implications for the plate tectonics that cause most major earthquakes. A symposium of climate scientists and geologists was held in England in September 2009 on this very topic; the peer-reviewed papers resulting from this conference have not yet been published but are expected in August, and given the high-profile nature that earthquakes (Haiti, Chile) have had over the past few months, I’m quite sure the results will command some press attention.
I disagree with the notion presented in a few of these answers that global warming is either nonexistent or a natural process that has been going on since the creation of the Earth. The science that climate change is being caused, or at least severely exacerbated, by human activity is overwhelming. The scientific data presented by the International Panel on Climate Change, a UN-sponsored international organization convened to address the problem, has not been refuted since it was initially compiled in 2001. Indeed, the scientific consensus that climate change is real, and that it is caused to a significant degree by humans, is strong and unimpeachable. What we must do now is address the effects of it and attempt to ascertain how to deal with it, and one of the implications we must address is increased seismic activity. The statements of politicians about the weather at one time in one city are irrelevant to understanding the deep complexities of climate change, which may ultimately prove to be one of the most challenging situations ever faced by humankind.
In my view, speculations about a supposed “end of the world” in 2012, as erroneously believed to have been “predicted” by a Mayan calendar centuries ago, are not relevant to the issues of climate change or increased seismic activity. Those pseudoscientific concepts are not much help to us in understanding what is happening in our world from the standpoint of scientific, political and economic reality.
Interesting question, livetobegreen. Sometimes, when we observe two different apparent situations, we may think to ourselves that there seems to be a connection between them, but in the case of global temperatures and the frequency of earthquakes, there is no data to support such a positive correlation.
Skpennell, perhaps, pointed out the most relevant information to our topic: that it is possible for retreating glaciers to have an impact on earthquakes because the lower weight on the surface allows for the ground underneath to rebound quickly. But as the article she cited for her answer states, this process is being measured “by geological standards.” This means that any correlation we think there might see is happening over millions and millions of years. To apply such information to earthquakes happening in our lifetimes, then, doesn’t seem to make sense, but lets do it anyway.
The earthquakes that have shown up in recent news have likely triggered this discussion. So let’s look at a couple of these earthquakes to see if there are any retreating glaciers that may have caused them. First, the earthquake in Guam, near the Mariana Islands:
And second, the earthquake in Haiti:
Now, a diagram of retreating glaciers:
Without even looking at this chart, you may have already known that there were no glaciers in Haiti or Guam to begin with, but I think this chart is applicable anyway, because we know there are earthquakes all over, not just in these locations.
Aside from what is going in these specific locations, let’s look at some global data from the past century.
It is pretty clear that the chart that shows rising temperatures does not correlate with the chart for earthquakes, and scientists agree, there actually seems to be a decrease in the amount of earthquakes in recent years.
The fact that global warming is not greatly really affecting earthquakes doesn’t mean that it is not a problem for other reasons. It is a serious issue that needs to be addressed, and it can be. I think the problem with addressing global warming is that it is only a gradual process, so it is difficult to get people to rise to action when they can wait until tomorrow or the next day to do anything about it. For this reason, it makes sense to me that earthquakes have piqued the interest of so many people that are worried about global warming, because if we did find a correlation between the two(which we haven’t), it might be a more effective way of gaining support for climate change.
Anyway, Hope this helps!
Thanks for an awesome answer, I really like the pictures adn the explanations behind them.
you’re welcome livetobegreen, i’m glad you liked it. thank you for an interesting question!
This is a very thorough post, but not entirely complete.
While it is true that global warming is not at the root of recent catastrophic earthquakes, a link has been drawn between volcanism, ice sheets and carbon dioxide – the main green house gas driver of global warming.
The logic is very simple – a volcano erupts when the pressure inside the magma chamber is great than the weight of the solidified magma on top of it; if a heavy ice sheet many kilometers thick lies atop the volcano (and surrounding continent), then an eruption would require a greater pressure to build up inside the magma chamber, which would take more time. Peter Huybers of Harvard, one of the decorated earth scientists under the age of forty proposed this theory. They focus on the last glacial cycle – a period when the earth went from having extensive ice sheets to dramatically reduced ice sheets – and show that when the ice sheets melt volcanoes are more active and more carbon dioxide is released.
Here is their peer-reviewed article:
hey deco one think you really have to take in is that Global Warming is also a global freeze, as lines shift and factors change areas see different weather.
Also what some people would think was the coldest February in a long time in the U.S., was actually the second hottest February on record throughout the World.
When you approach situations like global warming it is crucial that you take a global view.
Umm, no. Sorry that the unfortunate earthquakes that have happened recently cannot be used as proof to further your agenda.
Consider the fact that there are literally people everywhere on this planet, more so than 50yrs ago. There are untold thousands of earthquakes that we simply missed because:
1) the indigenous people in the area at the time did not keep record written record of it, or was lost
2) there simply wasn’t anyone around to feel it
3) technology at the time had no way of quantifying how much the earth just shook
Plate tectonics have been happening ever since the Earth cooled enough to solidify, and will keep happening no matter what the surface temperature. The internal temp of the planet has way more to do with plate tectonics than the surface warming (or cooling) by tens of degrees.
All the answers sound interesting but Im covinced that the recent earthquakes must be blamed on Obama and his socialist, godless,not born in ithe US, muslim sleeper cell followers
I can answer your question, but will you believe me?
Our planet is indeed warming, but it is warming from within, and certainly not for reasons that those “in the know” would have us to believe. You all are smart people on this site, right? Then let us think logically here for a minute. If the glaciers were melting because of a rise in ambient temperature, would not there be heavy melting of ice and runoff from the surface of the glaciers? But this is not the case. That is because, it is not the air temperature that has risen, but the surface temperature underneith the glaciers.
But why is it warming? Is it naturally occuring, or man made? My belief is that it is man made
Simple answer: We are removing earths natural lubricant at an alarming rate, at an alarming depth now, severely disrupting the Earths heat exchanging capabilities and dramatically increasing friction. This rise in friction is causing the rise in seismic activity, it is causing the warming that is melting the glaciers, and it will continue to disrupt the Earths weather patterns.
But look on the bright side, with the dramatic increase in the Earths population of humans and animals that we chew on over the last 50 years, and knowing that we not only consume, but consist of 75% water, what kind of global fresh water shortage do you think that we would we be experiencing without the glacial melt?
I think many would like to link the effects of global warming and earthquakes; however I do not believe there is quite a valid justification. It is important to understand why and how earthquakes occur. First, they are linked to the shifting of plate tectonics along fault zones and are most prevalent within areas of transform plate boundaries (plates that slide past one another). The location of faults and transform boundaries is nt particularly related to climate changes yet.
It depends on whom you ask and what their perspectiveis. Some feel these constant earthquakes are a sign that the world is coming to an end. There are religious individuals who feel the current natural events is alerting earth dwellers the apocalypse is near.
There is no connection between Earthquakes and Global Warming.
The main link between earthquakes and global warming is rebounding crust which the movement of glaciers. Because of global warming, glaciers are melting and are moving more rapidly on the Earth’s surface. The weight and movement of these glaciers put pressure on the Earth’s crust which influences the stresses or forces that affect earthquake faults.
Melting glaciers will be lighter on the earths crust! That shouldn’t make the crust of earth stressed. So many people have theories,conjectures and guesses!
I recently finished taking a course entitled Global Climate Change. On the first day my professor asked the class what we thought were some of the effects of global warming, and someone said earthquakes. My professor was quick to dismiss this notion. After reading some of the arguments that say that there is a link between global warming and earthquakes, I am going to have to side with my teacher. I do not find it likely that there is a connection.
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