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This [http://www.post-gazette.com/pg/06160/697012-115.stm] is an interesting article on the connection between global warming and increased earthquake/volcanic activity.

"It's unavoidable that glacial retreat will induce tectonic activity," says geoscientist Allen Glazner of the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill.
Instead, the world-wide melting of glaciers portends a seismically active future because of isostatic rebound and also because the meltwater from liquefying glaciers adds mass atop oceanic plates. That creates a teeter-totter effect, further destabilizing the planet's crust. "Recent findings reinforce the idea that the solid earth and the climate are inextricably linked," says Prof. Glazner.

That link has reared its ugly head in the past, especially during periods of rapid climate change such as the end of ice ages. When ice sheets retreated 10,000 years ago, for instance, Iceland experienced a surge in volcanic eruptions. Volcanoes in the Mediterranean, Antarctica and eastern California also seem to have been awakened by retreating ice.

When he analyzed 800,000 years of activity from about 50 volcanoes in eastern California (the age of rocks formed from volcanic ash can be determined by radioactive dating), Prof. Glazner found that "the peaks of volcanic activity occurred when ice was retreating globally. At first I thought it was crazy, but other scientists also found evidence that climate affects volcanism." The likely mechanism: glacial retreat lifts pressure that had kept the magma conduit closed.

Elaine Meinel Supkis

Iowan, I have suggested exactly that in the past! I agree that removal of ice from any significant area will trigger earthquakes and volcanoes.


'I know for a fact that disrupting Nature always sets into motion unintended consequences."

Earthquakes and volcanoes happen if you only sit there and watch. Note that these occurred even before there were humans around to cause them.

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