Various significant climatic changes have taken place on Earth in the billions of years it has existed. We might or might not be directly responsible for these changes.

Some scientists believe our activities have no impact on the climate whatsoever while some believe us to be the major reason for these negative effects on Earth.

Relationship-between-climate-change-and-Astronomy
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Relationship Between Climate Change on Earth and Astronomy

Observation from space and some ground observations have evidence that climate change has occurred on other planets too.

Like water may have flown on Mars which is all desert now. However, the increasing change in climate and gasses produced by industries are said to affect astronomical observation.

Scientists also evaluated the data for temperature, wind, and water vapor content in the atmosphere for decades.

This showed that the increase in temperature rate is getting higher causing image blur which affects the ever-normal viewing.

Climate Change Affecting the Astronomy

The climate on Earth is affected by the Sun. Sun goes under the solar cycle influencing the plants it surrounds. Climate change may have very little or no effect on Astronomy.

Over the years, scientists have found a lot of planets that are different in many ways from the earth. But nothing quite like the earth has been found yet.

One planet resembled earth but it is light-years far. However, the planets that can be studied have given researchers a better understanding of our planet.

This is why astronomers are involved and have a say in the climate condition of the earth and its effect on us.

Climate change and astronomy interact as the weather is highly affected by the internal crisis if not the climate and there are claims about the ozone layer depletion.

Some scientists also claim that visibility is highly affected due to the increasing climate crisis on earth.

Now we will look at the climatic variability due to astronomical factors which are not under our control.

Variation in Solar Activities

From the beginning of the solar system which is believed about 4.6 billion years ago, the sun has been increasing its energy.

With time the reactions taking place inside the sun have been creating more and more energy making the sun hotter.

It is because of the inevitable evolution of the Sun. Recent calculations suggest that Sun’s heat has increased by 20-30%.

This means that the temperature of the sun also has been increasing with time.

Change in the Composition of Atmosphere

Earth’s atmosphere is composed of various elements and it is also controlled by various factors that range from geological to biological.

The amount of water vapor present in the atmosphere depends on the surface temperature as it increases the water vapor due to a large amount of water in the oceans.

All the oxygen and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is balanced due to photosynthesis and various other reasons.

There is evidence that the composition of the atmosphere has varied with time.

With the variation in composition, the climatic condition of the earth tends to vary.

Change in Orbital and Axis of Rotation of the Earth

Due to the gravitational pull of bigger heavenly bodies on earth and due to the Earth’s axis of rotation varies and changes the normal positioning of earth. 

About every 40,000 years the axis of rotation shifts 1-1.5 degrees. These variations result in seasonal changes and also the solar energy emitted on the Earth.

Regardless of these changes, they cannot be sufficient to cause an ice age or vaporize the water sources but they will affect the temperature of the planet.

Collisions with Huge Asteroids

The collision of asteroids on earth brings about catastrophic damage to earth from the atmosphere to the crust which will affect the climate. There have been pieces of evidence that such large bodies will affect the weather and the climate unchangeably.

The asteroid collision can bring about changes in the internal temperature of the earth due to the collision and moving of all the bedrocks.

The minerals from the asteroid will be immersed inside the land and will ultimately affect the water and its evaporation rate. This will ultimately change the temperature of the earth as a whole.

Explosion of Supernova

The Supernova explosions are violent events that destroy everything living behind only a gas of hot cloud called a nebula.

The climate of the Earth can be affected by supernova explosions nearby by having effects on the ozone layer. The gamma rays and cosmic rays produced from such calamities will be depleting the ozone layer.

A nearby explosion poses a threat of exposure to cosmic rays for about 100 years.

This causes a biological threat as UV radiation will easily enter the earth’s atmosphere and also causes an increase in the temperature of the earth.

Conclusion

A lot of factors would play a role and many factors could act together for more and more degradation of the climate. There are however reasons to affect the climate of earth on a high scale.

Some evolutionary effects and long-term changes in the composition of the atmosphere are affected by a collision with asteroids.

The large increase in the content of carbon dioxide in Earth’s atmosphere appears to be because of such asteroid collisions that have been enhancing the greenhouse effect.

We will not be extinct with changes to the temperature as people adapt like the ones living on the equator and the Gulf countries face a lot of heat while the people living in the polar region survive the freezing temperature.

Climatic changes on a huge scale have been seen on Mars and other planets so this could mean that eminent changes in the climate are inevitable. 

Ashwin Khadka is a PhD Scholar in Solar Cell and Aerosol Laboratory in Korea University, Republic of Korea under Korean Government Scholarship Program. He has a Masters Degree in Physics from Tribhuvan University, Kathmandu, Nepal. He is a science enthusiast, researcher and writer.