Climate Change And Current Geological Period

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Introduction Climate change Climate is the term used to describe the average atmospheric conditions such as temperature, rainfall, ice cover, wind speed and wind direction of a region over a long time period exceeding 10 years. Therefore climate change is used to describe the fluctuation of average atmospheric conditions. The earth has always gone through periods of climate change and the current geological period is referred to as the Holocene. The Holocene period accounts for the last 11 700 years and is believed to be an interglacial epoch, which is a period of warming in an overall era of cooling. Within the last 11 700 years the earths atmosphere has continued with this overall warming trend with an increase in the speed of warming within the last 40 years. This is shown in figure one below, this graph shows the global land temperature anomalies from the years 1880 to 2014. From observing this image you can clearly see a dramatic increase in temperature since mid 1970s, in the last 40 years there has been more temperature variation than the previous 94 years. Figure 1 - Global Land Temperature Anomalies, January – December (2014) National Climate Data Centre http://www.ncdc.noaa.gov/cag/time-series/global Climate forcing factors Both natural and man-made factors can have an influence on the globes climate causing it to change. Natural causes include tectonic processes, orbital processes, albedo and strength of sun. These factors have been the contributors to
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