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(crossposted at Huffington post)
Update: I will be inserting additional information about the new Earthquakes and Tsunamis that were triggered since Tuesday...
In the recent climate change debate, some of our leaders, like Oklahoma Sen. Jim Inhofe, are still insisting that these are cyclical, natural changes, or that global warming is not real because  "God is still up there".

I foresee that a decade from now -- when we see all the damage that has happened -- Sen. Inhofe's comments on climate change will be viewed as some of the most misguided statements ever made by a senator.

Why?

There was a significant development that occurred yesterday, as an 8.3 earthquake struck Samoa and set off tsunami warnings in the South Pacific. Comparisons were being made to the Indian Ocean earthquake, which was the worst earthquake ever recorded at over 9 on the Richter scale.

Update it seems the same fault line in Indonesia has become active - fromHuffington Post

A powerful earthquake struck western Indonesia on Wednesday, triggering landslides and trapping thousands under collapsed buildings - including two hospitals, an official said. At least 75 bodies were found, but the toll was expected to be far higher.

The temblor started fires, severed roads and cut off power and communications to Padang, a coastal city of 900,000 on Sumatra island. Thousands fled in panic, fearing a tsunami.

Buildings swayed hundreds of miles (kilometers) away in neighboring Malaysia and Singapore.

In the sprawling low-lying city of Padang, the shaking was so intense that people crouched or sat on the street to avoid falling. Children screamed as an exodus of thousands tried to get away from the coast in cars and motorbikes, honking horns.

The magnitude 7.6 quake occurred at 5:15 p.m. (1015GMT, 6:15 a.m. EDT), just off the coast of Padang, the U.S. Geological Survey reported. It occurred a day after killer tsunami hit islands in the South Pacific and was along the same fault line that spawned the 2004 Asian tsunami that killed 230,000 people in 11 nations.

...and the damage in Samoa was worse than previously reported
From Huffington Post

APIA, Samoa -- Disaster officials rushed food, medicine and a temporary morgue to the Samoas on Wednesday after a powerful earthquake unleashed a tsunami that flattened villages and swept cars and people out to sea. At least 119 people were killed. Survivors fled to higher ground on the South Pacific islands after the magnitude 8.0 quake struck at 6:48 a.m. local time (1:48 p.m. EDT; 1748 GMT) Tuesday

Scientists are reporting that these events are unrelated - which very well may be true, however, as you will read below, there is a common denominator to the tectonic instability that is being witnessed.

How can this be? Well, the Earth's tectonic plates have sensitive fault lines, which when triggered to move, cause earthquakes and volcanoes. As a sphere, the Earth 'reflects' vibration internally, so that an earthquake in the South Pacific is picked up by seismologists across the world -- say in Alaska. The Indonesian quake resonated so strongly that it set off quakes in Alaska. (Samoa also had a 7.9 earthquake in March.)

Now, add in this to the equation. In Greenland, and to a lesser extent, Antarctica, ice sheets and glaciers are melting and more importantly, sliding in rapid bursts. This is caused by moulins, which are holes that melting water form from the top of a glacier to the bottom. The water then lubricates and melts the underside of the glacier, causing them to detach from the bedrock -- and creating a 'slip-n-slide' for glaciers that weigh in the megatons -- some the size of Manhattan.

Robert Corell, chairman of the Arctic Climate Impact Assessment, said in Ilulissat [Greenland] yesterday: "We have seen a massive acceleration of the speed with which these glaciers are moving into the sea. The ice is moving at 2 meters an hour on a front 5km [3 miles] long and 1,500 meters deep. That means that this one glacier puts enough fresh water into the sea in one year to provide drinking water for a city the size of London for a year."
The glacier is now moving at 15km a year into the sea although in surges it moves even faster. He measured one surge at 5km in 90 minutes - an extraordinary event.

The result, each 'slide' of these multi-ton glaciers sets off an 'ice quake' that register an average of 3 to 5 on the Richter scale. This might sound minor, but these are occurring multiple times a year. This means that the Earth is being jolted repeatedly by these ice quakes, destabilizing faults lines which has many, many consequences.

