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Climate change could cause earthquakes and volcanic eruptions, scientists say

Source:  Copyright 2006, Canadian Press
Date:  July 3, 2006
Byline:  Dennis Bueckert
Original URL: Status ONLINE


So the warnings of harsher heat waves, stronger hurricanes and rising seas fail to impress. How about volcanic eruptions in the Arctic, or a tsunami off the coast of Newfoundland?

The latest scientific discipline to enter the fray over global warming is geology.

And the forecasts from some quarters are dramatic - not only will the earth shake, it will spit fire.

A number of geologists say glacial melting due to climate change will unleash pent-up pressures in the Earth's crust, causing extreme geological events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

A cubic metre of ice weighs nearly a tonne and some glaciers are more than a kilometre thick. When the weight is removed through melting, the suppressed strains and stresses of the underlying rock come to life.

University of Alberta geologist Patrick Wu compares the effect to that of a thumb pressed on a soccer ball - when the ...

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