Causes of climate change What is the most important cause of climate change?
Natural Causes When one examines the natural causes for climate change it becomes quite apparent that none of these can explain the modern day climate change. Tectonic-Scale Climate Change Through a process known as chemical weathering, rainwater combines with CO2 gas in the air and forms carbonic acid.
Carbonic acid "attacks" the silicate bedrock and creates carbon-containing ions that are carried to the ocean by rivers.
This carbon is ultimately stored in the shells of marine plankton. When marine plankton die, they fall to the sea floor where their carbon gets buried in the sediment. Therefore, chemical weathering removes atmospheric carbon and causes a cooler climate. During the process of plate tectonics the sea floor spreads.
As the sea floor spreads, sediment containing carbon is forced into the earth's interior by a process known as subduction and is melted. When magma rises and is ejected by volcanoes, the carbon is released back into the air.
During increased periods of plate tectonics more volcanism there are higher levels of CO2 in the atmosphere and the climate warms. Approximately 55 million years ago, India slammed into Asia and began to build the Himalayan Mountains.
These mountains are still rising today. Due to the massive amount of material being uplifted by this collision, chemical weathering rates over the past 55 million years have been very high resulting in a gradual tectonic cooling since that time.
These climate changes are the result of changes in the shape of the orbit of Earth around the sun and also the change of the tilt of Earth over time. The cycle is often referred to as the Milankovic Cycle named after Serbian engineer and mathematician Milutin Milankovic who proposed the theory.
Is Current Warming Natural? In Earth’s history before the Industrial Revolution, Earth’s climate changed due to natural causes not related to human activity. Most often, global climate has changed because of variations in sunlight. Natural Causes of Climate Change. Orbital Changes. Milankovitch cycles over the past 1 years. While more sunspots may contribute to warmer global climate, less sunspots appear to be associated with a cooler global climate. About years ago, there was a period of reduced solar activity. This was called the Little Ice Age. When one examines the natural causes for climate change it becomes quite apparent that none of these can explain the modern day climate change. Tectonic-Scale Climate Change (Millions of Years): Figure (Ruddiman, ) shows how carbon is cycled into and out of the atmosphere by plate tectonics over millions of years.
The tilt of the Earth varies between This change in tilt causes long-term variations in the amount of seasonal radiation received on Earth, especially at higher latitudes.
Increased tilt amplifies the seasonal differences while decreased tilt reduces the seasonal differences. When the Earth is closest to the sun it is at the perihelion position and when Earth is farthest away it is at the aphelion position.
The tilt of the Earth is much more important than the distance to the sun in fact present day Earth is actually 3 million miles closer to the sun in January. However, when the tilt is at a minimum and the Earth is at aphelion, climate is at its coolest as shown by Figure 4.
Milankovic Cool Climate Ice Growth When the tilt is at a maximum and the Earth is at perihelion, climate is at its warmest as shown by Figure 4.Man-made Causes of Climate Change. We are accelerating the rate of climate change far past what the influence of the sun or any natural forcer could achieve.
Processes in our daily lives are expelling chemicals and foreign substances into the air that affect and increase the natural greenhouse gases, which then absorb more energy from the sun.
Natural and human causes of climate change. Processes or activities that cause climate change are generally refered to as climate forcing processes. The earth receives energy solely from the sun, in the form of light and ultraviolet (UV) radiation, and releases . An easy to understand guide on the causes of Climate Change.
Summarising the Human causes and natural causes. With quotes from The Hadley Centre and other authorities on . In addition to natural causes of climate change, changes internal to the climate system, such as variations In ocean currents or atmospheric circulation, can also influence the climate for short periods of time.
The natural causes are believed to even out eventually and are not considered to be responsible for climate change. However, the anthropogenic causes are believed to be the main causes of the change in climate from one period to the other. In general, climate changes prior to the Industrial Revolution in the s can be explained by natural causes, such as changes in solar energy, volcanic eruptions, and natural changes in greenhouse gas (GHG) concentrations.  Recent climate changes, however, . Most climate scientists agree the main cause of the current global warming trend is human expansion of the "greenhouse effect" 1 — warming that results when the atmosphere traps heat radiating from Earth toward space. Certain gases in .
The climate change related to individual eruptions is, however, short-termed compared to other natural influences. The temperature anomaly caused by a single volcanic eruption is unlikely to persist and lead to significant long-term climatic changes.
Natural changes in reflectivity, like the melting of sea ice, have contributed to climate change in the past, often acting as feedbacks to other processes.
Volcanoes have played a noticeable role in climate.