Earth’s Climate

How Does the Earth’s Climate Affect Human Life?

earth climate

The Earth’s climate system affects human life in many ways. For instance, changes in atmospheric circulation can directly impact human life through changes in the weather and crop yields. Wind-forced tidal surges and airborne dust can affect crops and human health. These changes can also be a contributing factor in the global energy balance.

Natural factors

Earth’s climate is influenced by various natural factors. The first factor is tectonics, which affects the movement of continents and oceans. These movements have profound effects on earth’s climate. For instance, changes in the position and size of continents can affect the flow of water in the oceans and the circulation of the atmosphere.

The other factor that affects earth’s climate is solar activity. The Sun gives off carbon dioxide, which is a natural greenhouse gas that warms the earth. Since human activities emit approximately 100 times more carbon dioxide than volcanoes, the earth’s temperature has been steadily rising. Other factors such as volcanic activity influence climate patterns, but their effects are relatively limited and episodic. The Earth’s orbit around the Sun also influences the balance of solar energy.

Another factor is land cover, which influences the amount of sunlight that reaches the planet. Darker areas absorb more sunlight, while lighter regions absorb less. The ocean, on the other hand, absorbs less heat than land. As a result, seawater releases heat gradually into the atmosphere.

Human influence

Human influence on Earth’s climate is the primary driver of a wide range of climate change effects. Although the natural cycles of Earth’s climate may redistribute heat in certain regions, they cannot explain the observed increase in the global mean temperature. Hence, climate models must focus on explaining observed changes in climate in terms of physical mechanisms. Further, these explanations should be consistent with long-term observed trends. In addition, human activities can explain observed climate changes without the need to include speculative or internal variability.

The Second Assessment Report of the IPCC concluded that the balance of evidence indicates a discernible human influence on Earth’s climate. This report influenced the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which aimed to reduce developed countries’ emissions by 5% by 2008-12. In 2007, the IPCC won the Nobel Peace Prize for its work in building knowledge about man-made climate change and developing policies and programs to counteract it.

Climate change

The human population has contributed billions of tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere, and this is causing the planet’s temperature to rise. This is changing the earth’s climate and affecting humans, animals, and agriculture. This change has several consequences for our planet, and we must start taking action now.

The impacts of climate change range from destroying agriculture, endangering food security, and accelerated erosion of coastal zones, to species extinction, a rise in sea levels, the spreading of vector-borne diseases, and more. The effects of climate change are far-reaching and will take centuries to undo.

There are a variety of ways to tackle climate change, but the best solution is collective action. This means that governments and companies must change their policies and practices. Individuals can do their part by choosing more sustainable practices.

Energy balance

Our earth’s climate is affected by the energy balance of the atmosphere. Human activities affect the balance of the atmosphere by increasing the concentration of greenhouse gases, which trap heat in the atmosphere and absorb outgoing radiation. In addition, changes to land surface composition and the amount of water vapor in the atmosphere enhance the warming effect. The net effect of these factors leads to an energy imbalance in the Earth’s climate.

There are three levels of the climate system in which this balance takes place: at the Earth’s surface where most solar heating occurs, at the edge of the atmosphere where sunlight enters the system, and in between the surface and atmosphere.

Cyclical variations

The Earth’s climate fluctuates cyclically, and a number of factors are involved. These factors include changes in CO2 concentrations, ocean temperature and salinity properties, volcanic activity, and variations in atmospheric-transmissivity. Other factors include the Sun’s energy output and Milankovitch orbital parameters.

Cyclical variations in earth climate occur naturally, and we need to understand why they occur. Understanding natural climate variations can help us understand the amplitude and scope of human-induced climate change. Climate cycles take place on multiple time scales, and are caused by nested physical mechanisms. This allows the climate to change rapidly and dramatically in a relatively short period of time.

Earth’s orbit around the Sun is the dominant cause of Earth climate change. It affects both the mean annual solar radiation at the top of the atmosphere, and the latitude distribution of incoming solar radiation. It also exerts primary control over the extent of continental ice sheets. However, it is not known whether these orbital changes have a significant impact on climate over the last millennia.