The Earth’s climate is dynamic and characterised by trends, aberrations and quasi-periodic oscillations varying over a broad range of time-scales , which are governed by external (extraterrestrial …
The Earth’s climate is dynamic and characterised by trends, aberrations and quasi-periodic oscillations varying over a broad range of time-scales , which are governed by external (extraterrestrial systems) and/or internal(ocean, atmosphere and land system). Trends are largely controlled by plate tectonics, and thus to change gradually on million year time scale. Aberrations occur when the certain thresholds are passed and are manifested in the geological record as the unusual rapid (less than a few thousands of years) or extreme change in climate. The quasi-periodic oscillations are mostly astronomically paced; they are driven by astronomical perturbations that affect the earth’s orbit around the sun and the orientation of earth’s rotation axis with respect to its orbital plane. These perturbations are described by the three main astronomical cycles: eccentricity, precession and obliquity, which together determine the spatial and seasonal pattern of insolation received by the earth , eventually resulting in climatic oscillations of ten to hundreds of thousands of year .Sun being the main source of energy for the earth system controls the climate of it. Variation in solar activity and cosmic ray intensity has direct influence over climatic features such as cloudiness, temperature and rainfall . Volcanic eruptions also force all elements of the climatic systems up to a varying degree but producing long term climatic signals in the ocean. The cumulative volcanic cooling effect at present offsets about one third of anthropogenic warming .Other than these causes paleoclimatologists also relates the past climate changes with movement of solar system, interplanetary dusts and influence of asteroids.However the recent variability in climate what earth is experiencing is unlikely due to any of the individual above factors rather it is due to the compound effect of complex interactions of all the natural as well as anthropogenic forcings.
1. J. C. Zachos, M. Pagani, L. Sloan, E. Thomas, K. Billups, Science 292 (2001) 686-693.
2. G. Kukla, Nature (London) 253, 600 (1975).
3. J. D. Hays, J. Imbrie, N. J. Shackleton, Science 194 (1876) 1121-1132.
4. N. Marsh, H. Swensmark, Space Sci. Rev. 94 (2000) 215-230.
5. T. L. Delworth, V. Ramaswamy, G. L. Stenchikov, Geophys. Res. Lett. 32 (2005) L24709.
6. K. Fuhrer, E. W. Wolf, S. J. Johnsen, J. Geophys. Res. 104(D24) (1999) 31043-31052
7. P. Hut, W. Alvarez, W. P. Elder, T. Hansen, E. G. Kauffman, G. Keller, E. M. Shoemaker & P. R. Weissman, Nature Vol. 329, 10 September, 1987