Posts Tagged ‘Waking the Giant’

I came across an article in Newsweek, The Weird Way That Climate Change Could Make Earthquakes Worse.

“There have to be natural risk factors—specifically, unstable fault lines—for an earthquake to occur. However, the evidence is there that humans are creating situations that can agitate, lubricate, and put pressure on these plates. In fact, a book called Waking the Giant by Bill McGuire documents the science behind climate change creating ideal conditions for tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and earthquakes.”

I had not heard of this 2012 book with the subtitle How a Changing Climate Triggers Earthquakes, Tsunamis, and Volcanoes. It reviewed well on Good Reads and Amazon, though some thought it was too technical. And most believe the ending was too much a recapitulation.

“Here’s how climate change can lead to more earthquakes, according to scientist emeritus at the US Geological Survey and CEO of earthquake app Temblor Ross Stein.”

He explained something called Reservoir-Induced Seismicity or Dam-Induced Seismicity, earthquakes caused by building dams near fault lines. “People are building reservoirs on fault lines all around the world, filling and draining them. The water in the reservoir can lubricate faults, and filling and draining the reservoir creates and lifts pressure. Furthermore, filling a reservoir can force pressure on water at the bottom, which can run into the ground and create cracks and instability.”

And yet, “it’s difficult to objectively prove that reservoirs cause earthquakes.” Wouldn’t those plate tectonics create earthquakes anyway? This is maddeningly like the general conversation about climate change. One cannot attribute hurricanes Harvey, Irma or Maria to global warming, or the earthquakes in Mexico. But directly, or indirectly, the rising temperatures may be factors.

The interesting thing about the article is that it appeared as a spam comment on this blog, the entire piece without a title. Usually I’m rather quick in purging spam comments, but the length and coherence of the post slowed me down just enough. I may not have seen it otherwise.

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