Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards, edited by Bill McGuire and Mark Maslin. Wiley-Blackwell, Oxford, 2013. No. of pages: xiii+311. Price: UK£75.00. ISBN 978-0-470-65865-9 (hardback).
Article first published online: 25 FEB 2014
Copyright © 2014 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.
Special Issue: Triassic tectonics and mineral systems (Part 2)
Volume 49, Issue 6, pages 654–655, November-December 2014
How to Cite
2014), Climate Forcing of Geological Hazards, Geol. J., 49, 654–655, doi: 10.1002/gj.2553(
- Issue published online: 14 NOV 2014
- Article first published online: 25 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Received: 5 FEB 2014
- Manuscript Accepted: 5 FEB 2014
Volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and submarine mass movements have not been the focus of discussions on hazards associated with a changing climate. In the reviewer's experience, discussion on links between climate change and geological hazards is often limited to possibilities of increases in mass movements such as landslides and rock falls, due to increased precipitation. Indeed, the geo-hazards community has been under-represented, if not excluded, in discussions on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction which have focussed more on hydro-meteorological hazards. The research presented in this volume, however, suggests that any restriction of the discussion on the effects of climate change to such hazards risks ignoring the possibility of other potentially serious threats.
The book reviews research on climate change as a driver for geological hazards. Volcanic and seismic activity, mass movement, tsunamis and gas hydrate releases are all presented as possible responses of the earth to changes in its climate. Evidence from the end of the Last Glacial Maximum through the Pleistocene and Holocene is reviewed, and the case is presented for a link between melting of continental ice sheets, rapid sea-level rise and fault rupture, volcanic eruptions, and submarine and sub-aerial mass movements.
Climate change projections and possible implications for geo-hazards in high latitude regions, other mountain regions and volcanic landscapes are discussed. Possible links between El Nino and earthquake activity are explored as are climate control of submarine mass failures which could act as tsunami sources.
Uncertainties associated with data and analyses are discussed and many authors call for more research to better understand the hazardous phenomena, their relationships and the timescales over which some of these hazardous processes will occur. The current state of knowledge does not permit a link of cause and effect to be made between climate change and an increase in the frequency of occurrence of geological hazards, but the evidence suggests that the relationship between climate change and geo-hazards should be included in discussions on disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation.
This volume represents a good compilation of the current state of research on climate forcing of geo-hazards. Outside of Academia, the disaster risk reduction and climate change adaptation communities which are involved in medium and long term planning for the impacts of climate change should support the calls for more research into this topic, because the research presented has implications for future global travel, health, economic activity and land use and physical planning. Further, this book convincingly demonstrates the need for greater inclusion of the geoscience research community in discussions on climate change adaptation and disaster risk reduction planning.