Climate change could trigger volcanic eruptions across the world
13 April 2018 | Adaptation
Climate change could trigger a wave of volcanic eruptions around the world, as melting ice ‘unlocks’ sleeping volcanoes, a scientist has warned.
Gioachino Roberti of the University of Clermont Auvergne says, ‘Imagine the ice like some sort of protective layer – when the ice melts away, the mountain is free to collapse,” said Mr Roberti.
‘If your mountain is a volcano you have another problem. Volcanoes are a pressurised system and if you remove pressure by ice melting and landslide, you have a problem.”
Mr Roberti was speaking at the European Geosciences Union General Assembly.
The researchers examined Mount Meager in Canada, and found that landslides caused by melting ice had the potential to destabilise magma chambers and trigger eruptions.
Previous research based on Icelandic volcanic ash preserved in peat bog showed that volcanic eruptions in Iceland diminished between 5,500 and 4,500 years ago when a decrease in global temperatures caused glacier growth.
Professor David Rothery of the Open University (who was not involved in the research) commented, ‘This new research nicely demonstrates that if you change the load on a volcanic mountain – for example by removing some ice – the likelihood of a mechanical collapse and possible enuing eruption will be slightly increased.
‘Eruptions are triggered by a complex array of factors. I suspect that many eruptions caused by glacial melting might happen eventually anyway, given enough time.
‘This research shows that warming could increase the chances of those eruptions happening sooner rather than later.’
Source: Yahoo News