Mankind faces catastrophic tsunami due to climate change: details

Dmitry IvancheskulLife

If global warming itself didn't seem too scary to you, scientists have found that climate change in Antarctica could result in huge natural landslides, leading to devastating tsunamis.

South America and New Zealand would be primarily at risk, but the natural disaster could wreak economic havoc throughout the world.

The details are told by the publication Talker, citing research data. Scientists made their conclusions based on data on underwater landslides that occurred tens of thousands of years ago.

Scientists believe that global warming could lead to huge submarine landslides in Antarctica, which could trigger tsunamis so powerful that they would cause deaths in at least South America, New Zealand and Southeast Asia.

The new study, published in the journal Nature Communications, was led by Dr. Jenny Gales, a professor of hydrography and ocean research at Plymouth University.

"Underwater landslides are a major geological hazard that can cause tsunamis, resulting in enormous loss of life. Landslides can also destroy infrastructure, including submarine cables, meaning that such events will have a wide range of economic and social consequences in the future," she stressed.

Gales argues that scientists now urgently need to study in greater detail the shifts that have occurred in the distant past in order for humanity to be prepared for the consequences that global warming can have.

According to preliminary data, they were able to establish that at the time of past large-scale landslides in Antarctica, the Earth's temperature was 3 degrees higher than it is now.

Another participant in the study, Professor Rob McKay, director of the Antarctic Research Centre at the University of Victoria in Wellington, New Zealand, said his team had been drilling in parallel with Gales' team to understand the effects of warming climate and oceans on the melting of Antarctic ice sheets in the past, but when they saw the huge ledges and landslides mapped, they realized how much climate change was associated with underwater landslides on this scale.

"We didn't expect to see this, and it's a potential hazard that certainly needs further study," McKay said.

For his part, Professor Jan Sverre Labberg of Norway's Arctic University noted that landslides have occurred not only in southern latitudes but also in northern latitudes, including the Antarctic and the Norwegian continental margin.

"More knowledge about these events in Antarctica will also be important in assessing underwater geological hazards off the Norwegian coast," he said.

OBOZREVATEL also previously told us that four countries could go underwater due to melting glaciers.

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