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Significant climatic changes caused by quakes

Written by: Staff

Bhopal, Mar 17 (UNI) Two powerful earthquakes that struck North Macquaire island near New Zealand on December 23, 2004 and rattled northern Sumatra on December 26, 2004 have brought about significant climatic changes, a senior scientist has opined.

Madhya Pradesh Council of Science and Technology (MPCOST) Director General Janardan Negi has tried to link unseasonal rainfall in Madhya Pradesh and other parts of the country between March 1-9 and bone-chilling cold in northern parts during winter to these quakes.

Mr Negi told UNI here that North Macquaire quake of magnitude 8.1 and Sumatra quake of magnitude 9.1 released energy equivalent of about 50,000 megatons of TNT (or as many hydrogen bombs) besides creating longest fault-rupture of 1,200 km.

The Sumatra quake had triggered tsunami -- with 10 metre to 30 metre high waves -- releasing energy equivalent to 23,000 Hiroshima bombs.

Mr Negi said frictional energy released during the powerful quakes had heated lithosphere and warmed water besides raising the sea-level and increasing energy flow in atmosphere.

A continuous sequence of warm waters and the atmosphere following it lead to various incidents of thunderstorms and lightning during 2005. A phase of extreme cold weather and unseasonal rainfall started across the globe.

The Director General said many people died in rain-related incidents in the state due to unseasonal rainfall in the first week of March, while New Delhi recorded its lowest temperature in 70 years on January 8.

Srinagar's Dal Lake froze for the first time in a decade with mercury dipping to minus six degrees Celsius, while some districts in western Rajasthan recorded their lowest temperature in 30 years with temperature as low as minus three degrees in Churu district.

The scientist said significant changes were observed in various countries. Japan struggled to cope with record snowfall of the decade as above 10-ft snow piled up in various places.

China shivered under record low temperatures with temperature as low as minus five degree Celsius.

Sudden winter freeze gripped parts of northern Europe forcing to shut down Eiffel tower in Paris, while snowfall disrupted power supply in various parts of Germany and France.

Mr Negi felt that intensity of cold will increase in the coming years in view of these circumstances. Besides, the scientist community believes that global warming can lead to extreme winter conditions.


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