Download The Britannica Guide to Climate Change by Encyclopedia Britannica PDF

By Encyclopedia Britannica

Climate switch is without doubt one of the such a lot arguable matters of our age. whereas scientists were staring at radical alterations within the earth’s atmosphere, politicians and activists argue the explanations and attainable results. The Britannica consultant to weather Change will discover the facts surrounding scorching subject matters just like the Kyoto contract, the environmental harm to the ice caps, Gaia, eco-friendly structure, and the influence of eco-friendly policies—including energy-saving gentle bulbs, carbon foot printing, and recycling. This booklet is an independent, entire, and available advisor to the indicators, debates, and recommendations to this key issue.

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CLIMATE CHANGE 33 As a result, the vertical temperature profile of the atmosphere can change, and this change can in turn influence phenomena such as the strength of the winter jet streams. Variations in Earth's orbit On a timescale of tens of millennia, the dominant radiative forcing of Earth's climate is associated with slow variations in the geometry of Earth's orbit about the sun. These variations include the precession of the equinoxes (a gradual change in the orientation of Earth's rotational axis, resulting in changes in the timing of summer and winter), occurring on a roughly 26,000-year timescale; changes in the tilt angle of Earth's rotational axis relative to the plane of Earth's orbit, occurring on a roughly 41,000-year timescale; and changes in the eccentricity (the departure from a perfect circle) of Earth's orbit, occurring on a roughly 100,000-year timescale.

458F) for each increase of 1 watt per square metre of radiative forcing. Cloud feedbacks It is generally believed that as Earth's surface warms and the atmosphere's water-vapour content increases, global cloud 36 CLIMATE CHANGE cover increases. However, the effects of clouds on near-surface air temperatures are complicated. In the case of low clouds, such as marine stratus clouds, the dominant radiative feature of the cloud is its albedo. Here any increase in low cloud cover acts in much the same way as an increase in surface ice cover: more incoming solar radiation is reflected and Earth's surface cools.

There is also the potential for increased methane release as a result of the warming of Arctic permafrost (on land) and further methane release at the continental margins of the oceans (a few hundred metres below sea level). 5 billion CLIMATE CHANGE 39 tons) of carbon. ] that could be converted into an equal amount of carbon dioxide if released) stored in Arctic permafrost and as much as 10,000 gigatons (10 trillion tons) of carbon equivalent trapped on the continental margins of the oceans in a hydrated crystalline form known as clathrate.

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