Physics Van 3-site Navigational Menu

Physics Van Navigational Menu

Q & A: global climate history

Learn more physics!

Most recent answer: 10/15/2011
Q:
is global warming a first time occuring event or it is in a series of events that are opperating on earth , since on earth before man their had been many periods of glacial ages and as well as warm periods , and the earth is foolowing a same trend today. in tamil nadu india thier are some places which had been under waters prevously , so what is the reality about this
- ilyas (age 16)
kashmir
A:
The climate has indeed been through many changes in the past. However, it seems to have been rather stable for the last 12,000 years, the period in which human civilizations have thrived. When the climate has changed rapidly in the past, it has caused many species to go extinct. In the history of our own species, it seems that there were some major die-offs caused by rapid climate changes.

The current rapid warming of the earth is clearly due almost entirely to human activity, mostly dumping CO2 and methane into the atmosphere. Although so far this warming has not been an enormous problem, the expected additional change as we continue to dump more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere will be a serious problem. It's very rare for large climate changes to happen quickly, and most species cannot adapt to major rapid change. Climate change and other effects of human activities (ocean acidification, forest clearing, etc.) are creating one of the largest extinction events in the history of the earth. It is hard to estimate what the effects will be for our own species.

Mike W.



(published on 10/15/2011)

Follow-up on this answer.