Pub. date: 2008 | Online Pub. Date: April 25, 2008 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412963893 | Print ISBN: 9781412958783 | Online ISBN: 9781412963893| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Andrew J. Waskey
CLIMATE FORCING OCCURS when the global energy balance of the Earth is changed. There are a number of mechanisms that can force climate change. The Earths global climate is a dynamic system that is in equilibrium. On a planetary scale, it is steered by the amount of energy available in the system for use by its various ecosystems. If the amount of energy stored or received in the climate system changes, then climate changes occur as well. The global climate is affected by the Sun, which provides much of the energy in the global energy balance. If the energy from the Sun increases or decreases, climatic changes will likely occur. On the other hand, if the amount of energy kept by the Earth from sunlight increases, then climate changes will also occur. The flows of energy occurring in the planetary climate system are important to the global climate system. The ...