Can climate change trigger earthquakes?

In summary, the author writes a dystopian story set in a future Metro Manila that is influenced by climate change. There is a possibility of an earthquake due to climate change, but it is not likely.
  • #1
I joined Dystopia Manila anthology book project.

It’s a collection of one-shot stories with two very important elements:

1. A climate change crisis that humans failed to address; and

2. A dystopian, sci-fi story that is set in a futuristic Metro Manila I'm wondering if climate change triggers earthquake. If so, is that possible in Metro Manila?

Thank you.
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  • #2
There is a good overview of climate change and potential links to earthquakes at NASA, @kadiot. The science is unclear, but depending on how far in the future you are, you can probably set up any reasonable trigger for an earthquake in Manila and blame it on climate change. Perhaps the loss of ice in the poles is causing Earth's rotation to change slightly and 'slosh' the continental plates?
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  • #3
kadiot said:
I'm wondering if climate change triggers earthquake.
Yes, in rare cases if a glacier melted and, e.g. pressure is thus removed from an area with volcanic activity. And volcanic activities can be accompanied by seismic activities. I doubt that such a scenario can make a difference for major earthquakes, hence it depends on what you call an earthquake.
kadiot said:
If so, is that possible in Metro Manila?
Earthquakes, yes, due to climate change, probably not.
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  • #4
Not directly related to climate change, but this seems to work too.
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  • #5
One of the Southern Italian volcanoes seems sensitive to ground-water such, several weeks after heavy rain, time for water to seep deep, it tends to get 'uppity', coughing, sneezing, barfing SO2 and the occasional rock.

IIRC, did this twice last autumn, after severe, unseasonal storms...

Dam builders are aware that rapidly filling or emptying retained lake may cause minor quakes. Hopefully, such cyclic, usually seasonal changes don't fatigue larger, 'inactive' faults unto 'nasty'. Snag is exceptional rain, such as a 'stationary' hurricane / typhoon or a persistent 'atmospheric river' may not only cause excessive erosion in catchment, but rapidly fill dam, loading local faults much faster than usual.

Another dire gotcha is that changing pore pressures along banks may de-stabilise cliffs. Some mega-tonnes of rock-fall or land-slide is multiple types of 'Bad News'...

FWIW, IIRC, the massive glacial collapse at Lituya Bay not only spawned an epic tsunami in fiord, but registered as a significant earth-quake. Polar regions' warming is expected to make such events more common.

Tangential, the summits of many snow-capped volcanoes seem bound by permafrost. Thawing those may un-lid the beast, hopefully with only modest, flank eruptions rather than full-on, with 'Harmonic Tremor' then a Plinian whoosh...
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  • #6
Many thanks for the replies.

The title of my short story is “The Big One".

The “Big One” is a worst-case scenario of an earthquake from the West Valley Fault, a 100-kilometer fault that runs through six cities in Metro Manila and nearby provinces. A tsunami is also foreseen in the scenario set by the Philippine Institute of Volcanology and Seismology (Phivolcs)
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  • #7
I want you to read the short story I wrote, but I can't post it publicly. If I do that, the publisher may decline my submission.

Anyway, thank you again for the helpful information you guys provided.
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1. What is the connection between climate change and earthquakes?

Climate change can indirectly affect the frequency and intensity of earthquakes. The Earth's climate is closely linked to the movement of tectonic plates, which are responsible for earthquakes. Changes in the climate, such as melting glaciers and rising sea levels, can cause shifts in the Earth's crust and trigger earthquakes.

2. Can climate change directly cause earthquakes?

No, climate change does not directly cause earthquakes. Earthquakes are primarily caused by the movement and collision of tectonic plates, which is a natural process. However, climate change can indirectly contribute to the occurrence of earthquakes by altering the Earth's crust and increasing the likelihood of seismic activity.

3. Are certain areas more prone to earthquake-triggering climate change?

Yes, certain areas are more vulnerable to the effects of climate change on earthquakes. This includes regions with high levels of tectonic activity, such as the Pacific Ring of Fire. Additionally, areas with rapidly melting glaciers or rising sea levels may also experience an increase in earthquake activity due to the changes in the Earth's crust.

4. How can we mitigate the potential impact of climate change on earthquakes?

While we cannot prevent earthquakes from occurring, we can take steps to mitigate their potential impact. This includes reducing our carbon footprint and implementing sustainable practices to slow down the rate of climate change. Additionally, investing in earthquake-resistant infrastructure and disaster preparedness can help minimize the damage caused by earthquakes.

5. Is there a correlation between the severity of climate change and earthquake activity?

There is currently no evidence to suggest a direct correlation between the severity of climate change and earthquake activity. However, as the Earth's climate continues to change, it is possible that we may see an increase in the frequency and intensity of earthquakes in certain areas. Further research is needed to fully understand the relationship between climate change and earthquakes.