You know, because earthquakes are such a recent phenomenon.

(Grist) — So far, today’s tsunami has mainly affected Japan — there are reports of up to 300 dead in the coastal city of Sendai — but future tsunamis could strike the U.S. and virtually any other coastal area of the world with equal or greater force, say scientists. In a little-heeded warning issued at a 2009 conference on the subject, experts outlined a range of mechanisms by which climate change could already be causing more earthquakes, tsunamis, and volcanic activity. . . .

Scientists have known for some time that climate change affects not just the atmosphere and the oceans but the earth’s crust, but these effects are not widely understood by the public.

“In the political community people are almost completely unaware of any geological aspects to climate change,” said McGuire.

This means a world in which we are warming the earth by pumping greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere at a pace that is unprecedented in Earth’s history is also a world in which the consequences of climate change could come hard and fast, including tsunamis and earthquakes.

It’s often difficult to visualize what climate change-related disasters might look like, but the images pouring out of Japan are yet another reminder of the specter of storm surges supercharged by more powerful storms and rising seas, and even climate-change caused tsunamis. (All of America’s coastal cities are vulnerable to these impacts — including, in this powerful animation, New York City.) Right on the heels of Brisbane, Snowpocalypse and Australia’s record dust storms, we have yet another reminder of what an earth transformed by climate change earth could look like.