The latest scientific discipline to enter the fray over global warming is geology.
And the forecasts from some quarters are dramatic - not only will the earth shake, it will spit fire.

A number of geologists say glacial melting due to climate change will unleash pent-up pressures in the Earth's crust, causing extreme geological events such as earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions.

A cubic metre of ice weighs nearly a tonne and some glaciers are more than a kilometre thick. When the weight is removed through melting, the suppressed strains and stresses of the underlying rock come to life.

(from Alan Glazner, a volcano specialist at the University of North Carolina)

"When you melt glacial ice, several hundred metres to a kilometre thick . . . you've decreased the load on the crust and so you've decreased the pressure holding the volcanic conduits closed.

"They're cracks, that's how magmas gets to the surface . . . and where they hit the surface, that's where you get a volcano."

And it is not likely to slow down, but may instead speed up:

...quakes ranged from six to 15 per year from 1993 to 2002, then jumped to 20 in 2003, 23 in 2004, and 32 in the first 10 months of 2005 - matching an increase in Greenland temperatures.

LET ME REPEAT THAT STATISTIC...

...quakes ranged from six to 15 per year from 1993 to 2002, then jumped to 20 in 2003, 23 in 2004, and 32 in the first 10 months of 2005 - matching an increase in Greenland temperatures.

That is tripling of earthquakes in a 15 year period and more importantly an exponential change in the activity.

This trend is causing changes exponentially. For instance, since the Arctic has opened an ice free passage, the Arctic is no longer a stationary sea -- currents from the Pacific and the Atlantic are encroaching into the Arctic circle and creating an additional heating feedback loop -- which is as equally dangerous as a heating feedback loop as the loss of reflective ice.
This video highlights the feedback loop that scientists are seeing in Greenland.

<center></center>

(ain't it sad that Al Jazeera is doing a better job of covering this than our media?)

And, sadly, the latest report from the IPCC reflects this exponential change, as scientists report now that even if the world's countries commit to all of the recommendations to reach by 2050 -- (which the U.S. Senate is likely to block) the Earth's temperature will rise 6.3 degrees by 2100.

This is not good, since scientists worldwide have agreed that to survive climate change, we must limit the temperature rise to 2 degrees.

So, not only are we on a path that with displace as many as 75 million people by 2050, many of them islanders, but we are also putting many more people in peril due to the threat of this increased tectonic activity.

The industrialized countries must change their polluting policies and begin to think about their responsibility for the Indonesian earthquake that resulted in 229,866 people lost, including 186,983 dead and 42,883 missing.

These may have been the first wave of people who have died in a widespread fashion from the unintended effects of climate change.

And yes, even though as some will argue, tectonic plates have been moving for thousands of years, it is a fact, that the climate is changing, the Arctic is heating, and Ice Quakes are increasing, all due to human made pollution.
Since writing this story Tuesday, I feel both vindicated and horrified to see the very things I am worried about happening - and to see that our Senate is still waffling on the middling, do little, but necessary ACES Climate bill. We must do pass much,  much more effective legislation and recognize the legal status of Environmental Refugees.

There are many changes that are going to happen, and we are going to have to realize, globally, that we are all in this together. Most importantly, we must begin to talk openly about adaptation to these global changes, and not act in merely a reactionary approach.

Originally posted to wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:45 PM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  tip jar (13+ / 0-)

    and remember, even if these earthquakes are not related to each other, they are related to what is happening in Greenland and Antarctica.

    H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

    by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:35:52 PM PDT

    •  I would wait for all the facts before making (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Jagger, Poycer

      a qualitative comment that they are related to anything. You may just be correct. There is definetly climate change caused by our reckless disregard for the planet, however, these earthquakes could be caused by natural phenomena from the natural movement of tectonic plates .

      BTW, it was driving me crazy about your title. I knew I heard your title before and then I remembered, one of the great dance tunes of the mid 60s.

      A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

      by tazz on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:03:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  more info on that subject (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        forgore

        http://www.climateemergency.org/...

