Milankovitch Theory: Factors That Affect/Cause Climate Change
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There are several factors that affect/ cause climate change. It ranges from things such as natural variability e.g. latitude of a certain region and anthropogenic things such as change in concentration of carbon dioxide. It is also proven that the astronomical theory, Milankovitch theory is a great concept that describes climate change (Paillard, 2010:273). In this essay the concept of Milankovitch theory will be discussed in terms of the earth eccentricity, the obliquity of the ecliptic and the procession of the equinoxes. Secondly discussion on how to distinguish natural variability and anthropogenic climate change from each other will be discussed.
Eccentricity of the earth’s orbit
The earth rotates in an elliptical (oval shape) around the sun. This contributes in climate variation because the suns incoming solar radiation will be unfairly distributed as the earth rotates around the sun. The eccentricity can be divided into more elliptical and less elliptical. As the earth rotates there is a time where earth will be closer to the sun. This phase is called perihelion and occurs during time of 2-3 January. This phase leads for winter in the northern hemisphere to be milder and summer in the southern hemisphere to be…show more content… When this wobble take place the North Star also known as the Polaris turns to point at Vega. Vega would therefore now be considered as the North Star and would undergo this change after 23 000 years. (Anon. http://www.indiana.edu/~geol105/images/gaia_chapter_4/milankovitch.htm). When this change occurs reversal of the normal eccentricity takes place. The time of perihelion will became that of aphelion and the opposite with aphelion. This causes summer to be hotter and winter milder in the northern hemisphere. This contributes to climate change because reversal of the normal