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A Warmer World Could Be A More Explosive One

If new research is to be believed, global warming may have an impact on volcanic eruptions. The largest ice cap in Iceland is disappearing at a rate of 5 cubic kilometers per year. Naturally, when ice disappears, the added weight it forced upon the crust below it disappears as well. As a result, this is increasing the rate at which the rocks under the ice sheet melt into magma. The thinning of ice over volcanic areas will also have another effect, one which is more widespread. As the amount of weight on top of the crust diminishes – or at the very least changes – subsequent geological stresses will also change and increase the chance of eruptions. “Under the ice’s weight, the crust bends and as you melt the ice the crust will bounce up again.” The shifting stresses could even cause eruptions in unexpected places. Rising sea-levels caused by melting ice caps will also increase volcanic activity. “We are going to see a massive increase in volcanic activity globally. If we look back at previous warm periods that is what happened.”
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