Tsunamis are one of the most devastating natural disasters in the world. They can be caused by volcanic eruptions, underwater earthquakes, and landslides. Recently, there has been a debated on how climate change may also lead to tsunamis or make them much more devastating.
One of the main reasons for this debate is that Earth has warmed at a rate faster than ever before in recorded history. As a result, ocean water levels have risen and caused coastal areas to be in danger of tsunami waves during severe weather conditions.
With rising sea levels, it’s expected that coastal cities will also get hit by more intense waves during storm conditions because they will not be protected from these waves like they used to be 100 years ago.
Are tsunamis weather or climate?
There’s no doubt that climate change is increasing the risk of catastrophic natural disasters, such as tsunamis. Rising sea levels will make it easier for giant killer waves to reach coastal communities and create a flood risk. Scientists have predicted that tsunamis will increase in frequency and severity, as sea levels rise and tectonic plates are moved. Increasing sea levels also increase the chances of smaller earthquakes triggering tsunamis.
The Palu earthquake and tsunami may have been the worst in over 50 years, as it hit a low-lying plain where flooding was increased. While scientists have long thought that rising sea levels and tsunamis were separate phenomena, they are actually related.
Rising sea levels will increase the chances of coastal communities being inundated by storm surge, particularly in low-lying island nations like the Solomon Islands. Only a few scientists have studied the effects of climate change on extreme weather events.
A recent earthquake in Alaska triggered a tsunami warning, prompting mass evacuations. The event serves as a stark reminder of the urgency of global climate action. Melting polar ice caps will make giant waves more widespread after quakes, resulting in a greater threat from tsunamis. Scientists have long questioned whether climate change directly causes tsunamis, but their findings have been controversial. The answer is still controversial.
In addition to increasing earthquake frequency, the warming climate increases the risk of landslides. These landslides can occur on land or underwater. Melting permafrost decreases the stability of soil, making it more prone to landslides and erosion. The landslides may then enter water, generating tsunamis. While tsunami waves do not travel as far as those generated by earthquakes, the impact of landslides can cause huge waves locally.
What does climate change affect?
While climate change is a complex issue, its effects on humans are often subtle and not always easily identifiable. In the DRC, increased rainfall has weakened food production and increased competition for arable land, and also contributes to ethnic tension and conflict.
In Karamja, Uganda, climate change has reduced pastures and water sources, and increased competition for limited resources. While the effects on humans are varied, the following highlights some of the most immediate and significant effects.
Carbon dioxide, a major greenhouse gas, is the primary driver of climate change. This gas traps the sun’s heat, preventing it from escaping back into space. This prevents the earth from cooling, causing global warming.
Since the 1800s, human activities have been the main contributor to this global warming problem, causing carbon dioxide (CO2) to accumulate in the atmosphere. The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased significantly, with the concentration of the gas rising to 48% above pre-industrial levels.
The consequences of climate change are felt by billions of people around the world. Drought in sub-Saharan Africa and tropical storms in Southeast Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific are devastating, and deforestation and wildfires are increasing.
Meanwhile, climate change is affecting people in many countries, including the US, Canada, and Europe. Famine has also been documented in Madagascar, and millions of people have been displaced by climate change-induced drought.