Global Climate change is a term used to describe a gradual increase or change within the average temperature of earth’s atmosphere and its oceans. Global climate change is a rising issue in today’s society. There are various factors as to why the climate is changing; the factors are both human and natural. The human activities that cause climate change are burning fossil fuels, driving cars, and deforestation. The human causes are widely discussed but nobody ever considers the natural causes. Natural causes that contribute to global climate change are animal and plant respiration, volcanic eruptions, and the melting of ice caps. Although human activity is a main cause we still need to consider the natural causes because they are a huge factor when it comes to Global climate change.
One natural effect of Global climate change is through animal and plant respiration. When a plant or an animal dies their bodies will decay into the ground. Once their bodies decay all of the C02 that was in their body is released into the atmosphere and the ground. The plants and animals that are buried deep underground will become fossil fuels millions of years later. Which is another leading cause of global climate change when humans burn them. All the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere from the death of an animal or plant causes climate change. Carbon dioxide is a green house gas, which is a gas that traps heat into the atmosphere. Green house gases are essential for human, animal, and plant life but the amount that we have on earth is negatively affecting our climate. The earth hasn’t held this much carbon for 420,000 years.
Another natural effect of global climate change is through volcanic eruptions. When a volcano erupts it releases aerosols, which are a cooling agent for earth. But the volcanoes also release carbon dioxide a green house gas. This may seem like it’s not a problem because the cooling will keep the heating in balance. But that’s not always the case, the cooling agent can leave our atmosphere and go into different layers of the earth. The further it goes into the layers determines how long it will take for the cooling to effect our atmosphere. For example, if the aerosols reach the stratosphere it can take years until it is released back onto the earth. While the release of co2 is an immediate effect because it’s trapped in the atmosphere.
Below in image one, there is a graph that shows the affect a volcano has on the earth. As you can see in 1975 before the volcano erupted earth’s temperature was significantly lower. But in the 1980’s before it fully erupted earth’s temperature was rising, due to co2 being released. But once the volcano fully erupted in 1991 temperatures have not been below the +.01 mark, but they are still dropping and rising. This up and down effect of the temperature has caused cold temperatures, which lead to crop failures, which in return lead to extreme famine in the North American region.
The last natural cause of global climate change that I will be discussing is the melting of ice caps. The melting of ice and snow seems like good thing because water is being absorbed back into our atmosphere, but in reality it isn’t a good thing at all. When the sun hits a bright surface, like snow it goes through a albedo process. The albedo of the snow causes 95% of the suns energy to be reflected. Below in image 2 it shows exactly how this process works. First the suns rays are reflected on to a surface to be reflected back into the space. But with all the snow melting the suns rays are being absorbed into the atmosphere causing the earth to heat up more.
Before I fully researched global, I thought it was an event that was strictly caused by humans. But from the information that was provided you can see that that isn’t the case at all. Natural causes of global climate change affect the earth in a very significant way. Although the human causes of global climate change do outweigh the natural causes some scientist believe that this is just a natural cooling and warming event that goes through.
Courtney from Study Moose
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