Our science classes have taught us that tsunamis are usually caused by earthquakes. However, this disaster can also be triggered either by landslides (or volcanic eruptions). They are responsible for about 15% of all tsunamis.
For example, the tsunami caused by the huge eruption of the underwater volcano Hunga Tonga Ha’apai in Tonga caused a tsunami to reach countries around the Pacific rim. It also caused a massive oil spillage on 21 beaches in Peru. Waves rose to about 2m high, with waves reaching up to 15m hitting the west coasts in Tongatapu Islands, ‘Eua and Ha’apai Islands.
Experts also believe that climate change does not only affect the atmosphere and oceans but also the Earth’s crust. Climate-linked geological modifications such as the collapse of ice shelves or sea level rise are examples of climate-linked geological changes. Increases tsunami threat.
Five ways that climate change is increasing the threat of tsunamis
(Photo by New Zealand Defense Force via Getty Images).
NOMUKA, TONGA – JANUARY 17,: This handout photo was provided by the New Zealand Defense Force. It shows an aerial view of a P-3K2 Orion surveillance aircraft. The flight was observing heavy ash fall on January 17, 2022 Nomuka (Tonga).
Rising sea levels are an obvious factor that increases tsunami risk, even if they occur at a low rate. A 2018 studyIt is estimated that a 50-centimeter increase in tsunami-induced flooding in Macau (China) would double the frequency. If greenhouse gas emissions are maintained at high levels, tsunamis could have a greater impact today than they do today.
The warming climate can also increase the possibility of both aerial and sub-surface landslides, thereby increasing the risk of local tsunamis.
The climate crisis makes soil stability more vulnerable to erosion and to landslides. Permafrost melting, and strong storms and rainfalls. Although tsunami waves that result from it aren’t as powerful as earthquake waves, they can still cause massive waves locally.
Third, global warming’s effects on glacier calving as well as the collapse of ice shelves contribute to tsunami risk. Wandering icebergs may also trigger tsunamis and sub-marine landslides, even miles away from their source.
The eruption of volcanic activity is also triggered by melting ice, which can lead to tsunamis.
Climate change is also contributing to an increase in earthquake frequency. For example, melting glaciers can reduce the stability of faults. Low air pressure is associated with storms or typhoons that trigger earthquakes in areas where the Earth’s crust is already stressed.
Inclusion of tsunami preparedness into mitigation strategies
Climate change has always been a factor in all the natural disasters that our planet experiences. It is crucial that mitigation strategies for climate changes include methods to increase tsunami preparedness.
This includes incorporating sea level rise projections into tsunami prediction models. It also applies to building codes for infrastructure along coastal areas, which are more vulnerable to it. Researchers found that even small rises in sea levels should be considered as they can have a significant impact on the frequency and intensity of tsunamis.
Other scientific models of climate impact include the projected increase earthquakes, landslides, and volcanic activity and the tsunami danger it brings.
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