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Climate Change Lesson

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Climate scale

1 day (diurnal cycle) - Weather occurs on an hourly or daily basis. The primary cause is the rotation of the Earth on it's axis.

1 year (yearly cycles) - Equinoxes and solstices occur twice a year due to the 23.5 degree tilt of the Earth's axis

10 years (decadal scale) - Longer-term variabilities begin to appear, such as El Niño & La Niña, and rapid climatic shifts can occur.

100 years - Centennial scale

1,000 years - long term cycles begin to appear, including variability in the carbon cycles on land and sea and changes to the thermohaline current. During the last 1,000 years:
10,000 years - Natural cycles begin to appear. These are cycles not influenced by humans. The last 10,000 years saw the end of last Ice Age (~11,000 years ago). This caused the melting of polar ice caps and glaciers, rising sea level and the formation of the Black Sea and Pleistocene Lakes in the Western U.S. How do we learn about them? Through the use Paleoclimatic data, such as:

100,000 year cycles - Extreme long term trends appear