The Earth's Climate Can Change Rapidly

In summary: However, this does support the theory that a warmer Earth leads to more extensive rock weathering - leaving us with deposits of CO2 rich carbonates.
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BillTre

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One of the Snowball Earth periods geology has been able to find went into its all (or almost) Earth frozen all over state, in a geological moment (estimated at 1,000 to 100,000 years).
Science news article here.
 
Earth sciences news on Phys.org
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Wow, If this happened now, it would sure throw a monkey-wrench into the global warming debate.
 
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Of course, in our time, it could go the other way, possibly as fast, or faster.
Not that anyone here now might be around to see it. Or maybe they would be.
 
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BillTre said:
One of the Snowball Earth periods geology has been able to find went into its all (or almost) Earth frozen all over state, in a geological moment (estimated at 1,000 to 100,000 years).
Science news article here.
The find supports theoretical models of snowball glaciation, which suggest that once ice extends down to 30 degrees of latitude, rapid planetwide glaciation follows. I
This was proposed by Mihail Budyko in around 1969.
The evidence for it was compiled by Paul Hoffman in the mid 80s.
Back about 770 million year ago the Sun would have been around 7% weaker than today so it was much easier for the Earth to swing in and out of "ice ball" conditions, that is when ice sheets and sea ice were far at low enough latitudes to trigger a near planet wide glaciation. While the planet was cover with ice there was likely less rock weathering, this would have reduced the rate CO2 was scrubbed from the atmosphere so it built up. The theory goes this built enough to create a strong enough greenhouse effect to flip back into "hot house" conditions. This very warm, CO2 rich environment sees rock weathering go into over drive and leave deposits of cap carbonate.
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cap_carbonate

We have a much stronger Sun and a strengthening greenhouse effect so are very very unlikely to see another "ice house" in the coming centuries.
 

1. What causes rapid changes in the Earth's climate?

Rapid changes in the Earth's climate can be caused by a variety of natural and human factors. Some of the main natural causes include volcanic eruptions, changes in the Earth's orbit, and solar activity. Human activities such as burning fossil fuels and deforestation can also contribute to rapid climate change by increasing the levels of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.

2. How quickly can the Earth's climate change?

The pace of climate change can vary, but in some cases, it can occur very rapidly. For example, during the last ice age, global temperatures rose by about 10 degrees Fahrenheit in just a few decades. However, in most cases, rapid climate change occurs over a longer period of time, such as several decades or centuries.

3. What are the potential consequences of rapid climate change?

Rapid climate change can have a range of consequences, including rising sea levels, more frequent and severe natural disasters, changes in weather patterns, and disruptions to ecosystems and agriculture. It can also have significant impacts on human health and well-being, as well as economic and social systems.

4. Can we predict when the Earth's climate will change rapidly?

While scientists can make predictions about future climate change based on current trends and data, it is difficult to predict exactly when rapid changes will occur. This is because the Earth's climate is a complex system with many variables that can interact in unexpected ways. However, the more we understand about the causes and mechanisms of rapid climate change, the better we can prepare and potentially mitigate its impacts.

5. What can we do to slow down or prevent rapid climate change?

There are many actions that individuals, governments, and organizations can take to help slow down or prevent rapid climate change. These include reducing greenhouse gas emissions, transitioning to renewable energy sources, promoting sustainable practices and lifestyles, and protecting natural habitats and biodiversity. It's important for everyone to do their part in order to mitigate the impacts of rapid climate change on our planet.

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