Causes of climate change?
Are humans (anthropogenic) the only cause to climate change?
- Anonymous7 years agoFavorite Answer
The Earth's climate can be affected by natural factors that are external to the climate system, such as changes in volcanic activity, solar output, and the Earth's orbit around the Sun. Of these, the two factors relevant on timescales of contemporary climate change are changes in volcanic activity and changes in solar radiation. In terms of the Earth's energy balance, these factors primarily influence the amount of incoming energy. Volcanic eruptions are episodic and have relatively short-term effects on climate. Changes in solar irradiance have contributed to climate trends over the past century but since the Industrial Revolution, the effect of additions of greenhouse gases to the atmosphere has been about ten times that of changes in the Sun's output.
Climate change can also be caused by human activities, such as the burning of fossil fuels and the conversion of land for forestry and agriculture. Since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, these human influences on the climate system have increased substantially. In addition to other environmental impacts, these activities change the land surface and emit various substances to the atmosphere. These in turn can influence both the amount of incoming energy and the amount of outgoing energy and can have both warming and cooling effects on the climate. The dominant product of fossil fuel combustion is carbon dioxide, a greenhouse gas. The overall effect of human activities since the Industrial Revolution has been a warming effect, driven primarily by emissions of carbon dioxide and enhanced by emissions of other greenhouse gases.
The build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has led to an enhancement of the natural greenhouse effect. It is this human-induced enhancement of the greenhouse effect that is of concern because ongoing emissions of greenhouse gases have the potential to warm the planet to levels that have never been experienced in the history of human civilization. Such climate change could have far-reaching and/or unpredictable environmental, social, and economic consequences.
Short-lived and long-lived climate forcers
Carbon dioxide is the main cause of human-induced climate change. It has been emitted in vast quantities from the burning of fossil fuels and it is a very long-lived gas, which means it continues to affect the climate system during its long residence time in the atmosphere. However, fossil fuel combustion, industrial processes, agriculture, and forestry-related activities emit other substances that also act as climate forcers. Some, such as nitrous oxide, are long-lived greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide, and so contribute to long-term climate change. Other substances have shorter atmospheric lifetimes because they are removed fairly quickly from the atmosphere. Therefore, their effect on the climate system is similarly short-lived. Together, these short-lived climate forcers are responsible for a significant amount of current climate forcing from anthropogenic substances. Some short-lived climate forcers have a climate warming effect ('positive climate forcers') while others have a cooling effect ('negative climate forcers').
If atmospheric levels of short-lived climate forcers are continually replenished by ongoing emissions, these continue to exert a climate forcing. However, reducing emissions will quite quickly lead to reduced atmospheric levels of such substances. A number of short-lived climate forcers have climate warming effects and together are the most important contributors to the human enhancement of the greenhouse effect after carbon dioxide. This includes methane and tropospheric ozone - both greenhouse gases - and black carbon, a small solid particle formed from the incomplete combustion of carbon-based fuels (coal, oil and wood for example).
Other short-lived climate forcers have climate cooling effects, most notably sulphate aerosols. Fossil fuel combustion emits sulphur dioxide into the atmosphere (in addition to carbon dioxide) which then combines with water vapour to form tiny droplets (aerosols) which reflect sunlight. Sulphate aerosols remain in the atmosphere for only a few days (washing out in what is referred to as acid rain), and so do not have the same long-term effect as greenhouse gases. The cooling from sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere has, however, offset some of the warming from other substances. That is, the warming we have experienced to date would have been even larger had it not been for elevated levels of sulphate aerosols in the atmosphere.
- 4 years ago
Considering that the beginning associated with 20th century, scientists have been observing a modification of the climate that cannot be attributed to virtually any associated with ‘natural’ influences of history only. This improvement in the climate, also known as global warming, has occurred faster than any other climate change recorded by humans and so is of great interest and importance to the human population.
- What do you think of the answers? You can sign in to give your opinion on the answer.
- Anonymous5 years ago
This Site Might Help You.
Causes of climate change?
Are humans (anthropogenic) the only cause to climate change?Source(s): climate change: https://tr.im/pBNWO
- Anonymous7 years ago
Do you remember the great ice ages of a few thousand years ago? The climate changed and became much colder. Ice built up in some places over a mile deep. Then global warming occurred. The ice began to melt, leaving vast inland seas in areas that are now deserts. There were very few people on the planet back then, and climate change happened anyway.
- SagebrushLv 77 years ago
Climates changed before Al Gore was born.
Mankind does not have enough collective power to change the climate. Climate change is a scam advanced by greedy power brokers.
Quote by Jim Sibbison, environmental journalist, former public relations official for the Environmental Protection Agency: "We routinely wrote scare stories...Our press reports were more or less true...We were out to whip the public into a frenzy about the environment."
Quote by Ottmar Edenhoffer, high level UN-IPCC official: "We redistribute de facto the world's wealth by climate policy...Basically it's a big mistake to discuss climate policy separately from the major themes of globalization...One has to free oneself from the illusion that international climate policy is environmental policy. This has almost nothing to do with environmental policy anymore."
Quote by Club of Rome: "In searching for a new enemy to unite us, we came up with the idea that pollution, the threat of global warming, water shortages, famine and the like would fit the bill....All these dangers are caused by human intervention....and thus the “real enemy, then, is humanity itself....believe humanity requires a common motivation, namely a common adversary in order to realize world government. It does not matter if this common enemy is “a real one or….one invented for the purpose."
Where has there been any climate change in let us say the last fifty years? Where I grew up is still the same as it was seventy years ago. Where I am now, it has the same climate that was here when Daniel Boone built Boonesboro. Plymouth Rock, MA has the same climate as when the pilgrims landed.
- Elmer98Lv 77 years ago
be more specific. climate over millions of years changes due to earth's orbit for example. Climate over a few years can be affected by large volcano eruptions which case temporary cooling, as do ocean cycles.
most of the warming over the last 150 years is due to increased CO2 and some land use changes- both human causes.Source(s): http://climate.nasa.gov/key_indicators/
- 7 years ago
No. Natural and the humans are them two causes of the climate change. The climate change can happen because of the natural disasters, but it is not very serious. The human causes can't controlled unless if the humans are not aware of it and don't try to reduce the causes. The global warming is the major problems with the climate change. The natural cause of the global warming is the water vapor, but the other causes such as high carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide etc. are produced because of the human activities on the earth.
- 5 years ago
The LEADING CAUSE OF CLIMATE CHANGE IS AGRICULUTRE, PEOPLE ARE NOT TALKING ABOUT THIS FOR A REASON BECAUSE COMPANIES DO NOT WANT PEOPLE TO STOP BUYING THEIR ANIMAL PRODUCTS, although fossil fuels takes a huge part in climate change. please do your research about this or watch this very informative documentary, cowpromise. Watch cowpromise for more information about this. YOU WILLL BE VERY GLAD YOU WATCHED IT AND WILL CHANGE THE WAY YOU THINK.