        University of Alberta geologist Patrick Wu compares the effect to that of a thumb pressed on a soccer ball - when the pressure of the thumb is removed, the ball springs back to its original shape.

        Because the earth is so viscous the rebound happens slowly, and the quakes that occasionally shake Eastern Canada are attributed to ongoing rebound from the last ice age more than 10,000 years ago.

        Human impact will speed process
        Melting of the ice that covers Antarctica or Greenland would have a similar impact, but the process would be accelerated due to the human-induced greenhouse effect.

        "What happens is the weight of this thick ice puts a lot of stress on the earth," says Wu. "The weight sort of suppresses the earthquakes but when you melt the ice the earthquakes get triggered."

        When a quake happens under water it can cause a tsunami. Wu said melting of the Antarctic ice is already causing earthquakes and underground landslides although they get little attention. He predicted climate warming will bring "lots of earthquakes."
        The Earth's crust is more sensitive than some might think. There are well-documented cases of dams causing earthquakes when the weight of the water behind a dam fills a reservoir.

        H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

        by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:12:53 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

        •  Sumatra quake was on a hidden fault (3+ / 0-)

          in the Australian plate that is going down under Sumatra. The Samoan quake was in the Pacific plate - a normal faulting event. Neither of these quakes had anything to do with events in the Arctic nor were they related to each other.

          These earthquakes were caused by local tectonic forces.

          HuffPo has gone into panic mode.

          look for my DK Greenroots diary series Wednesday evening. "It's the planet, stupid."

          by FishOutofWater on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:29:18 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  That type of quake is caused by a (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            Jagger

            subduction zone where one tectonic plate moves under another, which is what is happening with the San Andreas fault in California. It's part of the natural movement of the earths "floating" tectonic plates and would happen anyway even without global warming. The amount of movement is usually less than an inch per year.

            A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

            by tazz on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:43:32 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

          •  huffington post (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            forgore

            reported that scientists stated these quakes were not related to each other - but my question is, are the ice quakes related to both situations?

            H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

            by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:43:55 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

        •  I get all that and have taught scientific method (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:
          Jagger

          for many years, now retired. However, making a qualified comment that these particular tremors were caused by global warming is not backed up by any proof yet. It may come soon, but the word might or may should be used right now instead of are caused. Be careful about being that authoratative. If you are wrong, it reflects badly on the credibility of the scientific community who are trying to combat global warming and adds fuel to the arguments by wingnuts who dispute it and say we're wrong.

          A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

          by tazz on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:35:51 PM PDT

          [ Parent ]

          •  i agree with you (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:
            forgore

            on principle, but the wingnuts are going to continually distort evidence no matter what I say or do.
            i think the information provided by Pr. Wu above and this by his colleague should be considered at least partly valid just on the sheer number of ice quakes now occurring.

            Alan Glazner, a volcano specialist at the University of North Carolina, said he was initially incredulous when he found a link between climate and volcanic activity off the coast of California.

            "But then I went to the library and did some research and found that in many places around the world especially around the Mediterranean they see similar sorts of correlations."

            "When you melt glacial ice, several hundred metres to a kilometre thick . . . you've decreased the load on the crust and so you've decreased the pressure holding the volcanic conduits closed.

            "They're cracks, that's how magmas gets to the surface . . . and where they hit the surface, that's where you get a volcano."

            H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

            by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:42:20 PM PDT

            [ Parent ]

            •  It is valid only when proved (1+ / 0-)
              Recommended by:
              Jagger

              theories like the Big Bang and quantum mechanics are fun, and enlightening, and are probably correct. Probabilities are just that. Probabilities. It is important in the scientific community to state truth, and the truth is that there is no proof these quakes were tied to global warming yet.

              A man's only as old as the woman he feels. Groucho

              by tazz on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:55:05 PM PDT

              [ Parent ]

    •  Humanity *may* survive (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Riddlebaugh

      If we cut carbon emissions now.

      We'll still have billions dead, but we may survive.

      On the other hand, we could go with the "guaranteed extinction of the species" option and keep on burning coal.

