Climate Change

Climate change is an aspect of environmental science that has been studied throughout the centuries. There are a number of historical and scientific theories that suggest there is a link between climate change and human advancement from prehistoric to modern times.

Scientifically, the Earth as we know it is not static or constant. From the beginning of time, changes in the environment, and subsequently, the climate, have been normal, expected and experienced through the ages.

Many scientists believe that changes in the environment have varied through time, and there have been long periods of drastic transformation, as well as long periods of subtle transformation. Changes in the environment are seen in patterns as the moon revolves around the Earth, and the Earth revolves around the sun. These changes influence changes in tides and the seasons we experience on Earth. In addition to these rhythmical patterns, the Earth also experiences cyclical changes, all of which contribute to the concept of climate change. The idea of climate change stems from these environmental changes and has been highlighted as man's influence on the earth continues to increase.

Gases in the atmosphere, including the presence of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur, are said to influence climate change. Changes in the environment are caused by adaptations in biogeochemical cycles. This has occurred in the world through time and is related to the degree of presence of carbon, nitrogen and sulphur in the atmosphere.

Theories around climate change can be traced back to the 1800s from a theoretical and scientific perspective. Studies into the effects of climate change have been investigated in field and laboratory studies using a variety of methods. By using sophisticated methods, scientists are able to understand better the impact of climate change and how it will affect the planet. Studies highlight the negative causes and effects of climate change, and these studies enable communities to take preventive and reactive methods to ensure climate change does not have further detrimental effects on the environment.

In the 21st century, interest in climate change has grown as a number of environmental issues have been highlighted. Ozone depletion and the overall warming of the Earth have been at the top of the agenda for many individuals across the globe. Radical weather conditions and natural disasters have grown in media and public attention, and many of the reasons behind these changes are said to be related to climate change. Lately, the impact of climate change worries scientists and researchers as the Earth is feeling the effects of climate change. In order to prevent further issues, the public, government and the corporate community need to invest time and effort in making proactive changes for the environment. This effort is needed to preserve the Earth's current state as, if neglected, the impacts of climate change may worsen.

Scientists who focus on climate change often study past environmental change through anthropological methods. This enables scientists to learn from the past and gain insight on how to impact the future positively. Core to this research is the concept of rate of change. Understanding the pace at which climate change is accelerating is extremely important in determining if there is a significant increase and if it is possible to slow it down. It is also an important determinant in planning for the future and developing predictors for further climate change. To assist with planning, scientists often create models based on historical data to predict future outcomes. These futuristic models provide a foundation for understanding a variety of outcomes and project the ability to introduce new variables that can change said outcomes.

There are a variety of hypotheses on climate change ranging from those that believe that the rapid change in climate is cyclical, and Earth is currently experiencing a period of rapid change that will dissipate. On the other end of the spectrum, theorists and scientists believe that the immense changes Earth is experiencing at the moment are outside the norm and may cause significant damage to the Earth and the well-being of its inhabitants.

As the study into climate change progresses and evolves, further scientific insights based on historical data will be brought to the forefront in order to identify further change in the climate.

Selected full-text books and articles on this topic

Adapting to a Changing Environment: Confronting the Consequences of Climate Change
Tim R. McClanahan; Joshua E. Cinner.
Oxford University Press, 2012
The Long Thaw: How Humans Are Changing the Next 100,000 Years of Earth's Climate
David Archer.
Princeton University Press, 2010
Natural Environmental Change: The Last 3 Million Years
A. M. Mannion.
Routledge, 1999
The Great Ice Age: Climate Change and Life
R. C.L. Wilson; S. A. Drury; J. L. Chapman.
Routledge, 2000
The Little Ice Age: How Climate Made History 1300-1850
Brian Fagan.
Basic Books, 2000
Plows, Plagues, and Petroleum: How Humans Took Control of Climate
William F. Ruddiman.
Princeton University Press, 2010
Climate Change Justice
Eric A. Posner; David Weisbach.
Princeton University Press, 2010
Climate Change: Causes, Effects, and Solutions
John T. Hardy.
Wiley, 2003
Climate Change and Planning: Responding to the Challenge
Donaghy, Kieran.
The Town Planning Review, Vol. 78, No. 4, July 1, 2007
Climate Finance: Regulatory and Funding Strategies for Climate Change and Global Development
Richard B. Stewart; Benedict Kingsbury; Bryce Rudyk.
New York University Press, 2009
Revitalizing Global Environmental Governance for Climate Change
Esty, Daniel C.
Global Governance, Vol. 15, No. 4, October-December 2009
Addressing Global Climate Change in an Age of Political Climate Change
Daniels, Brigham.
Brigham Young University Law Review, Vol. 2011, No. 6, November 1, 2011
International Law and Sustainable Development - Tools for Addressing Climate Change
Halvorssen, Anita M.
Denver Journal of International Law and Policy, Vol. 39, No. 3, Summer 2011
The Economics of Climate Change
Anothony D. Owen; Nick Hanley.
Routledge, 2004
Climate Change, Adaptation, and Development
Cole, Daniel H.
UCLA Journal of Environmental Law & Policy, Vol. 25, No. 2, Winter 2007
An III Wind? Climate Change, Migration, and Health
McMichael, Celia; Barnett, Jon; McMichael, Anthony J.
Environmental Health Perspectives, Vol. 120, No. 5, May 2012
Climate Change and Animal Migration
Moore, Thomas T.
Environmental Law, Vol. 41, No. 2, Spring 2011
Updating Our Understanding of Climate Change in the North Atlantic: The Role of Global Warming and the Gulf Stream
O'Hare, Greg.
Geography, Vol. 96, Spring 2011
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