Melting glaciers could be triggering a ripple effect of natural disasters that culminates in massive tsunamis, according to new research. Ice provides support for rocky slopes, and as temperatures rise and this ice retreats it is increasing the risk of hazardous landslides. This problem is likely to be exacerbated along the icy coastlines of Greenland, Patagonia and Norway, where huge chunks of rock smashing into the water can create towering waves. Similar events have already taken place. One slope that collapsed on Alaska’s Tyndall Glacier in 2015 sent 180 million tonnes of rock into the neighbouring fjord. This resulted in a tsunami with a wave runup – the extent to which the water rushes up the surrounding coast – nearly 200m high – one of the highest ever recorded. Such events pose a threat that extends far beyond the normal range of a mere landslide. While the Tyndall landslide covered an area over a mile from its original source, a new study has revealed the tsunami’s devastation stretched more than 12 miles.
Independent 6th Sept 2018 read more »