      In the meantime, a reminder: having children is an immoral imposition on them, forcing them into a life in a hellish disaster world.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:07:12 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Do you have a link to the "ice quake" (0+ / 0-)

    Richter scale info?

  •  Huffington has had an over-reaction (6+ / 0-)

    Talk about panic headlines.

    Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

    by LaFeminista on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 02:59:12 PM PDT

    •  i think we (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      cumberland sibyl, LaFeminista

      have had a little too much pragmatism when it comes to talking about climate change's affects on the planet.
      Glacial quakes is just one more side effect that scientists are trying to understand.

      Imagine all the fault lines on the planet receiving multiple vibrations from Greenland, and the lifting up of the landmass itself by weight displacement-
      i hope that this is something that we can get ahead of.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:08:11 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Trying to understand I am happy with (0+ / 0-)

        the shit storm of the huffington headline writers less so.

        Its one of the reasons I rarely go there and certainly dont post on it.

        What you don't understand or have reliable data for, dont scream about is all I am saying.

        Oh no, the dead have risen and they're voting Republican. - Lisa Simpson

        by LaFeminista on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:11:09 PM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  Comparisons? (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    houyhnhnm, Jagger, Cassandra Waites, soms

    Comparisons were being made to the Indian Ocean earthquake, which was the worst earthquake ever recorded at over 9 on the Richter scale.

    Comparisons will always be made, appropriate or not.  But the Indian Ocean Quake was 10x larger than yesterday's quake.  Further, the Indian Ocean Quake was not the largest ever recorded - the largest was the Chilean Quake of 1960.

  •  5m per hour? (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Riddlebaugh

    That's crazy...

    Democracy - 1 person 1 vote. Free Markets - More dollars more power.

    by k9disc on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:02:52 PM PDT

  •  Ugh (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    neroden, wade norris, Riddlebaugh

    That's such bad news.

    The latest report from the IPCC reflects this exponential change, as scientists report now that even if the world's countries commit to all of the recommendations to reach by 2050 -- (which the U.S. Senate is likely to block) the Earth's temperature will rise 6.3 degrees by 2100. This is not good, since scientists worldwide have agreed that to survive climate change, we must limit the temperature rise to 2 degrees.

    Toss in methane clathrates and we are so done. But we've found water on Mars and the Moon, so the rich will be able to start over, right?  </irony sprain>

    •  Well, 'hothouse world' (0+ / 0-)

      Should contain enough plants in the Arctic and Antartic regions for a small outpost of humanity or two to survive.

      Or we could make the problem even worse and wipe everyone out.

      -5.63, -8.10. Learn about Duverger's Law.

      by neroden on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:08:46 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  I made a similar causal reference (5+ / 0-)

    in the comments of my diary today about the Sumatra quake, but was clear that I wasn't linking the events specifically.

    I do however think the term "natural disaster" is becoming increasingly oxymoronic. They also list all ingredients on sugary breakfast cereals as natural, right? It comes from nature, don't it?

    At this point we might attribute increased severity of storms to man-made climate change, but it seems that it had yet to be conclusively proven that seismic activity (especially these two quakes) is also related.

    I will keep an open mind about the possibility however.

    The best way to save the planet is to keep laughing!

    by LaughingPlanet on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:06:17 PM PDT

  •  Where I grew up in California (0+ / 0-)

    we had something called "Earthquake Weather"-- usually characterized by dry and unseasonable heat.

    I'd wait until all the facts are in to connect earthquakes with climate change, but reading your diary made me recall that earthquakes often happened during a certain type of weather.

    "Just relax and let the hooks do their work." -- Ned Flanders

    by Pangloss on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:08:49 PM PDT

  •  I am not necessarily buying this, but (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Mother Shipper

    even if there were something to it, it would be virtually impossible to attribute such hugely complex events to ppm of carbon in the atmosphere SO I think it's just better to focus on the danger of high CO2 PPM itself rather than how it causes earthquakes....

