Different scientists have brought forth a theory that climate change can cause earthquakes, tsunamis and volcanic eruptions. For example:

What is the general view among Earth scientists on this theory? How strong is the evidence that supports or refutes this theory?

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    $\begingroup$ Definitely an interesting question, but I feel like your question is rather large and open. There is evidence in the two references you link to... I wonder if it's worth focusing on a particular aspect? $\endgroup$
    – Matt Hall
    May 25, 2015 at 13:30
  • $\begingroup$ From the article you linked to: "Iaffaldano stressed that his study did not mean that global warming would translate to stronger earthquakes happening more often, with the relevant patterns developing over “the order of millions of years.” So no, according to that article climate change cannot cause natural hazards. $\endgroup$
    – Gimelist
    May 25, 2015 at 13:35
  • $\begingroup$ @kwinkunks thanks for the improvements. I'm mainly curious how serious we should take this theory. I've edited the question to clarify this. $\endgroup$
    – THelper
    May 26, 2015 at 7:09
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    $\begingroup$ A question specifically about earthquakes was already asked on Skeptics $\endgroup$
    – Jan Doggen
    May 26, 2015 at 7:12
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    $\begingroup$ Melting ice sheets would cause glacial rebound earthquakes. And has, as the circumarctic regions rebound from the last Ice Age. $\endgroup$
    – jamesqf
    May 26, 2015 at 17:13

1 Answer 1


A quote from the summary of the book you listed:

feeding torrents of freshwater into ocean basins that rapidly filled to present levels. The removal of the enormous weight of ice at high latitudes caused the crust to bounce back triggering earthquakes in Europe and North America and provoking an unprecedented volcanic outburst in Iceland. A giant submarine landslide off the coast of Norway sent a tsunami crashing onto the Scottish coast while around the margins of the continents the massive load exerted on the crust by soaring sea levels encouraged a widespread seismic and volcanic rejoinder.

Could not access the other links. This is clearly bordering on pseudoscience. I admit I have not read the book but the summary makes it sound like junk science. As a scientist I am skeptical and all of this seems like a stretch. I sure would like to know how crustal rebound (isotasy) affects a volcanic hot spot in the middle of the ocean. The hot spot is most likely generated at the core-mantle boundary where convective cells in the core meet the mantle and melt it. The whole scenario sounds like a bad movie. Is there anything that someone will not blame on global warming? And how would we ever know that a landslide in Norway was due to crustal rebound/global warming?

But the author is disingenuous. Even if he is correct, he implies that the changing climate in the past and any potential events associated with that changing climate might be related to changing climate today. But climate change of the recent past has been due to the earth cycles set out by Milankovich and not to man-made global warming. How can the two be compared when in the past we had a 6 degree change and now we are looking at only about a 1 degree change up until now. Sounds like he is desperate to sell his book and hypotheses.


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