Prof. Claims Global Warming Caused Nepal’s Earthquakes
So not only does global warming cause volcanoes, but it also caused the massive earthquake that rocked Nepal Saturday and killed thousands of people.
“It now appears that there exists a clear relationship between the global warming and earthquakes and other under earth activities,” writes Dr. Vivek Kumar Srivastava, an assistant professor at India’s Kanpur University.
Srivastava argues that when permafrost melts in the Arctic “and associated areas due to the increased global temperature, it is quite likely that the under located areas of the earth are affected due to alteration in the pressure on the earth crust.” He adds that when “water level on the seas and oceans increase due to the increased water quantity caused by the global warming, impact on the inside zones of earth can cause many tremors.”
Nepal and surrounding areas were hit with a 7.8 magnitude earthquake Saturday that toppled houses and killed more than 3,000 people. So far, officials say that a further 6,500 people have been injured and responders are continuing to rescue climbers around Mount Everest. On Sunday, a massive aftershock rocked the region, exacerbating the damage.
A terrible disaster, but can it actually be blamed on global warming? Now, scientists say earthquakes are caused by volcanic activity or the movement of tectonic plates. That’s why most earthquakes in the world happen on the Pacific rim, nicknamed the “Ring of Fire” because of all the volcanoes there.
“Most earthquakes occur at fault zones, where tectonic plates—giant rock slabs that make up the Earth’s upper layer—collide or slide against each other,” according to National Geographic.
“These impacts are usually gradual and unnoticeable on the surface; however, immense stress can build up between plates,” according to NG. “When this stress is released quickly, it sends massive vibrations, called seismic waves, often hundreds of miles through the rock and up to the surface. Other quakes can occur far from faults zones when plates are stretched or squeezed.”
But Srivastava, who studies political science, disagrees and argues scientists need to look into the link between global warming and seismic events like earthquakes and even volcanoes.
“This fear is not unfounded, as there is increased water quantity in the oceans, and inside earth zones experience increased pressures,” he writes on the website, Countercurrents.,org
“Global warming has many aspects, but one aspect which requires a deep study is related to its capacity to change the pressure attribute of the earth sphere,” Srivastava says. “These pressure changes have impact on the pressure belts in the atmosphere; these have impact on the ocean water and subsequent impact on the inside area of the earth.”
Interestingly enough, some scientists have tried to argue that global warming will induce more volcanic activity. Scientists studying volcanoes in Iceland say that ice melting off the island is causing it to rise and could cause more volcanic activity.
“Our research makes the connection between recent accelerated uplift and the accelerated melting of the Icelandic ice caps,” Kathleen Compton, a geoscientist at the University of Arizona, told Time.
“As the glaciers melt, the pressure on the underlying rocks decreases,” Compton said. “Rocks at very high temperatures may stay in their solid phase if the pressure is high enough. As you reduce the pressure, you effectively lower the melting temperature.”
“High heat content at lower pressure creates an environment prone to melting these rising mantle rocks, which provides magma to the volcanic systems,” echoed fellow geoscientist Richard Bennett.
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