Causes of Climate Change

  • Created by: Emma
  • Created on: 27-12-12 20:01
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  • Causes of climate change
    • Global Warming - enhanced greenhouse effect
      • GHG Emissions e.g; CO2, Methane, Ozone, Water Vapour, Nitrous Oxide
        • Burning fossil fuels releases CO2
          • Causes an increase in global temperatures
      • Too much GHG emissions = too much energy trapped = planet warms
      • Industrial Revoloution from 1750 - Caused increase in atmospheric CO2 from 280ppm -380ppm
    • Variations in solar output
      • Sunspots increase solar energy output
      • The no. of sunspots fluctuates over an 11 year cycle
      • Very Low sunspot activity
        • Cooling in the late 17th Century - 'little ice age'
    • Volcanic Eruptions
      • Major eruptions eject large quantities of material into atmosphere - ash, SO2
        • Creates phase of sulphate aerosols reflecting radiation
          • Krakatoa - 1883 - global temps fell by 1 degree
    • Variations in Orbits
      • Molankovitch  Cycle
      • Stretch
        • Change from circular orbit to an eliptical orbit and back again about every 96000 years
          • Changes amount of energy from sun at different times of the year
            • Eliptical Orbit currently which means it is closer to the sun in Jan and further away in July
      • Tilt
        • Changes between 21.8 and 24.4 degrees over a cycle of 41000 years
          • Currently at 23.5
            • Tilt changed = different amounts of energy at different latitudes = change in global climate
      • Wobble
        • Cycle of 22000 years
          • Earth closer to sun in jan, winter in N.Hemisphere is mild and summer is cool
            • Seasons eventually swap over
    • Greenhouse Gas Emissions
      • Greenhouse effect is when the gases absorb outgoing energy to warm the planet


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