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Why does climate change?

Last updated 21 June 2005
Originally answered 18 April 2000

Full Question

Why does climate change?


Climate fluctuations are the result of complex interactions of a number of factors, including natural changes such as variations in the Earth’s orbit (known as Milankovitch theory), volcanic eruptions, fluctuations in solar energy and anthropogenic (human-caused) influences, such as the burning of fossil fuels, which releases so-called greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.

Climate changes can occur over periods as short as a year or as long as several thousand years. For more information, take a look at the following resources:

The above entry is posted under the following topic(s): Global Change ScienceClimate Variability and Change

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