Climate Change’s ‘Waking Giant’ to Set off Rash of Volcanic Eruptions, Tsunamis, Earthquakes?

Calbuco Volcano 2

(Last week’s Calbuco eruption in Chile spews massive cloud of ash and sets off a fireworks display of volcanic lightning. Image source: IFLScience.)

If you look at the geological record of the end of the last ice age, there’s something that crops up that’s more than a little bit disturbing. The approximate 10,000 year period in which 4 degrees Celsius of warming took place was also punctuated by a rash of intense volcanic activity, earthquakes and tsunamis.

It was a time of extraordinary geophysical changes that not only saw the, sometimes catastrophic, melting of massive ice sheets and extreme rises in sea level — it also saw severe geological upheaval. In one region alone — Iceland — instances of volcanic eruption increased 30-50 fold during a period starting about 12,000 years ago. Overall, global spikes in volcanism began near the start of major melt events at around 18,000 years ago and continued on through the Iceland spike at the 12,000 year time-frame, finally tapering off around 7,000 years ago. In the 12,000 to 7,000 year before present period, global volcanic activity was between 2 and 6 times today’s frequency.

Eruption Spikes at Two Volcanoes in Iceland

(A 2010 study found large spikes in volcanic activity at a number of Iceland volcanoes at the end of the last ice age. Image source: How Will Melting of Ice Affect Volcanic Hazards in the 21st Century?)

Geologically active regions around the world and especially in close proximity to melting ice and rising seas saw much greater volcanic eruption, earthquake and tsunami frequency. In particular, California, Europe, and Iceland saw intense volcanic activity spikes. A set of past events pointing toward 21rst Century risks explored in the book: Waking the Giant — How Climate Change Triggers Earthquakes, Volcanoes and Tsunamis.

A leading theory, presented by Dr. Bill McGuire, Hugh Tuffin, J. Maclennan, Peter Huybers and many others is that changes in stress to the Earth’s crust caused by the loss of billions of tons of mass by ice sheets and the displacement of those billions of tons into the world’s ocean system spurred previously stable magma systems into a chaotic displacement. In addition, direct melting of glaciers on slope systems, rising seas and even changes in flood frequency at individual volcanoes, faults and zones of steep topography can result in heightened rates of eruption, earthquakes and instances of slope collapse.

This evidence is causing scientists to investigate feedbacks between warming and potential increases in volcanic activity, earthquakes and tsunamis. A set of events that may also risk the destabilization of undersea methane hydrate stores through the slope collapse and enhanced magma heating mechanisms as well.

Current Events, Raging Pace of Human Warming Bring old Concerns to Light

Though this line of research isn’t new — with modern studies stretching back to the 1950s and with end ice age upheaval research extending for nearly two centuries — recent events have served to underline old concerns. In 2013, the massive eruptions of Iceland’s volcanoes and related disruption of European air travel brought voices like those of Dr. Bill McGuire again to the fore. And, more recently, the massive Tibetan earthquake of this past weekend, resulting in the loss of 4,000 lives, has called into question current human climate change’s role in geological upheaval events.

Nepal Earthquake Dust Flies

(Dust flies through the air during the initial moments of last weekend’s catastrophic Tibet Earthquake. Image source: RT News.)

A report today out in Newsweek notes:

Evidence from the end of the last Ice Age has already shown that the planet’s uneasy web of seismic faults – cracks in the crust like the one that runs along the Himalayas – are very sensitive to the small pressure changes brought by change in the climate. And a sensitive volcano or seismic faultline is a very dangerous one.

Though the Tibetan earthquake was going to happen at some time, it is possible that changes in ice loading on Himalayan glaciers, changes in water volume outflows in the annual Asian monsoon, and sea level rise adding pressure to the geological plates below coastlines — especially in low-lying Bangladesh — had an impact. Such stresses can increase magma chamber production or trigger fault lines to release.

McGuire notes in Newsweek:

Climate change may play a critical role in triggering certain faults in certain places where they could kill a hell of a lot of people. These stress or strain variations – just the pressure of a handshake in geological terms – are perfectly capable of triggering a quake if that fault is ready to go (emphasis added).

One example of where relatively small changes to geological stress can have a big impact on volcanic activity is the Pavlov volcano in Alaska. As McGuire describes, this volcano only erupts during Autumn and Winter. At that time storms ride up into a nearby ocean zone, pushing an average 10cm or 15cm rise in sea level. The added weight of the water is enough to torque the crust and push magma out. Now imagine the kind of extra volcanic activity that could result from 1, 6, or 250 feet of global sea level rise under the raging rate of human-caused warming and you begin to understand the concern.

