The climate is determined by a number of factors, including how the atmosphere, oceans and continents react to the solar radiation that heats the planet. The oceans play a major role in determining long-term climate, as they transport and release stored heat slowly over hundreds of years.
Earth's climate is a very complex system involving different types of land masses, atmospheric conditions and even living organisms. The planet's climate evolved slowly over millions of years in response to both its own internal dynamics and changes brought about by external factors. Events, such as volcanic eruptions, variations in solar output and even the changes in atmospheric composition caused by industry, have all had an impact on the climate.
The climate is powered by heat from the sun. The atmosphere is able to transport heat energy very rapidly, whereas ocean currents have a much more long-term effect on the climate. Snow and ice on the planet's surface also play an important role by reflecting heat energy back into space. Even human industry has served to shape the climate of Earth, as greater amounts of heat have been trapped in the atmosphere by carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases produced from the combustion of fossil fuels.Learn More
According to Science and the Sea, lunar tides are the most common tides and are caused by the Moon's gravity. Although the Sun's gravity is stronger, it is farther from the Earth than the Moon, which is why lunar tides are more than two times stronger than solar tides.Full Answer >
The basic lunar cycle of a body of water consists of two high tides and two low tides, which occur every 24 hours and 50 minutes. The basic cycle of solar tides is 24 hours.Full Answer >
Low-pressure systems bring wind, rain and thunderstorms. Warm air moves upward from the surface to cause a low-pressure system. As the air rises, its temperature decreases, water vapor occurs as a reaction and clouds form, which brings weather indicative of the system.Full Answer >
A rainbow is an optical illusion caused by water droplets reflecting, refracting and dispersing light, causing a prismatic representation of the color spectrum to appear in air. Rainbows can be single, also known as a primary rainbow, or they can be double.Full Answer >