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Climate Change Essay

1606 words - 7 pages

Climate change
Climate change is the change in the pattern of weather in areas overtime. The climates of the world have been changing over the years on average.
I. Temperatures have increased
II. The amount of rainfall experienced in various regions is also becoming less, leading to desertification.
III. The snow on mountain peaks is melting slowly due to increase in temperatures.
IV. The climate is also becoming unpredictable with rising cases of floods and hurricanes.
These changes have been caused by mainly human factors such as:
a) Industrial activities which lead to smog in the atmosphere.
b) Mining activities which leads to increased to smog in the atmosphere.
c) ...view middle of the document...

III. Discovery of fossils of tropical plants in form of coal deposits in Antarctica has justified that once the frozen land in the past was situated near the equator where the climate was tropical, with swamps and plenty of lush vegetation.
The continents we know today were formed when the land mass began slowly to drift apart, millions of years back. This drift also had an influence on the climate because it changed;
a) The landmass
b) Their position
c) The position of water bodies.
The separation of the landmasses changed the flow of ocean currents and winds which affected the climate. The drift is going on even today
Volcanoes
When a volcano erupts, it throws out large quantities of sulphur dioxide gas, dust ash and water vapour into the atmosphere. The gases and dust particles partially block the incoming rays of the sun from reaching the earth. The sulphur dioxide gas reacts with water vapour in the atmosphere to form a bright layer in the upper atmosphere.
This bright layer reflects back some of the Suns’ rays into space. This reduces the amount of hear reaching the earth leading to cooling. This reduction of the earth heat may bring about climate changes on the affected parts of the earth.
The earth’s tilt
The earth makes one full rotation around the sun each year. The earth is tilted at an angle of 23.5° to the perpendicular plane of its orbit path. For one half of the year when it is summer, the northern hemisphere tilts towards the sun. In the other half when it is winter, the earth is tilted away from the sun. if there was no tilt we would not have experienced seasons. Changes in the tilt of the earth can affect severe seasons. More tilt will result to warmer summers and colder winter; less tilt will result to cooler summers and milder winters.
The earth’s orbit is somehow oval, which means that the distance between the earth and the sun varies over the course of a year. We usually think of the earth’s axis as being fixed, after all, it always seems to point towards the North Pole or pole star (Polaris). Actually, it is not quite constant; the axis does over at a rate of a little more than a half-degree each century. So Polaris has not always been and will not always be the star pointing to the North. This gradual change in the direction of the earth’s axis, called precession is responsible for changes in the climate.
Ocean currents
The ocean is a major component of the climate system. They cover about 71% of the earth and absorb about twice as much of the sun’s radiation as the land surface or atmosphere. Ocean currents move vast amounts of heat across the planet-roughly the same amount as the atmosphere does. But ocean currents are surrounded by land masses, so heat transport through the water is through channels.
Winds push horizontally against the sea surface and drive ocean currents patterns. Certain parts of the world are influenced by ocean currents more than others. For example the warm current along Norwegian...

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