Climate change, earthquakes, and volcanic eruptions
By Ilan Kelman
Volcanic eruptions and earthquakes changing the climate?
Volcanic eruptions have affected the climate throughout the eons. If eruptions are big enough, their emissions circle the globe and block some sunlight for a few years, which can cool the climate. After Mount Pinatubo erupted in the Philippines in 1991, the world had a short period with a small cooling effect, before human-caused climate change took over again.
Climate change affecting earthquakes and volcanic eruptions?
Sea-level rise from climate change is a possible influence on tectonic processes. Differences in sea level redistribute the amount of seawater over fault lines, changing earthquake frequencies and other traits. Similarly, the pressure from water over an undersea volcano affects eruption frequency and some aspects of eruption magnitude.
So, yes, tectonic processes change the climate and climate change affects earthquakes and volcanic eruptions—in many ways, over many timespans, and over many extents in area. This intricate dance among the land, ocean, and atmosphere is not surprising. Irrespective of scientific specialisation, we know how inextricably all aspects of the planet are interconnected.
The key is avoiding adverse effects of these changes on another major part of the Earth: Life including human beings.