So the question that many geologists are asking is this: will the greatly exaggerated spike of human warming and related extreme pace of glacial melt, sea level rise, and rainfall changes also result in a greatly exaggerated spike in volcanism, earthquakes, and tsunami events?

Fault lines around the world will be under increased and ever-changing stress. Volcanoes around the world will see the same. The great Ring of Fire is in an ocean-spanning zone. Many, many volcanic, fault and slope systems encompassed in its arc will feel the added weight of sea level rise caused by human warming. In addition, as much or more than the 4 degrees Celsius worth of warming achieved at the end of the last ice age could be seen by the end of this Century.

It’s that kind of very rapid pace of change that has geologists worried with more than a handful thinking that the catastrophic geophysical changes may have already started.

Links:

More Fatal Earthquakes to Come Warn Climate Change Scientists

Could Changing Climates Set off Volcanoes and Quakes?

Waking the Giant: How Climate Change Triggers Earthquakes Tsunamis and Volcanoes

How Will Melting Ice Affect Volcanic Hazards in the 21st Century?

Feedback Between Deglaciation, Volcanism and Atmospheric CO2

The Link Between Volcanism and Deglaciation in Iceland

Avalanche of Dust

Hat Tip to Colorado Bob

Leave a comment

52 Comments

  1. Mer

     /  April 28, 2015

    Very informative and interesting article. I had heard the ‘woo woo we’re all going to die’ part of this but never the actual science behind it. Thanks

    Reply
    • Rapid geophysical changes are tough to deal with. The world is full of massive things in motion. It already causes trouble. Speed up the pace of those movements… and, well, it’s certainly enough to concern a number of geologists.

      Reply
  2. Excellent synthesis of information from various sources. I am no scientist, but I am now idly wondering about atmospheric pressure itself as a possible factor in seismic events and volcanism.

    Reply
  3. http://arctic-news.blogspot.co.uk
    “Methane levels as high as 2845 parts per billion (ppb) were recorded on April 25, 2015, as illustrated by the image below.This is an extremely high peak. The average daily peak in 2015 until now was 2372 ppb, while the highest daily mean ranged from 1807 ppb (January 10) to 1829 ppb (April 22). “

    Reply
    • Yeah, just saw this as well.

      That’s extraordinarily high. Kinda a holy shit moment, really. This is not the time of year when you usually get methane spikes. They usually run from September through October and then again in January. Lots of spikes in Asia and North America, especially in north mid-latitude zones. Some even in Antarctica where you typically don’t see them.

      Working on this now.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 28, 2015

        HSM –
        Last week we saw the paper than said Co2 , would fizz out of the tundra, over an extended time frame , and not burp all at once.
        Hew, said the popular press.
        Well, the Co2 ain’t the HSM. The big dragon as we’ve seen in the Siberian blowout craters. Is the CH 4 in the tundra that’s the big dragon .

        And this new paper I linked on the last thread scares the shit out of me. Because it says the microbes love being thawed out . Whether they’re at 1 degree C or 19 degrees C. There’s a whole army of them that march along as the warming goes on . What really scares me is these little guys were on Earth when nothing else was making living here. And today by weight , a numbers they are still the largest livings things.

        The fact that unbelievable numbers of them were frozen in situ 25 or 50 thousand years ago , when they were happily eating plant matter scares me as well , they’ve been out of the biological loop, they are packing gene mutations our world as never seen. And microbes love to swap genes , that’s how they always survived, and why they paved the way for us.

        We also read last week, that a mammoth genome was at hand. Well here’s the difference, we can chose to implant that into a modern animal . And see what happens. But the melt out in the Arctic is trillion trillion uncontrolled experiments in biology.

        HSM –

        Reply
      • Well, Bob. My experience working on the Chem-bio Handbook taught me one thing. It’s that the older organisms are pretty darn good at killing off the newer ones if environmental conditions change too much. Those microbes are heat loving. We are, as mammals, cold loving. It takes a cold world to support a decent amount of what we call higher life. If it gets hot, the microbes rule.

        Reply
  4. The only thing that you left out of the equation was climate change (forest fires) meets nuclear armageddon!

    20,000 ha FOREST FIRES RAGE WITHIN 20 Km OF CHERNOBYL NUCLEAR POWER PLANT.
    http://rt.com/news/253897-chernobyl-fires-rage-ukraine/

    Reply
    • Yep. Tracking them now as well. Quite a lot going on today, Robin.

