Is Japan a Global Warming Ticking Time Bomb?


After the devastating earthquake in Japan, many people are questioning whether global warming was a factor behind the tragedy. Politicians, environmentalists and scientists appear to be divided on the subject, with a number of prominent figures claiming that the tsunami and earthquake in Japan was a result of climatic change and that the devastation caused by these natural phenomenon’s could become far more frequent.

Staffan Nilsson, President of the Economic and Social Committee is one of the most prominent figures to suggest that climate change is responsible for the increasing number of environmental disasters. “Some islands affected by climate change have been hit. Has not the time come to demonstrate on solidarity not least solidarity in combating and adapting to climate change and global warming? Mother Nature has again given us a sign that that is what we need to do,” he said.

However, a number of other scientists have disagreed with Nilsson and many other environmental groups.  Dan Weiss, Director of Climate Strategy at the Center for American Progress, expressed his skepticism at the theory that global warming was responsible for the earthquake in Japan. “I am not a scientist, but I have never heard of a link between global warming and earthquakes,” said Weiss.

The majority of scientists do believe that global warming is having a significant impact on the environment. Yet, most experts in the field of environmental science have been wary in linking the tragedy in Japan to climate change. The earthquake has been described as a once in a thousand year event, but there is no concrete evidence to suggest that climate change was responsible for the earthquake and the tsunami which followed it.

“Global warming alarmists will exploit any natural disaster to promote their anti-fossil fuel agenda,” said Tom Borelli of the Free Enterprise Project.
Borelli added that climate change is a result of the “Global warming spin machine. First it’s global warming, then it’s climate change, now it’s probably tectonic instability — no doubt all caused by man,” he said.

The divide between fossil fuel lobbyists and environmental groups seems to be getting wider and it is likely that the debate over climate change and natural disasters will continue. However, there is no denying that most scientists agree that the increase in extreme weather patterns can be connected to manmade climate change.

Whether, it can be connected to the earthquake in Japan is very debatable. The majority of scientists have suggested that this was a natural occurrence and that it cannot be linked to global warming and climatic change like other weather patterns can, such as glacial melting, flooding and heat waves that are evident throughout the world.

Must credible scientists have concluded that these weather patterns can be linked to manmade climate change and have provided evidence to suggest that this is true. In the case of the earth quake in Japan there is very little evidence to suggest that climate change was responsible for the tragedy. However, the debate is likely to continue.

Photo Credit: BotmultichillT