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How Climate Feedbacks Worsen Global Warming
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This is a video that discusses how climate feedbacks influence global warming.
Disciplinary Core Ideas
Cyclical changes in the shape of Earth’s orbit around the sun, together with changes in the tilt of the planet’s axis of rotation, both occurring over hundreds of thousands of years, have altered the intensity and distribution of sunlight falling on the earth. These phenomena cause a cycle of ice ages and other gradual climate changes.
Earth’s systems, being dynamic and interacting, cause feedback effects that can increase or decrease the original changes.
The foundation for Earth’s global climate systems is the electromagnetic radiation from the sun, as well as its reflection, absorption, storage, and redistribution among the atmosphere, ocean, and land systems, and this energy’s re-radiation into space.
The many dynamic and delicate feedbacks between the biosphere and other Earth systems cause a continual co-evolution of Earth’s surface and the life that exists on it.
Gradual atmospheric changes were due to plants and other organisms that captured carbon dioxide and released oxygen.
Changes in the atmosphere due to human activity have increased carbon dioxide concentrations and thus affect climate.
When investigating or describing a system, the boundaries and initial conditions of the system need to be defined and their inputs and outputs analyzed and described using models.
Models (e.g., physical, mathematical, computer models) can be used to simulate systems and interactions—including energy, matter, and information flows—within and between systems at different scales.