Natural Causes Of Climate Change Notes Essay

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Solar output Energy from the sun is called solar radiation. It arrives in the form of short-wave radiation. Not all of the radiation reaches the Earth – some is lost as it is scattered, absorbed and reflected by the atmospheres gases, liquids and solids. Solar radiation which eventually reaches the Earth’s surface is called insolation. Some of this radiation is immediately reflected back by white surfaces such as snow and ice. The reflectivity of a surface is termed as its albedo. The oceans and rainforests have low albedos which mean they reflect a small amount of solar radiation whereas deserts, ice and clouds have relatively high albedos. The Earth’s albedo is about 4%.
Heat is transferred back to the atmosphere from the Earth’s surface as terrestrial radiation. This takes the form of long-wave radiation. Another heat transfer process involves latent heat. During evaporation water changes from a liquid to a gas – the heat used in this process is stored as latent heat. When condensation takes place, the gas is converted to water droplets and clouds, releasing the latent heat. Once in the atmosphere gases and liquids absorb the long – wave terrestrial radiation. This heats the lower atmosphere and is known as the greenhouse effect.
Sunspots are huge magnetic storms that are seen as dark (and cooler) areas on the Sun's surface. ome scientists correlate the Little Ice Age of 1350 to 1850 with a reduction in solar output. Altitude of the land insolation heats the surface of the land which warms the air above by conduction & convection. As higher land is further away from heat source, the main mass of land heated by insolation is cooler. Density of air decreases with height adding to cooler effect. 6.4 degrees per 1000m. If temp increase with height it is a temp inversion.
Altitude of the sunAt higher latitudes the heat energy from sun has to pass through more atmospheres so more heat energy is lost to absorption or scattering. Proportion of land & seaLand and sea react differently to insolation. Land heats up quicker than sea. Water has a greater specific heat capacity which means it requires twice as much energy to raise 1kg of water by 1 degree than it does for land. But oceans retain heat for longer.
Variation in orbit The Earth’s orbit around the sun is an ellipse, but over a 95,00 year cycle it oscillates from being elliptical to circular. When the orbit is most…