Climate Change in the Modern World

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Everyone has probably heard more than once that climatic conditions, in people’s memory, experience greater or lesser changes. Thus, elderly people usually say that during their youth there were very hot or, on the contrary, very cold years; there were droughts or, on the contrary, very rainy years. This talk is not unfounded. Fluctuations in the climate do occur. Each person experiences these changes differently. Young people who sit in stuffy offices, as well as students who hardly ever go out, don’t sleep or eat right, and work around the clock because no one gives them homework help, are more susceptible to changes. Elderly people are also feeling the changes in the climate. Many feel bad about it, with high blood pressure, headaches, and difficulty breathing. But not all people pay much attention to it. 

Climate change – fluctuations of the Earth’s climate in general or its separate regions over time, which are expressed in statistically reliable deviations of weather parameters from multi-year values over a period of time ranging from decades to millions of years. Changes both in average values of weather parameters and changes in frequency of extreme weather events are taken into account. The science of paleoclimatology studies climate change. Climate change is caused by dynamic processes on Earth, by external influences such as variations in the intensity of solar radiation, and, according to one version, more recently by human activity. Recently, the term “climate change” has been used generally (especially in the context of environmental policy) to refer to changes in the current climate (see global warming).

Climate change over geological periods is undeniable, since it is known that the nature of the underlying surface has changed, there has been a different distribution of land and sea. Warm periods were replaced by glacial periods, and there were glacial periods not only in the Quaternary, but also in some other eras and even in the oldest geological eras: the Archean and Proterozoic.

Significant climate fluctuations also took place in the last, so-called post-glacial time. Finding a large number of trunks, roots and other remnants of trees in tundra sediments indicates the presence of a relatively recent, warmer period, which was replaced by a colder one. The same is evidenced by the black earth soils buried under a layer of peat and forest soils within the now waterlogged Vasyugan Region and other areas of the forest zone. A careful study of post-glacial deposits suggests at least two phases of warming and two phases of cooling preceding our time.

Among the phenomena indicative of climate change over the past 50-100 years, we should primarily note the observed warming in the Arctic, warming in the temperate belt, in the mountains, warming of the Gulf Stream waters, a decrease in the area of permafrost, reduction of the Antarctic Ross Ice Barrier, etc.

The temperature of the waters of the Barents Sea from 1912 to 1928 increased on average, with more or less gradualism, by 1°.8. The air temperature in the cold period (November-March) on Novaya Zemlya island increased by 2° (from -6.5 to -4°,6) in the period from 1919 to 1935.

In the temperate zone this increase is not so sharply evident, but still it is quite noticeable. Thus, in Kazan for 100 years, the average temperature of the year has increased by 1°, in Sverdlovsk by 0°,4, in Moscow by 0°,9.

However, if we take observations for longer periods, there is no steady increase or decrease in temperature. The study of chronicles and other historical documents for 1000-1500 years also does not give grounds to talk about a significant change in climate. At the same time, periodic fluctuations undoubtedly exist. This is evidenced by periodic dry and warm periods, followed by colder and wetter periods. Each such warming and cooling period occurs about three times per century. According to Brickner’s research (1890), dry and warm periods since the early 18th century are grouped around 1715, 1760, 1795, 1825, and 1860. Based on this periodicity, he predicted the next dry period in the mid-90s and Brickner’s prediction came true: 1897 was the driest year. However, the noted 35-year periods do not occur everywhere. Thus, in Leningrad, Berlin and Stockholm over the past 150-160 years these fluctuations were not observed. In addition, it has been noted that climatic periods endure for some time, and then their periodicity breaks off.

The periodicity within about 11 years, associated with the periodicity of sunspots, is much more certain and correctly expressed. The maximum occurrence of sunspots corresponds to an increase in mean annual temperatures, while the minimum corresponds to a decrease. In tropical countries, this increase is expressed as 0.2-0°.3, and the decrease also as 0.2-0°.3. In other belts these fluctuations are less noticeable.

As for the longer periods of oscillation, they are less studied, and only assumptions can be made regarding the causes of these oscillations. The first assumption is a decrease and increase of solar activity, which, according to the exact observations, takes place. The second assumption is a weakening of solar radiation on the Earth due to the solar system passing through the “dark” nebulae (i.e. “dusty” spaces that absorb most or less of the sun’s rays). Finally, a number of reasons of terrestrial origin are possible (shift of the poles, movement of continents, change of the relief, etc.).

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