      Reply
    • Colorado Bob

       /  April 28, 2015

      Seemorerocks –
      (See my post below.)
      The one amazing thing from that man made disaster was that the smallest life stopped working. I as understand it, the leaf litter in the hot zones , has never really decomposed. And fuel loads are amazing in those areas. Just dead plant matter that never decomposes.

      Reply
      • Colorado Bob

         /  April 28, 2015

        Seemorerocks –
        (See my post above)

        Reply
      • God that is nuts. Here with go with a Chernobyl firestorm…

        Reply
      • CB, “I as understand it, the leaf litter in the hot zones , has never really decomposed. And fuel loads are amazing in those areas. ”
        Something like that is likely taking place — from environmental conditions — nuclear and
        other. Good spot.

        I saw much of this sort of thing in Santa Barbara in 2011 -2012 after heavy particulate aerosol pollution descended on the landscape. There were massive dead falls of leaves, fruits, fronds, and flowers.
        Many fell before maturity, or before they had fulfilled their genetic function of seed or pollen release. They just laid where they fell and never decomposed. Or some fool with a power blower would blast them all to hell in a pile. and put them in a dumpster — only to repeat the following week when fresh dead fall occurred. Local landfills must have had a huge increase in the amount of ‘deposits’ like this.
        Sadly, the society went along with it.

        “Twigs and branchlets look embalmed. Stout leaves still on the twig or branch, have a uniform glossy burnt-copper discoloration.” DT-2011

        My description said that the flora basically was embalmed by the chemistry of the pollutants — or that the plants embalmed themselves in reaction to the intruding pollutants. Plants do secrete powerful substances like tannins as protection against predators (think tanning leather — where protein, sugar, carbohydrate, etc growth is stopped.)

        There is much more to this story — more photos, etc. I wore myself out trying to document and describe this, and others.

        “I see an increasing accumulation of dead foliage and leaf litter.
        The leaf litter I have seen has to be quite flammable. “DT -2011

        The atmosphere and its fallout is toxic, and conditions like heat create chemical reactions etc in urban, and wild settings.

        Reply
  5. Colorado Bob

     /  April 28, 2015

    Shrinking ice cap, Iceland – More than half of Iceland’s numerous ice caps and glaciers lie near or directly over volcanoes. Seen here is Mýrdalsjökull, Iceland’s fourth largest ice cap, which covers the Katla volcano at the country’s southern tip. In the 2014 image, the depressions at the southwest-central part of Mýrdalsjökull are ice cauldrons caused by geothermal heat from below. Along the northern part of the ice cap, ablation has exposed brown bands of ash from past eruptions. But not all of the changes are associated with volcanic activity. Most of the monitored glaciers have been shrinking since the 1990s, including Sólheimajökull (lower left), which has been retreating as much as 50 meters (164 feet) per year. A parking lot near this glacier is moved almost annually to accommodate tourists.

    http://achangingclimate.org/2014/12/26/our-melting-world/

    Reply
  6. Colorado Bob

     /  April 28, 2015

    Metabolic and trophic interactions modulate methane production by Arctic peat microbiota in response to warming.

    http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2015/04/22/1420797112.abstract

    Reply
  7. Colorado Bob

     /  April 28, 2015

    Jan. 21, 2015

    Subglacial Lakes Seen Refilling in Greenland

    Scientists using satellite images and data from NASA’s Operation IceBridge have found evidence of a drained and refilled subglacial lake beneath northeastern Greenland’s Flade Ice Cap. This sub-ice body of water is only one of a handful that have been detected in Greenland and its presence sheds new light on how the Greenland Ice Sheet reacts to warming temperatures.

    Subglacial lakes are relatively common in Antarctica, and although recent studies have mathematically predicted possible locations for hundreds of such features in Greenland, few have actually been found. Bodies of water beneath the ice are normally detected either with ice-penetrating radar or by observing rapid changes in ice surface elevation such as bulges or basins.

    In a new study funded by the National Science Foundation and published in the Jan. 21 issue of the journal Nature, a research team led by Michael Willis, a glaciologist at Cornell University in Ithaca, New York, found a large basin that formed over a 21-day period in the summer of 2011 using satellite images. The size and rapid formation of this basin was consistent with a drained subglacial lake, but its location raised a question. Where did the water in the lake come from?

    http://www.nasa.gov/content/goddard/icebridge/spr15/subglacial-lakes-seen-refilling-in-greenland

    Reply
  8. Mblanc

     /  April 29, 2015

    Wow, thanks Robert, it needs to be more widely known. I’ve read a couple of his books, and I think some people instantly assume that he is just an alarmist, trying to make a few quid.

