Global warming causes earthquakes?

Do climate alarmists now have a plausible geologic explanation for how global warming can cause earthquakes?

From a University of Miami media release:

Research study shows link between earthquakes and tropical cyclones

New study may help scientists identify regions at high risk for earthquakes

SAN FRANCISCO – Dec. 8, 2011 – A groundbreaking study led by University of Miami (UM) scientist Shimon Wdowinski shows that earthquakes, including the recent 2010 temblors in Haiti and Taiwan, may be triggered by tropical cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons). Wdowinski will discuss his findings during a presentation at the 2011 AGU Fall Meeting in San Francisco.

“Very wet rain events are the trigger,” said Wdowinski, associate research professor of marine geology and geophysics at the UM Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. “The heavy rain induces thousands of landslides and severe erosion, which removes ground material from the Earth’s surface, releasing the stress load and encouraging movement along faults.”

Wdowinski and a colleague from Florida International University analyzed data from quakes magnitude-6 and above in Taiwan and Haiti and found a strong temporal relationship between the two natural hazards, where large earthquakes occurred within four years after a very wet tropical cyclone season.

During the last 50 years three very wet tropical cyclone events – Typhoons Morakot, Herb and Flossie – were followed within four years by major earthquakes in Taiwan’s mountainous regions. The 2009 Morakot typhoon was followed by a M-6.2 in 2009 and M-6.4 in 2010. The 1996 Typhoon Herb was followed by M-6.2 in 1998 and M-7.6 in 1999 and the 1969 Typhoon Flossie was followed by a M-6.2 in 1972.

The 2010 M-7 earthquake in Haiti occurred in the mountainous region one-and-a-half years after two hurricanes and two tropical storms drenched the island nation within 25 days.

The researchers suggest that rain-induced landslides and excess rain carries eroded material downstream. As a result the surface load above the fault is lessened.

“The reduced load unclamp the faults, which can promote an earthquake,” said Wdowinski.

Fractures in Earth’s bedrock from the movement of tectonic plates, known as faults, build up stress as they attempt to slide past each other, periodically releasing the stress in the form of an earthquake.

According to the scientists, this earthquake-triggering mechanism is only viable on inclined faults, where the rupture by these faults has a significant vertical movement.

Wdowinski also shows a trend in the tropical cyclone-earthquake pattern exists in M-5 and above earthquakes. The researchers plan to analyze patterns in other seismically active mountainous regions – such as the Philippines and Japan – that are subjected to tropical cyclones activity.

Even if true, you’d still have to believe that small changes in a trace atmospheric components (i.e., manmade greenhouse gases) drive changes in rainfall…

11 thoughts on “Global warming causes earthquakes?”

  1. This is stupid, global warming stops earthquakes. My proof? My “temperal study”, which I did in the past 5 minutes & didn’t require a government grant, concludes that global warming caused a LACK of major earthquakes along the west coast of the US on the past 25 or so years. I’ll go a step farther & say all the places in the world where there has been no seismic activity in that time is due to global warming.

    Makes just about as much sence, doesn’t it?

  2. Global warming is responsible for earth quakes because the temperature inside earth’s core is increasing due to which breakdown of layer inside earth’s crust is in progress. Because of this breakdown tectonic plates lose their track which in turn produces earth quakes. Global warming is invoking a major climate change but with a relatively slow process. The impacts of climate change are seen in the last decade in the form of floods, earth quakes and weather storms.

  3. No hurricanes, typhoons or exessive rainfall here in California. How does he explain this area?

    Someone, please stop this madness that is sweeping our world!

  4. It is my understanding that earthquakes originate miles under the surface. Surface pressures have almost no effect at that depth. The load is spread over a wide area. If his theory is true then large buildings should cause an increased load and trigger earthquakes.

  5. The idea that hurricanes can hasten earthquakes is plausible, but I find the certainty with which he states it doubtful, especially given the time lapses involved. The link to global warming is sheer nonsense.

  6. This is just typical inference that when one thing happens it is somehow caused by another thing which happens to occur within a certain time-frame. When Michael Mann and Michael Moore are both within 500 miles of each other and an earthquake occurs exactly 4 years afterwards, does that mean we can keep those two apart, and we will have no more earthquakes? Honestly, science is not what it used to be, this garbage is stinking and who is paying for this “research”? Oh yes, that would be the 50% that actually earn a living in this country.

  7. I would believe the heat and cold either expand or contract molecules/plates/parts. If the sun heats up, the plate expands and a little rumbling. If the sun cools down and the plate retracts, a little rumbling. Nduh!

  8. Well, he links earthquakes to cyclones. Is there a link between cyclones and global warming? No!
    Is there a link between burning fossil fuels and global warming? No!

    This is probably junk research paid with your hard earned tax dollars. You paid for the junket to AGU meeting in San Francisco. At least it isn’t in Durban, SA.

    The public would throw up if they saw how their tax dollars are wasted by DOE, NSF, and other federal agencies for research on campuses.

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