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Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Global Warming Causes Earthquake?

MSM (better labeled Old Media or OM) does not miss a chance to embarrass itself with such foolish assertions as this teaser: "Media Linking Killer Tsunami to Global Warming." The article goes on to actually link things like rising tides, pollution, and coral reef damage to tsunamis. OM would benefit from a short lesson. The word tsunami is of Japanese origin, made from combining the Japanese words for harbor, tsu, and wave, nami. A tsunami is literally a harbor wave. A tsunami is spawned when a deep undersea earthquake causes the floor of the ocean to shift rapidly. As the ocean floor falls or rises in response to tectonic activity in the earth's crust, the quake displaces vast amounts of water, millions of tons. As the titanic forces unleashed by the earth movement radiate and travel through the ocean they eventually run into shallow water. The energy displacement wave that is all but invisible in the open ocean is bunched up and the energy is forced towards the surface as the column of water available for it to travel through contracts with the receding depth. As the displacement wave zooms towards shore, a great pile of water is created by the force of the energy wave and it slams into beaches, often scouring coastlands clean and roaring many miles inland if the spawning earthquake was strong enough and the ocean floor dynamics channeled the energy wave to coastlands with the right topography. Basically a tsunami has two elements: an earthquake out at sea and coastlines that gradually slope into the sea.

Sir Isaac Newton summed it up in his third law, "For every action there is an equal and opposite reaction." So where is Global Warming connected here? At least on the planet I live on, earthquakes have been around for awhile, the cause of which is not even remotely linked to global warming. The gradual sloping of coastlines I believe has always existed as well, sorry, still no connection. Sadly, like the Newman nemesis on Seinfeld, there are those that will read a headline like this and shake their head while mumbling, "Bush"....