Climate change, a natural cycle? Yes, but not only

2023-08-18 06:03:02

External factors can affect the amount of energy that enters the system. For example, more solar activity brings more energy. It’s like turning the tap on more. If more energy comes to Earth, the climate warms up.

On the contrary, if the solar activity decreases or if the orbit of the Earth evolves and places our Planet on average farther from the Sun, then we will receive less energy. The climate will cool. Ice ages meet these parameters.

The Earth’s radiation balance: a major challenge

Solar activity and the Earth’s orbit are subject to cycles, which are inherently natural. So yes: natural cycles have important consequences on the evolution of the Earth’s global climate. But this conclusion does not say everything. Because it omits another important reality: CO2. With CO2 contained in our atmosphere also plays a role in this energy exchange system, which is exactly called the Earth’s radiation balance.

Indeed, the level of CO2 in our atmosphere determines how much heat can escape from the system. Exactly as if, in a sink, we acted on the diameter of the drain pipe. If there is less CO2, it is as if the pipe widens: more energy can escape and the Earth cools.

On the contrary, with more CO2 in the atmosphere, it is as if the pipe shrinks. Energy builds up in the system and the Earth heats up.

In conclusion, even if the climate obeys Also to natural cycles, by adding CO2 to the atmosphere, we reduce the diameter of the pipe : we therefore leave fewer opportunities for energy to escape from the system, which leads to global warming.

#Climate #change #natural #cycle

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