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Climate Change

Climate change

Climate change is the change in the average climate or climate over a long period. The change is most clearly manifested in an increase or decrease in the average temperature, changes in the prevailing wind direction and in the water cycle and, therefore, in the clouds and the amount of precipitation on the earth.

These changes have an impact on desertification, wetlands, river floods that flow beyond its banks and the size of ice sheets and glaciers. In the long term, climate changes also have an impact on sea currents, sea level and seawater salinity.

Manifestations of climate change

Climate is the state of the lower atmosphere at a given time, in a given place. Climate is a chaotic nonlinear dynamic system that can be predicted on average. The climate includes indicators such as average temperature, rain, sunny days and other variables that can be measured in any particular place. However, processes that can affect the weather are taking place on Earth.

Ice formation

Glaciers are recognized as one of the most sensitive indicators of climate change. They increase significantly in size during climate cooling and decrease during climate warming. Glaciers grow and melt due to natural changes and under the influence of external influences. In the last century, glaciers failed to regenerate enough ice during winters to recover ice losses during the summer months.

The most significant climatic processes in the last million years are the change in the glacial and interglacial epochs of the current ice age, due to changes in the Earth's orbit and axis.

Global ocean volatility

For decades, climate change may be due to the result of the interaction of the atmosphere and the oceans. Many climatic fluctuations, as well as the oscillations of the North Atlantic and the Arctic, are partly due to the ability of the oceans to accumulate thermal energy and move this energy to different parts of the ocean. On a larger scale, thermohaline circulation occurs in the oceans, which plays a key role in the redistribution of heat and can significantly affect the climate.

Climatic memory

In a more general aspect, the variability of the climate system is a form of hysteresis, that is, this means that the current state of the climate is not only a consequence of the influence of certain factors, but also the entire history of its state.

For example, in ten years, a lake's droughts partially dry out, plants perish and the area of ​​deserts increases. These conditions, in turn, cause less heavy rains in the years after the drought. Therefore, climate change is a self-regulating process, since the environment responds in some way to external influences and, by changing, can influence the climate.

Climate change factors

Climate changes are caused by changes in the Earth's atmosphere, processes that occur in other parts of the Earth, such as the oceans, glaciers, as well as, in our time, the effects associated with human activities.

Impacts on climate change caused by human presence

In some cases, the causal relationship between human actions and climate change is direct and unambiguous. For example, with the effect of irrigation on temperature and humidity. Several hypotheses of human influence on the climate have been discussed for many years

The main current problems are: the increasing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere due to the combustion of fossil fuels, aerosols in the atmosphere that affect its cooling and the cement industry. Other factors, such as land use, ozone depletion, animal husbandry and deforestation, also affect the climate.

Natural factors that affect climate change

  • Tectonic bales For long periods of time, the movements of tectonic plates move continents, form oceans, create and destroy mountain ranges, that is, they create a surface on which the climate exists. Recent studies show that tectonic movements exacerbated the conditions of the last ice age: approximately 3 million years ago, the North and South American plates collided, forming the Isthmus of Panama and closing the routes for direct mixing of the waters of the Atlantic and Pacific oceans.
  • Solar radiation. The sun is the main source of heat in the climate system. Solar energy, converted into heat on the Earth's surface, is an integral component that forms the Earth's climate. If we consider a long period of time, then, in this framework, the Sun becomes brighter and releases more energy in the form of solar radiation, since it develops according to the main sequence. This slow development affects the Earth's atmosphere. It is believed that, in the early stages of Earth's history, the Sun was too cold for the water on Earth's surface to be liquid.
  • Milankovitch cycles. During its history, the planet Earth regularly changes the eccentricity of its orbit, as well as the direction and angle of its axis, which leads to the redistribution of solar radiation on the Earth's surface. These changes are commonly called "Milankovitch cycles", they are predictable with great precision.
  • Volcanism A single volcanic eruption can affect the weather, causing a cooling period of several years. For example, the eruption of Pinatubo volcano in 1991 significantly affected the weather. Giant eruptions, which form the largest igneous provinces, occur only several times in a hundred million years, but they affect the climate for millions of years and cause species to die out. Initially, it was assumed that the cause of the cooling is the volcanic dust emitted into the atmosphere, since it prevents the solar surface from reaching the Earth's surface. However, measurements show that most of the dust is deposited on the Earth's surface for six months. Volcanoes are also part of the geochemical carbon cycle.
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Last review: February 18, 2020