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  1. Causes of climate change -
  2. Volcanic eruptions once caused mass extinctions in the oceans – could climate change do the same?
  3. Climate change
  4. Nature Geoscience
  5. Latest resources

They interact with each other, and a perturbation in one can lead to a change in another. The layer of gases that produces the weather and triggers climate change does affect our land, which is referred to as the geosphere. A paper in Nature by Chi-Ching Liu and his colleagues partially explained the relationship between climate change and earthquakes.

Liu and his team provided reliable evidence for a pattern between typhoons and small earthquakes that were shaking the island. They argued that the low-pressure centers of these typhoons allow earthquake faults within the crust to move and release accumulated strain. Are we facing an increase of geological and geomorphological hazards in the short term? The quick answer is no. The number of earthquakes will not increase dramatically in a short time.

Causes of climate change -

It vastly depends on the local geological conditions. However, as previously stated, the low-pressure centers of typhoons can prompt vibrations of earthquake faults. Another noticeable consequence of climate change is the melting of the ice caps. He argued that during the dying days of the last ice age, large ice sheets covering much of our earth melted. Although McGuire alarmingly set the time frame to be 70— years, scientists are still struggling to predict specifically when earthquakes are likely to occur.

Global average temperature is rising at an increasingly faster rate and is already more than one degree centigrade higher than preindustrial times. This image shows the position of Iceland and the direction in which the dry fog was blown; it also shows the position of the Mid-Atlantic Ridge and the three major volcanoes in Iceland.

Climate change reduces oceans' ability to buffer impacts

The levels of sulfur dioxide in the atmosphere were comparable to present-day extreme air pollution events. In France and England, contemporaries reported sore eyes, skin irritations, respiratory problems, and damage to vegetation. Volcanologist Anja Schmidt has used climate models to simulate what would happen if a Laki-style eruption occurred today.

She found that excess mortality - that is, deaths that would not have occurred otherwise - would be , deaths within a year of the eruption. In , the news of a volcanic eruption in Iceland reached Europe only in September, after the fog had vanished.

Volcanic eruptions once caused mass extinctions in the oceans – could climate change do the same?

It took another decade for an Icelandic expedition to find the Laki fissure, and roughly one century for scientists to connect the dots between the eruption and the dry fog it caused. It would not be as long, however, before even bigger eruptions would have still more destructive consequences for human lives and livelihoods.

Volcanic eruptions can cause climate change if they release large amounts of sulfur dioxide high into the stratosphere.

The Crucial Connection: Climate Change and Health - Kaiser Permanente

Sulfur dioxide oxidizes into sulfuric acid aerosols, which reflect incoming solar radiation. T he troposphere, which is the atmospheric layer in which we live and in which our airplanes fly, experiences cooling, whereas the stratosphere, the layer above the troposphere, which starts at 18 km near the equator and around km in the high latitudes, heats up. Other gases released from eruptions, such as carbon dioxide, are greenhouse gases and contribute to the warming of the planet.

Climate change

Yet overall, big eruptions that send sulfur dioxide into the stratosphere can cause profound, if relatively short-lived, cooling. The biggest eruption in recent centuries was that of Tambora in By contrast, the eruption of the Laki fissure "only" reached a 4. Tambora exploded in present-day Indonesia, at a tropical latitude where trade winds - the persistent easterly winds north and south of the equator - helped to spread its aerosols around the globe.

Thanks to this global dispersal, evidence of tropical volcanic eruptions can be found in Greenland and Antarctica.

Glaciologists study layers of compressed snow and bubbles of preserved air in ice cores to reconstruct the climate of the past. In the cores, they also find layers of ash, tephra, and gases such as sulfur - byproducts of volcanic eruptions - which help them to date the ice layers. High latitude eruptions such as the Laki fissure eruption only deposit ash and tephra in one hemisphere. Both eruptions occurred in a period of low solar activity known as the Dalton Minimum ca. Cooler temperatures and heavy rains also plagued Ireland and the rest of Europe, which helped provoke famine.

Tambora also delayed the summer monsoon in India, where unseasonal and torrential rain helped cause flooding, crop failures, famine, and ultimately a cholera epidemic. This figure is based on Michael Sigl et al. It shows large volcanic eruptions, which occurred in the tropics green , in the northern hemisphere red , and in the southern hemisphere blue.

Nature Geoscience

The graphic also shows that several volcanic eruptions can occur at around the same time, increasing their effect on the climate and thus their impact on societies. In , Gifford H. Miller was the lead author of an article that argued that large volcanic eruptions in the late thirteenth century might have initiated the abrupt onset of the Little Ice Age, which was then sustained for six centuries by so-called feedback loops between the ocean, sea ice, and the atmosphere. The climate system on Earth is sensitive to change and different parts of the system, solar radiation, sea ice, cloud cover, wind and ocean currents, are interconnected.

One important feedback loop is the albedo effect, which relies on the fact that a white surface, such as ice, reflects more sunlight back into space than a dark surface, such as the ocean. When a series of strong eruptions at the beginning of the Little Ice Age cooled the global climate, sea ice and therefore the albedo effect increased, the Earth absorbed less solar radiation, and average global temperatures began a long and sustained decline. The resulting climatic shift was then reinforced by a series of large eruptions around This figure illustrates the processes of the ice albedo effect, which in the present time is characterized by a warming and melting Arctic.

During the Little Ice Age, the cycle was reversed. The biggest concern of our present time is anthropogenic climate change and global warming. Interestingly, global warming is actually increasing the chances of volcanism in the cold parts on Earth. In many cold places, such as Iceland, there still are large ice shields, reminders of the last Ice Age, which are melting away in a warming world. The melting of these heavy ice shields takes away a weight, which causes an uplifting process of the land below, called the postglacial rebound effect. In volcanically active regions, the ice shields were resting on top of magma chambers, with the decrease of weight the magma chambers can produce more magma and grow, and thus making a volcanic eruption more likely than before.

Even a large volcanic eruption and a short-term cooling, similar to the Pinatubo eruption of , would not change this warming trend in the long run. Another recent paper by lead author Ingo Bethke revises climate models by including sixty potential but fictional, large eruptions over the course of the twenty-first century.

Latest resources

Most models actually ignore the potential of such eruptions. Yet some scientists are also exploring ways to alter the climate through geoengineering, in order to stop the anthropogenic warming spiraling out of control.

There are two different geoengineering categories: the first involves the removal of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide emitted by burning fossil fuels from the atmosphere, while the second involves managing solar radiation. Schemes in this second category would initiate a process of making the planet absorb less solar radiation to offset the consequences of the large-scale fossil fuel emissions of the recent past and present. However, the onset of the Little Ice Age, and the Nile floods that accompanied the small Icelandic eruption in , both reveal the risks of such geonengineering schemes.

The climate system is interconnected and incredibly sensitive to change.