Don’t worry, this guy is just trying to sell a book conveniently located on the left sidebar of the Guardian. I hear there’s a two for one special with Chariots of the Gods on Amazon.
Get a load of some of this rubbish:
The world we inhabit has an outer rind that is extraordinarily sensitive to change. While the Earth’s crust may seem safe and secure, the geological calamities that happen with alarming regularity confirm that this is not the case. Here in the UK, we only have to go back a couple years to April 2010, when the word on everyone’s lips was Eyjafjallajökull – the ice-covered Icelandic volcano that brought UK and European air traffic to a grinding halt. Less than a year ago, our planet’s ability to shock and awe headed the news once again as the east coast of Japan was bludgeoned by a cataclysmic combination of megaquake and tsunami, resulting – at a quarter of a trillion dollars or so – in the biggest natural-catastrophe bill ever.
Could it be then, that if we continue to allow greenhouse gas emissions to rise unchecked and fuel serious warming, our planet’s crust will begin to toss and turn once again?
The signs are that this is already happening. In the detached US state of Alaska, where climate change has propelled temperatures upwards by more than 3C in the last half century, the glaciers are melting at a staggering rate, some losing up to 1km in thickness in the last 100 years. The reduction in weight on the crust beneath is allowing faults contained therein to slide more easily, promoting increased earthquake activity in recent decades. The permafrost that helps hold the state’s mountain peaks together is also thawing rapidly, leading to a rise in the number of giant rock and ice avalanches. In fact, in mountainous areas around the world, landslide activity is on the up; a reaction both to a general ramping-up of global temperatures and to the increasingly frequent summer heatwaves.
Whether or not Alaska proves to be the “canary in the cage” – the geological shenanigans there heralding far worse to come – depends largely upon the degree to which we are successful in reducing the ballooning greenhouse gas burden arising from our civilisation’s increasingly polluting activities, thereby keeping rising global temperatures to a couple of degrees centigrade at most.
Alaska has detached OMG!
Yeah right, that ~0.8°C of atmospheric warming in the past century reached all the way down to the bottom of the ocean and disturbed the fault off Japan. Of course if Mr. McGuire doesn’t do anything but let himself get scared by computer model predictions instead of examining measured reality, I can see how he’d be driven to write a book like this.
This Guardian article is even less credible when you pitch a sensational book in the “news” article at the Guardian right alongside it. I may nominate this guy for idiot of the year, he may beat Peter Gleick for this honor.
Here’s the book:
Waking the Giant: How a changing climate triggers earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanoes by Bill McGuire
UPDATE: 9:00AM 2/27 Anonymous whiner “The Power of X” complains in comments that I “didn’t use enough science” in this post. I didn’t realize that when mocking such absurd claims I had to worry about it that much, especially when I tag the story with “GLOC” and “ridiculae”. I figured hey, I just won Best Science Blog for the second year in a row and Lifetime Achievement Award in the 2012 Bloggies, plus the post went up at 3:30AM PST, so I though maybe I’d get a little slack. Oh well, that’s what updates are for. Steve Goddard helpfully points out what the USGS has to say about this nonsense. They write on their website:
Are Earthquakes Really on the Increase?
We continue to be asked by many people throughout the world if earthquakes are on the increase. Although it may seem that we are having more earthquakes, earthquakes of magnitude 7.0 or greater have remained fairly constant.
A partial explanation may lie in the fact that in the last twenty years, we have definitely had an increase in the number of earthquakes we have been able to locate each year. This is because of the tremendous increase in the number of seismograph stations in the world and the many improvements in global communications. In 1931, there were about 350 stations operating in the world; today, there are more than 8,000 stations and the data now comes in rapidly from these stations by electronic mail, internet and satellite. This increase in the number of stations and the more timely receipt of data has allowed us and other seismological centers to locate earthquakes more rapidly and to locate many small earthquakes which were undetected in earlier years. The NEIC now locates about 20,000 earthquakes each year or approximately 50 per day. Also, because of the improvements in communications and the increased interest in the environment and natural disasters, the public now learns about more earthquakes.
According to long-term records (since about 1900), we expect about 17 major earthquakes (7.0 – 7.9) and one great earthquake (8.0 or above) in any given year.
They make the exact same argument that I do about severe weather, another favorite worry-wail of the CAGW camp:
Oh, the GRACE data isn’t the definitive answer on ice loss=earthquakes
correlation ≠ cause