Our planet’s climate is remarkably stable, and has remained in a narrow, liveable, range for almost 4 billion years. The key appears to lie in the interplay between plate tectonics, carbon dioxide and the oceans (see “The Earth’s thermostat”). … This cycle turns out to be an extremely effective thermostat.
What keeps Earth stable and cool?
Greenhouse gases keep our planet livable by holding onto some of Earth’s heat energy so that it doesn’t all escape into space. … Just as too little greenhouse gas makes Earth too cold, too much greenhouse gas makes Earth too warm.
How does Earth regulate its climate?
Earth regulates this greenhouse gas through weathering. … Heat speeds up chemical reactions, causing rocks and rainwater to draw down carbon dioxide levels more rapidly, thereby cooling the planet faster. Cold temperatures slow down this process, preventing the planet from getting too chilly.
Is the climate system stable?
Stable: Earth’s climate system is very stable. Global warming will have little or no effects.
What is Earth’s climate?
Earth is able to support a wide variety of living beings because of its diverse regional climates, which range from extreme cold at the poles to tropical heat at the Equator. … Earth’s global climate is an average of regional climates. The global climate has cooled and warmed throughout history.
What are the three components that work together to regulate Earth’s climate?
Figure 2.1 represents a schematic of many of the important components of the earth system that govern and regulate climate. Broadly, there are three different regions of the planet: the atmosphere, the oceans and the land (or terrestrial) surface.
What is climate stability?
Based on Fordham, et al.44, we define a stable climate as having low rates of centennial change (i.e. low trend values), and an unstable climate as having high rates of centennial change.
What drives the climate system?
The climate system is powered by radiation from the sun, of which approximately 49% is absorbed by the Earth’s surface, and 20% is absorbed by the atmosphere (Kiehl & Trenberth 1997). This energy warms the planet, but the warming also causes Earth to start radiating energy back into space.
Is climate a type of weather?
Climate is the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, month-to-month or even year-to-year. A region’s weather patterns, usually tracked for at least 30 years, are considered its climate.
What affects the Earth’s climate?
Geological records show that there have been a number of large variations in the Earth’s climate. These have been caused by many natural factors, including changes in the sun, emissions from volcanoes, variations in Earth’s orbit and levels of carbon dioxide (CO2).
How does the atmosphere control weather?
The atmosphere flows like a fluid with winds generated by temperature differences caused by a variety of factors, including incident and reflected sunlight. These winds collect moisture from the oceans and, when clouds form in regions of appropriate temperature and air pressure, drop the moisture back to the ground.