    But the reality is that behind the dramatic headlines is some fairly solid science, from dozens of researchers. Other views are, of course, available, but this is all decently referenced and argued work.

    I wasn’t expecting the Nepal disaster to be linked with CC, though i had good look last night, but its all happened in the last 24 hours.

    Here is a recent interview with McGuire, its quite interesting because he talks about methane, which I know many posters (including me) are concerned about.

    http://climatestate.com/2014/10/16/methane-hydrate-destabilisation-is-clearly-a-real-worry-particularly-in-the-context-of-warming-ocean-waters-in-the-east-siberian-continental-shelf/

    Anyway, thanks for summing it up so well, at a special time when human influences on earthquake activity are so frackin obvious, that even the USGS specialists are having to admit it!🙂

    Reply
    • Cheers Mblanc.

      I think the geologists may generate some new energy RE the catastrophic aspects of climate change including methane. Strangely enough, the climate researchers, at least the modelers, are rather conservative when it comes to tipping points. Part of that may be an upshot of having been politicized and coming under fire for so long. They kinda got thrown into the jaws of the beast and it just keeps trying to chew them up.

      But, of course, if you change loading on faults — either through geophysical changes related to climate change or through added stress in the rock strata through fracking fluid injection — then the faults will tend to be less stable and tend to go off in unexpected and chaotic fashion.

      Reply
      • Mblanc

         /  April 30, 2015

        I think the climate scientists wouldn’t be human if they weren’t battle-scarred, it has been nearly 30 years of wading through a turbo-charged s***storm, for some of them.

        I guess science that interferes with profits is always going to be a struggle, in a world as commercially driven as ours.

        Reply
        • And many of the guys who love to look at rocks had to turn to oil, gas, or coal to make a living. Yet another reason why we need more public support for the sciences.

  9. Colorado Bob

     /  April 29, 2015

    burmess pythons

    There are 300,000 Burmess pythons in South Florida. They are eating everything they can.

    Reply
  10. Colorado Bob

     /  April 29, 2015

    Good Times Bad Times – Led Zeppelin (Studio Version – Best Quality)

    Reply
  11. Colorado Bob

     /  April 29, 2015

    I Feel Free.

    Reply
  12. Colorado Bob

     /  April 29, 2015

    cream – i’m so glad

    Reply
  13. Colorado Bob

     /  April 29, 2015

    Blind Faith – Well Alright

    Reply
    • Apneaman

       /  April 29, 2015

      CB, I don’t have any faith in anything anymore and what we have unleashed has Humbled me. I do not know anyone in the real world who is willing to talk about our predicaments. Feels like I’m in solitary confinement.

      Reply
      • I know the feeling Humbled Apneaman.
        When I’m out photo-documented the many obvious breakdowns I feel like I’m behind “enemy” lines — and hiding in plain sight, you know.
        Actually, I make no secret of my activities, or my alarm — total transparency.
        Further, I take notice of the people around me to note if they are paying attention to the reality unfolding around them. 99.9 % of the time — they are oblivious.
        All this produces an odd feeling of living in a time-reality that is in sync with the real world but definitely not the reality most of those nearby are in.
        I am gratefully relieved to have a place like RS to share experiences and knowledge with so many informed and caring “fellow travelers.”
        Peace

        OUT

        Reply
  14. I anticipate rebound quakes in Greenland …

    Reply
    • wili

       /  April 29, 2015

      Definitely. And those will accelerate the collapse of ice structures and their rush to the sea. I’m not sure those kinds of feedbacks are in the models of ice melt so far. For that and other reasons, sea level rise is likely to be faster and higher than most think.

      Reply
  15. wili

     /  April 29, 2015

    This is the(not completely unexpected) response I got from one mods at RC when I posted the Newsweek article and asked what we were to make of it: “That some commentators are irresponsible and stupid.” I may try prodding a bit further.

    Reply
    • Who is the mod there? Do we have a name or just an anonymous tag?

      Is he/she saying that McGuire, who manages risk for Munich Re, is ‘Irresponsible and stupid?’ And is she/he simply involved in ad-hominem attack against the source?

