Climatic Effects - Research Article from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy

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Climate Change Theory

Climate change means different things to different people. To some, climate change refers to physical changes in climate and little more. To others, climate change is a theory of how certain gases in the atmosphere influence the climate. Still others focus on the human aspect, and consider climate change only in regard to the way human activity influences the climate. Climate change theory is quite complex. Unlike Albert Einstein's E = mc2, for example, the theory of human-driven climate change is not a singular theory but consists of several interlocking theories, some better defined than others.

At the heart of climate change theory is a more humble theory called the greenhouse effect. This theory, first quantified by mathematician Joseph Fourier in 1824, has been repeatedly validated by laboratory experiments and by millions of greenhouse owners. The greenhouse effect is simple. When sunlight reaches the surface of Earth...

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This section contains 7,647 words
(approx. 26 pages at 300 words per page)
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Climatic Effects from Macmillan Encyclopedia of Energy. Copyright © 2001-2006 by Macmillan Reference USA, an imprint of the Gale Group. All rights reserved.