Climate change may lead to more earthquakes and volcanic eruptions

Geologists are concerned about the seismic repercussions of disappearing glaciers, noting that the sheer weight of the humongous blocks of ice helps to keep the earth in place. Glacial melting and the reduction of that weight may release pent-up pressure in the planet’s crust, leading to earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic eruptions. Oh my. Canadian geologist Patrick Wu warns that Antarctic melt is already causing earthquakes and underground landslides. Higher sea levels caused by glacial melt also increase pressure on the ocean floor, which could affect tectonic plates. “All over the world evidence is stacking up that changes in global climate can and do affect the frequencies” of seismic events, wrote British geologist Bill McGuire in New Scientist magazine, adding, “Not only has this happened several times throughout earth’s history, [but] the evidence suggests it is happening again.”