      Reply
    • I also noted an anonymous poster over at Neven’s site claiming to be a geologist and providing some rather strong, bordering on ad hominem, statements. First, if a person is going to go on the record claiming they are a scientist, they need to include their professional name and link some of the papers they’ve been involved in. Otherwise, there is no way to validate their claim to authority.

      I would go further to add that McGuire identifies risk, instances where volcanism increased in the past that correlated with SLR and glacial melt, and identifies mechanisms in the current day in which SLR may spur volcanism. The question of glacial melt spurring volcanism is well established, especially when the glaciers cover the volcanoes themselves. So commenters need to make that distinction if they are going to go on the offensive against McGuire and remain creditable.

      Some of the issues that remain murky and in conjecture are:

      1. The degree of impact for SLR on volcanism (local, regional, global)
      2. How much or how little earthquake risk is enhanced by changes in fault loading due to climate change (SLR, glacial melt and crustal rebound, changes due to alterations in the water cycle and underground water storage)
      3. The degree of impact for SLR on underwater slope systems
      4. The degree of impact due to crustal plate rebound on local, regional, and global volcanism, earthquakes and slope systems

      There is decent evidence pointing toward a broad increase in volcanism, earthquakes, slope collapse and tsunamis due to climate change related influences in the above list. The issue is degree and how rapid such responses evolve.

      But on the issue of glacial melt directly over volcanoes, the evidence is quite clear. You melt glaciers that currently top volcanoes and the eruption risk is enhanced and, depending on the magma structures, response can be pretty rapid.

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  April 30, 2015

      I’ve tried to float it on RC before, since 2007/8, with little success, and here are a few ideas.

      1 It had been held (until very recently) to be pretty obvious that humans can’t cause earthquakes (and other geological responses). How could we possibly do that, given the huge forces involved? Of course, that is clearly not the case any longer, fracking being an obvious example.

      2 Climate scientists, and RC posters, are often specialists who may not know that much about the latest work in other aspects of Earth Systems science, especially outside the US, and especially if they have been busy in the trenches of the Climate Wars.

      3 Notice how, in the Newsweek article, the other scientist, Burgemann, was happy enough to acknowledge the new link between sea-level rise and vulcanism, but wanted more evidence on earthquakes. IMHO, McGuire has been saying, highlighting and publishing stuff that is new, and pushes at the limits, a la Hansen. I think that is a good and brave thing to do.

      4 If I was prepared to spend hours and hours trawling through papers, getting references, preparing and rewriting posts to a really good level, and carefully avoiding annoying any of the regular, rather belligerent storm-troopers of truth on RC, I might just get someone of genuine academic substance to comment. I decided not to bother, as the posters on RC are mainly just as keen to see AGW addressed as I am, and if McGuire is right, it will slowly become obvious to all.

      5 There are some quite annoying drive-by, one subject posters on RC, who dont take pointers very easily,and don’t seem to have much in the way of contextual information. If you sound a little bit like one of those people, whether by accident or not, you will be lucky to get a dismissive and patronising comment!

      6 I still value and read RC, but its a ‘tough room’, and maybe we need a few places like that

      7 Robert is right to note that McGuire is talking about subjects with varying levels of certainty and risk, some of which is arguable, but much of which is well established (even if it has only recently become so).

      Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  April 30, 2015

      Wili,

      I just looked at your RC post, and its interesting how the title in your link does not match the title of the Newsweek piece.

      In fact the link title is downright misleading, I don’t think anyone is saying that CC caused the Nepal earthquake directly, more that it could have influenced it, brought it forward in time, or perhaps made it somewhat stronger.

      Eric Steig is the contributor who comments, who is clearly an expert in glaciology and climatology, with a geology background… its not a lot to go on is it, as criticism? I presume the commentators he refers to are McGuire and Burgmann. Didn’t even call them scientists!

      From Burgmann’s comments suggest that the volcano glacier/sea level rise link is better established than the earthquake link, so I wonder if Steig is skeptical of that, too?

      I’m not gonna ask him though!🙂

      Reply
      • wili

         /  April 30, 2015

        Here’s what folke_kelm at neven’s site (who presents himself as an expert) says: “Mt Pavlov, 22 eruptions since 1950. Eruptions only during autumn and winter is simply a lie. Look here for example: http://www.volcanodiscovery.com/alaska/pavlov/

        regarding influence of climate change to seismicity, it is clearly shown, that huge pressure differences due to removal of ice shields trigger seismic events and volcanism. I will dig a little into the litterature, but be aware of, that there is very little available with “there is no effect”. You will have to find rebuttals of papers which show an effect.

