|Devastation following the earthquake and tsunami in Japan. Images courtesy of SMH.|
It sounds unbelievable doesn't it? Climate Change, a cause of devastating earthquakes too? But it's not as crazy as it may sound.
Following the recent heartbreaking earthquake and following tsunami that struck Japan yesterday, I wanted to learn more about it. Knowing that climate change is able to intensify tropical storms and cyclones, I wondered if it could also result in earthquakes. To be honest, I didn't actually think that I would find anything tying the two together, but I was surprised.
In 2006, Mongabay wrote an article explaining that some scientists have said that melting glaciers could cause tectonic activity. This occurs when an incredible amount of weight is lifted off of the Earth's crust when ice melts and the water melts off. The crust, from which pressure has been lifted off, then settles and bounces back up, also known as 'isostatic rebound', and causes the seismic plates to slip resulting in volcanic activity, earthquakes and tsunamis (triggered by earthquakes).
This does not mean that Climate Change is the cause of all earthquakes ever known, however, it is a possibility of some earthquakes and unfortunately, possibly those to come.
To read more on the topic, have a look at Mongabay's, 'Is Japan's tsunami linked to climate change?' or at Treehugger's, 'Yes, Climate Change May Cause More Tsunamis. No, That's Not Alarmism'.
For the time being, prayers go out to those affected in Japan.