Someone in my class at Pace University in NYC a couple of years ago mentioned that she thought that earthquakes and other similar phenomenon were being influenced by climate change. I pooh-poohed the idea, saying that climate change was responsible for a lot of ills – with more to come – but that it couldn’t impact things happening at the level of the earth’s geology, such as undersea earthquakes that generate tsunamis. Sounds pretty solid, right? Like the earth. Well, it appears that I was wrong. (First time for everything.)
I came across this article from Reuters last month. “Climate change doesn’t just affect the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust as well. The whole earth is an interactive system.” That’s how Professor Bill McGuire of University College London characterized things.
UCL hosted a conference, Climate Forcing of Geological and Geomorphological Hazards, supported by the UK Met Office, the British Geological Survey, the British Antarctic Survey and Oxford university. There were scores of researchers present, with sessions on climates of the past and future, climate forcing of volcanism and volcanic activity, and climate as a driver of seismic, mass movement and tsunami hazards.
Add these to the growing list of potentially devastating impacts from climate change. And, when something seems absurd or, at best, implausible, as it concerns the possibilities for climate catastrophe, dig a little deeper to see if maybe there isn’t something really there. Or perhaps, as Joe Heller put it, “Just because you’re paranoid doesn’t mean they aren’t after you.”