On this Earth Day I would like to point out that our Earth is getting more active by the week. Or so it seems. We have had a number of Earthquakes over the past two years, and seemingly two a week lately. Then, a month ago we had Eyajallajokull go off and last week managed to shut down all of Europe’s air space.
Earth is making itself felt! Well actually we can always feel the Earth under our feet, and breath the air it gives us, and enjoy the bountiful fruits it gives us for our sustenance, but we seem rarely if ever to actually protect and care for it as if we actually know its there! As if we fully understand its significance.
But lately she has apparently decided to let us know…THAT SHE IS IN FACT OUR MISTRESS AND SHE CAN AT WILL MAKE US OR BREAK US!
But now I think we must ask why is she suddenly so active? Is it just a fluke? Is it related to the climate? Is it just a stage that the Earth goes through? Or is it the dreaded 2012! Is this the Mayan or biblical prophesy coming to fruition?
Lets answer the last question first: Is this the “end of days” prophesied in the Bible and in the Mayan calendar? Well I dont know, but if if I had to take my best guess, I would say NO! Frankly I dont think the Earth could care much what we say or think. This is just my best guess, buy hey I could be wrong…its just that I am more inclined to look for scientific reasons in the now-time as the basis for an event rather than assume that people who lived thousands of years ago would be able to pick the day and hour of our doom with little more than their mythological intuition( which though I truly respect for its insight, I have some reservations about its precision.)
Ok is this just a fluke then? Is the Earths recent activity just a random phenomenon? Well, to be honest I really think everything is Random in one way or other, and there is always the possibility that what is happening is “Random” ah but then what do we mean by “Random”?
Well, we really dont know most of the time. That is what may seem Random to you and me, might just be not so Random to someone else who actually understands whats going on! Thus you fall down, a bird lands on your head and leaves you with a present on your nose, and then later that night you win the lottery. Random? Perhaps, or perhaps not. Perhaps you just dont know what ties these events together. LOL
Now lets get to the meat and potatoes(or granola bar) of this post. Are these violent seismic events we are seeing due to something more than just an accidental coincidence of some phenomenon or other? Are these events due to the Climate change?
Since 1995 or thereabouts, we have seen the Soufriere Hills volcano erupt on the island of Montserrat and has continued erupting since that time. In 1995 we also began to realize that the climate was getting a lot warmer lately. The weather too has pretty much continued getting warmer since then also. Later we had some violent movements of the Earth. In 2004 we had the great Christmas Tsunami. And since that time the Pacific plate has been quite active, with Earthquake after Earthquake. No one can say that having a violent Earthquake once or twice a week is within average expectations. It is not.
Geologists have proposed the theory that Climate Change is melting glaciers and thus loosening the crust, causing various reactions in the crust which are resulting in a higher frequency of Earthquakes. But is that really the cause?
There is good reason to believe that there is a very close relationship between the climate and the core dynamics of the Earth. A rising heat wave from the core is almost certain to cause an increase in Earthquake activity as well as warm the ocean temperatures and ultimately result in a warmer climate.
There is little reason to doubt that a rise in ocean temperatures would not warm the climate. All we have to do is look at England and San Francisco to see the effects of a warmer ocean temperature. Imagine a heat wave rising from the core and imagine the effects of such a wave upon the surface. There is more to this of course, but the simple proposition often carries the most weight.
Certainly we can also say that a build-up of Carbon Dioxide could easily cause a build-up of heat in the subsurface of the lithosphere. There is no reason to assume that the greenhouse effect that keeps temperatures warmer on the surface would have no effect on the layers below. Infrared radiation that fails to escape the upper levels of the atmosphere will force the rise in temperature of layers below the surface as well. Like a man who is wearing an overcoat who happens to walk in out of the cold and into a very warm room. Sooner or later, he will have to take his coat off for he will experience the rise in temperature at the core of his body. Well why should that not be the case with the Earth? If the climate becomes warmer, why should the core not experience that rise in temperature? Ah..and if it does, what then?
Could such a rise in core temperature result in excess seismic activity? Could it cause more Earthquakes, more volcanic activity? Do I dare say that there is a strong possibility that these two phenomena, i.e. the rise in climate temperature, and the rise in core temperature would actually amplify each other, as may have happened during the cretaceous period. The rise in Carbon Dioxide caused by volcanic activity may well have amplified the volcanic activity by warming the core, or rather causing a heat build-up in the sub-surface of the Earth. Thus as the Volcanoes erupted, more Carbon Dioxide built up in the atmosphere, but this caused a build-up in heat below the surface, and on went the cycle until it resulted in the catastrophic Indian traps event, which likely terminated the Dinosaurs(though it is quite possible that a bolide collision may have added to that drama.)
Could it be that a Carbon Dioxide build up is now aggravating a heat build-up in the core? Thus a man made event is causing increased seismic activity as well? Though this is possible, and not to be dismissed it seems unlikely that we could influence the core in this way, unless it really does not take much to do this. The Earth could be very well balanced to very high tolerance meaning that the slightest imbalance may cause violent reactions to occur. Thus as Carbon Dioxide built up due to Human activity it caused a rise in climate temperature which caused a rise in sub-surface temperatures. Which may now be resulting in increased seismic activity. Is this possible? Yes. We really dont know all that much about how well tuned our planet really is. We are only now beginning to realize how well orchestrated systems on the Earth really are. How a small disturbance here can often cause gigantic repercussions a little further down. We should not underestimate the damage that burning so much of the word’s hydrocarbon reserves in so short a period may do to the entire system! This should not be underestimated.
Unfortunately, the conclusion is little more than a cautionary warning. We dont know which came first. Is it the egg, the build up in man-made carbon dioxide that has caused the climate and possibly the core temperature dynamics to change, or is it the chicken which came first? Is it the case that a rise in core temperature might have prevented the Earth from processing the excess carbon dioxide build up in the first place and thus amplified the effects of this man made phenomenon? We really cannot conclude here what the ultimate truth might be.
Moreover, we cannot even conclude that the climate change is in fact affecting the dynamics of core heat, or whether the core heat dynamics are affecting the climate change. However, it is clear, that a rise in core temperature would in fact have a significant effect on the climate. This is an almost certain conclusion. If as heat radiates from the core to the surface it experiences an expected expansion due to the lower density at the surface layers, there is little question but this would have an effect on the surface temperature and that it would in this way likely have an effect on the levels of carbon dioxide and possibly methane in more extreme instances(Permian extinction.)
In the end, we cannot know exactly what we are experiencing today. Whether we are seeing a climate change which is influencing seismic events, or whether we are seeing seismic events influence climate change, or aggravate the effects of man-made activities, but what we can be certain of is that what we dont know, can kill us. For better or for worse, it is in our interest to tread upon this Earth, our dearest mother, most tenderly, and with the greatest of respect, and love.
A warning to the wise: What we dont know, can hurt us. A little speculation here and there-a delineation of the most likely possibilities-might help us go down the right path by giving us enough understanding to identify it, if and when we come to it.