The Earths climate is extremely complex and continuously changing. There are natural cycles of warming and cooling that have existed since the climate itself formed.
Earths climate - Natural cycles
Some of these natural cycles are apparent for everyone to see: the four seasons; the magnetic pull of the moon on the tide; the sudden and dramatic effect of sun spots on our weather.
Other cycles are not so easy to recognise: the 22-year Hale Cycle - caused by sun spots and changes in the amount of radiant energy emitted by the sun - is the clearest one for keen amateur meteorologists to track over a period of time because of its consistency, but many other cycles are not so clearly periodic making them difficult to track and measure.
Earths Climate - Gulf Stream
There are also non-cyclic changes. One example is water currents, such as the Gulf Stream.
Some changes affect the whole planet, whilst other changes only affect certain regions. Changes in the Gulf Stream, for instance, have significant impact on Western Europe but have almost no affect elsewhere.
Indeed, the Earths climate is so complex that understanding, monitoring and tracking these different elements is impossible for a single scientist, or even team of scientists to do.
Next Page - Is Global Warming happening?
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The Earth has natural cycles of warming and cooling