Climate Change-lecture_20

What factors govern climate distance to the sun the

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What factors govern climate? Distance to the sun : The properties of the earth’s orbit are variable. Cyclic variations occur in the shape of the orbit, the inclination of the earth’s axis , and in the direction of that axis; These changes may be responsible for ice ages . (picture on moodle- shape of the orbit and inclination of the axis and the direction of the axis) Sun’s power output; Changes by 0.1 percent with a cycle lasting 11 years Sunspots corresponds to a higher power output Unclear connection to climate variations (picture on moodle) We have no control over orbital and solar variations. Earth’s albedo: The fraction of solar energy reflected back into space. Changes in the land use, shrinking ice coverage, and increased atmospheric dust all contribute to changing planetary albedo.
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A decreasing albedo means that the earth is becoming more efficient at absorbing solar energy. (picture of ice coverage on the world’s view from space). Composition of the atmosphere: Increased concentrations of greenhouse gases increase the atmosphere’s efficiency at trapping the infra-red radiation; Enhances the greenhouse effect. (picture- the atmosphere is opaque at these wavelengths(in the far infra red region) The earth’s steady state: Earth has two major component: its surface and atmosphere.
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