Know Climate Change

Basics of Climate Science

Natural Climate Variation

The mighty forces of nature have a great impact on the climate. The climate system is in a perpetual state of evolution as it responds to a range of forcing factors. Forcing factors are those that bring about a change in the climate system.

The natural variability of the climate system is a function of timescale. As the photographs below show, in the past, the climate system of the earth has undergone a lot of changes from warm to cold periods, and this is attributed to the natural variability of the climate system.

The non-linear interactions of the different components of the climate system give rise to different temporal and spatial scales. The natural variability of the climate is also dependent on these interactions.

Ice age

Interglacial period

Knowledge of natural variability of the climate system is needed to assess the extent of human impact on the climate system. However, at present, there are no robust estimates for this.