    From Neocon to sane- thanks to Obama- and Kos.

    by satrap on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:12:06 PM PDT

  •  Climate change and eartquakes....a bridge too far (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    houyhnhnm, Jagger, satrap
  •  Hi y'all: (4+ / 0-)
    My day job includes landslide litigation, which means that I follow and understand geological news about as well as any layperson.  I also did a lot of EQ litigation shortly after the last Southern Cal EQ.  I have not seen the HuffPo article referenced in comments.  About 2 weeks ago there was a geology conference in London in which people discussed the possibility of connecting the dots between climate change and geology.  I did look over the British stories and what I saw of the abstracts.  I am not prepared to draw a definite connection between these EQs and climate change.  Further, I'm not sure if geologists have done the basic classification of these EQs (slip/strike, etc).

    Having said that, anyone interested in climate refugees should follow the Bangkok climate negotiations going on right now.  These negotiations are barely covered in the US press -- I'm getting most of my info on them from the Copenhagen website and the British press  They are being protested/picketed by Filipinos demanding justice.  

    •  hey RL (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      RunawayRose, sberel

      can you link that?
      thanks!!!!!

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:35:39 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  Found it: (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        RunawayRose, sberel, smellybeast

        via Grist:

        But Filipino groups are still here in full force, emboldened to call for the solutions their communities need – this morning The Peasant Movement of the Philippines and the National Federation of Peasant Women in the Philippines held a demonstration in front of the United Nations Climate Change Negotiations in Bangkok.

        With vivid street theater, the groups called to abandon false solutions to climate change – such as biofuels

        If you want more, you'll have to hunt around.  I think I saw this on the official Cop website but they pull things off that fast.  I was trying to follow a story on Bangkok Times but the site never loaded for me.

  •  Diaries like this do not help.. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    satrap

    climate change legislation and policy...

    Obama - Change I still believe in

    by dvogel001 on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:44:21 PM PDT

  •  Actic Sea has not become (0+ / 0-)
    "non-stationary".  It has been "non-stationary" throughout our experience.  "Ice free passages" are opening and closing constantly.
  •   thanks for the earthquake connection (0+ / 0-)

    ------- i always thought changing rainfall extremes (flood- drought) might change plate weight distribution enough

    BTW  anderson windows supports climate denial!

    and shoots themselves in the foot. pella windows did the same thing. any major window manufacturer stands to greatly increase their biz with any retrofitting for energy efficiency but their PR depts are run by  idiots,

    the local limbaugh megastation, which by being the major power center of the GOP in the state, and because the right wing blowhards they put on do regular global warming denial and were instrumental getting rid of van jones, getting guys like inhoffe elected, etc, are not a smart place for any retrofit construction supplier like that.

    i can't wait to call anderson windows

    ignoring the talk radio monopoly continues to be the biggest political blunder in decades

    by certainot on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 03:59:34 PM PDT

  •  It wouldn't at all surprise me (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    smellybeast

    if the assertion were true.

    You could change the diary to say that evidence "suggests a possible connection." If that doesn't make the critics happy, ignore them.

    I appreciate the information.

    People with heavy training in science tend to be seriously nit-picky about evidence. Some of these are more strict and anal than others, and have held back on recognizing other claims in recent years, only to be proven wrong. But the best thing to do is simply remove the assertion of a definite connection, and simply offer it as a fascinating possibility, which would still provide a useful diary. Many researchers seem to end their studies with the all purpose caveat "The results suggest [this or that], more studies will be necessary."

    Anyway, your diary raises yet another alarming possibility. The really scary thing about GW in my view is the methane deposits that could thaw. Yikes!

    •  i admit i am a lay person (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      ZhenRen

      not a scientist - and when I first started talking about the need to prepare for relocating thousands of low lying islanders, believe me I was met with a lot of skepticism - even from some NGOs and political leaders on the islands themselves.
      I stand by the information here, even if it may take a few more studies to confirm.
      And if I seem alarming - think about the people recovering from a second Tsunami in Indonesia in just 4 years- on a fault line that was considered 'non active' up until that point.

      H.D. Thoreau "What's the use of a fine house if you haven't got a tolerable planet to put it on?" PRAER.org

      by wade norris on Wed Sep 30, 2009 at 04:08:31 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

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