The main reason for the existence of climatic regions on our planet is the tilting of the Earth's vertical axes and the elliptic rotation of the Earth around the sun. This causes the amount of incoming solar radiation to vary throughout a year. As a result we have four seasons each lasting around 90 days. For a seasonal overview see this extra terrestrial irradiation image (opens in a new window).
As said, the orbit of the Earth around the sun is not a perfect circle, this too is causing variations in the seasons and weather. It is more like an elliptical and during January the Earth is closest to the sun (perihelion). And even this ellipse is also not stable causing more changes in the incoming solar radiation (insolation).
Also variations in the output of the sun (energy) will too have an effect on our climate in the long term.
In this text, and the previous article, we will delve a bit deeper to understand the result of all these variables and we will see the effects on our climate realizing that real climate science can never be settled as we learn more and more each day.
Shifting continents and the subsequent sea floor spreading cause a change in ocean currents (think El Niño and La Niña) influencing world wide climate. Volcanic eruptions are also a good example of tectonic movement, as you will usually find volcano's where two tectonic plates meet.
These volcanic eruptions emit enormous amounts of water vapor, ashes and gases in the atmosphere. The soot and ashes are able to block the sun, causing worldwide temperature drops and this really has its effect on our climate.
It is reasonably safe to say that the amount of man made CO2 in the atmosphere (about 3% of the total ~400 ppm, 0,0012% !) does not really contribute to any delay in radiating heat into space. Its just a tiny drop in the scheme of bigger things that are happening.
It has been proven once and for all: CO2 is fertilizing the planet. CSIRO research satellite measurements have shown that our planet has become greener than 30 years ago (source: ScienceDaily July 8, 2013 and Nasa Goddard April 26, 2016 ). This means more food for all the people we need to feed. Trying to reduce CO2 from our atmosphere is almost like committing genocide and should be illegal.
In 2009 the Sun came out of a solar minimum where the sun had 260 days and in 2010 had 51 days without any sunspots. A growing number of scientists are convinced that there is a correlation between the amount of solar spots and temperature on Earth. More papers now show that we can expect a cooling of 1 °C in some locations. In 2017 we went into the next minimum.
Click the graph for a larger and more readable image.
As you can see there is a strong relation between solar spots and the temperature on our planet and if the current trend continues we could see our global average temperatures drop by a half a degree (-0,5 °C) of even more.
If we would even look further back (400.000 years) we will see an even more disturbing fact: Most of the time our planet is in a frozen state. See image to the right, click the image to see an image of the timeline from Dryas to the present time. For a large image (3000px) click here.
In the top left corner of the image it can be seen that the temperature rises before CO2 levels increase. As already said: as with water vapor, warm air can hold more.
To establish the average on our planet we can take all temperature measurements over the years and draw them into a graph, as you see below. This gives us some insight on any trend in the change.
Looking at the image to the left (hover the mouse over it) we see two things: the top graph shows the average changes within +/- 1 degree and an exaggerated vertical axis. The bottom graph show the temperature from zero (0) to 30.
Both have the same temperature data, but which one looks scarier and which one shows common sense?
It is only the last couple of thousand years (since the last ice age) that we can enjoy a nice warm climate and it is in this period when the human race thrived and became successful. And to the AGW society I wish to say: do you prefer an ice age or nice warm temperatures?