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The Romans grew used to minor earth tremors in the region; the writer Pliny the Younger writing that they "were not particularly alarming because they are frequent in Campania". In early August of 79, springs and wells dried up. Small earthquakes started taking place on 20 August, 79 becoming more frequent over the next four days, but the warnings were not recognised (it is worth noting the Romans had no word for volcano, and only a hazy concept of other similar mountains like Mount Etna, home of Vulcan), and on the afternoon of 24 August, a catastrophic eruption of the volcano started. The eruption devastated the region, burying Pompeii and other settlements. By coincidence it was the day after Vulcanalia, the festival of the Roman god of fire.
Taller Mountains Blamed on Global Warming, TooBy Ker Than, LiveScience Staff
posted: 04 August 2006 03:38 pm ET
The mountains in Europe are growing taller and melting glaciers are partly responsible, scientists say.
Heavy glaciers cause the Earth's crust to flex inward slightly. When glaciers disappear, the crust springs back and the overlaying mountains are thrust skyward, albeit slowly.
The European Alps have been growing since the end of the last little Ice Age in 1850 when glaciers began shrinking as temperatures warmed, but the rate of uplift has accelerated in recent decades because global warming has sped up the rate of glacier melt, the researchers say.