Volcanic Explosions Could Soon Be On The Rise Due To Climate Change

Volcanic Explosions Could Soon Be On The Rise Due To Climate Change

Climate change is responsible for a great deal of adverse weather problems we experience around the world today.  From hotter days to heavier floods, to stronger hurricanes, we are getting it all and more with volcanic activity also on the rise too.

The last big surge of volcanic activity was thought to have been around 10,000 years ago when the last ice age ended.  Generally, the state of eruptions has been steady over the years but is slowing on the rise.  An average number of volcanic explosions to occur in one year is normally around 50, with the number of earthquakes occurring greater than magnitude six at around 150.

Volcanic Explosions Could Soon Be On The Rise Due To Climate Change
Pavlof Volcano, one of Alaska’’s most active volcanoes, erupted in March 2016, sending a plume of volcanic ash into the air. Photograph: Colt Snapp/AP

In recent years, scientists have seen those numbers increase significantly, with some areas of the globe seeing a rise of almost 10 percent. Places that are at risk the most from the increase in volcanic activity and earthquakes are those that experience major glacial melting, such as Alaska, Iceland, and the Himalayas.

It’s been established that melting ice caps and volcanic activity are linked – but what we’ve found is that erosion also plays a key role in the cycle. Pietro Sternai

We see these increases due to the effects of global warming.  The higher temperatures are causing the glaciers to melt, which is, in turn, causing a rise in the sea-level.  This rise in sea-level increases the pressure on the ocean floor, while reducing pressure on the continents and it is this change in pressure that causes volcanic eruptions to happen.

Although everyone may not be in agreement as to the amount of increase we will see in volcanic activity, it is evident that we will see a rise in the number of explosions.  To what extra effect this will have on the environment is yet to be determined.

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