        Regarding triggering of earthquakes due to increased rainfall it is much more likely that this effect depends on groundwater invading into deeper layers and lubricating these faultlines, if at all. This effect is shown to work if you look at the earthquakes due to fracking in USA.”

        I’m pretty sure that some earthquakes were attributed to water in damns putting pressure on critical areas. So again, I don’t see how people can be so sure sea level rise and increased extreme rainfall events couldn’t have an effect.

        Thanks for your may good points, Mblanc.

        Reply
      • Folks-Kelm is splitting hairs and making an attempt to look like he is not. Pretty clear that various forms of forcing are involved in the fracking related earthquakes and not just lubrication of the fault line. He’s not saying that millions or billions of tons of added or removed weight or stress don’t have an impact or influence. Why? Because they probably do and most geologists would at least acknowledge that.

        Reply
      • Spike

         /  May 2, 2015

        Worth remembering other theories now accepted got a rough ride from expert opinion when first postulated – continental drift springs to mind.

        Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  April 30, 2015

      Actually, looking at it again, I am surprised/skeptical of the Newsweek quote, because in Waking the Giant he says of Pavlof

      ‘Over certain period in its recent history, this is a volcano that has shown itself to be particularly fussy about just when it erupts… During the 15 years from 1973 to 1998, Pavlof erupted 16 times, with 13 of these eruptions occuring between September and December. Statistically, this is clearly a far from random distribution…’ (p101)

      Which isn’t quite the same as ‘only erupts in the autumn and winter’.

      And I can’t find him saying this anywhere else (tho I’ve only looked for half an hour), it is always ‘tends to prefer the autumn and winter’. He has been saying it for ages

      http://www.theguardian.com/science/2007/aug/07/disasters

      So I think this must be a misquote, as Pavlof is a key example for him, and its such a basic part of his argument.

      Reply
  16. When I learned of the recent quake in Nepal I immediately thought of this. I had recently been wondering if the large shifts in mass due to deglaciation could alter geologic pressure enough to trigger or increase activity. If I’m not mistaken the Indian subcontinent is still colliding with Asia and the Himilayas are still being thrust upwards, so could less mass in the mountains have added to the likelihood of this event? I think the recent revelations about fracking triggering earthquakes have shown us all just how little it takes to trigger movement in the Earth’s crust. Great article Robert!

    Reply
  17. I chaired a session on ice-volcano interactions at Conferencia Mundial de los Pueblos sobre el Cambio Climático y los Derechos de la Madre Tierra (CMPCC), the Cochabamba – Tiquipaya Climate Summit which convened in Bolivia between 19-22 April 2010. Just like the methane craters emerging the last summer in Russia, the changes in crustal pressure allows the subglacial gases to nucleate easier, much like opening the cork of a champagne drink bottle. I think we do not need (globally) worry about the glaciers over volcanoes, nor over the Icelandic ice caps. However, I would like the attention to be drawn to South East Greenland which has ice sheet resting over volcanic lava fields. The detailed structure of these volcanic formations is covered largely by Greenland’s Ice Sheet. As the ground there is rising 23 mm/per annum and the thickness of the ice sheet itself is also reducing, there is a potential for a tight volcanic feedback loop that eats away the overlying ice sheet from its base as described here at the ice-volcano interaction session at the Cochabamba Climate Summit: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wSpCbn8JDvM.

    Reply
    • Mblanc

       /  April 30, 2015

      Wow, great information. Thank you for the post.

      It is important to keep the various risks in proportion, and to try to put risks into their correct context, especially for interested laymen, like myself.

      Particularly because I’m in the UK, and Greenland and Iceland seem pretty close!

      I suppose the fact that we have only recently started to really see the Greenland melt in detail, means that there is a lot of head-scratching going on

      Nice video, I vaguely remember hearing about the conference, it sounds like it was an amazing event.

      Reply
  18. Mblanc

     /  May 1, 2015

    Interesting article on how quickly the prevailing thinking on what can cause earthquakes can move.

    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/can-astronomical-tidal-forces-trigger-earthquakes/

    ‘At the end of the 20th century the notion the heavens could have a hand in earthquakes seemed to have been discounted. Despite many attempts, researchers had repeatedly failed to find hard evidence tides and temblors were connected. But in the past 20 years some studies have suggested that this long-suspected phenomenon might actually be real.’

    Reply
  1. Climate Change is Causing Mt Rainier to Grumble | robertscribbler

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: