Climate Change Trivia Quiz Questions and Answers
What is Climate Change?
A: Climate change is a change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns when that change lasts for decades or longer.
Climate change is caused by factors such as what?
A: Biotic processes, variations in solar radiation received by Earth, plate tectonics, and volcanic eruptions.
Certain human activities have also been identified as what?
A: Significant causes of recent climate change, often referred to as "global warming".
Scientists actively work to understand past and future
climate by using what?
A: Observations and theoretical models.
More recent data are provided by what?
A: The instrumental record.
What is the most general definition of climate change?
A: It is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system when considered over long periods of time, regardless of cause.
Accordingly, fluctuations over periods shorter than a few
decades, such as El Niño, do not what?
A: Represent climate change.
Within scientific journals, global warming refers to
surface temperature increases while climate change includes what?
A: Global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas levels will affect.
On the broadest scale, the rate at which energy is received
from the sun and the rate at which it is lost to space determine what?
A: The equilibrium temperature and climate of Earth.
This energy is distributed around the globe by what?
A: Winds, ocean currents, and other mechanisms.
Factors that can shape climate are called what?
A: Climate forcings or "forcing mechanisms".
Some parts of the climate system, such as the oceans and
ice caps, respond what?
A: More slowly in reaction to climate forcings, while others respond more quickly.
There are also key threshold factors which when exceeded
can produce what?
A: Rapid change.
Forcing mechanisms can be what?
A: Either "internal" or "external".
The climate system can respond abruptly, but the full
response to forcing mechanisms might not be fully developed for how long?
A: Centuries or even longer.
Scientists generally define the five components of earth's
climate system to include what?
A: The atmosphere, hydrosphere, cryosphere, lithosphere (restricted to the surface soils, rocks, and sediments), and biosphere.
Short-term fluctuations (years to a few decades) such as
the El Niño-Southern Oscillation, the Pacific decadal oscillation, the North
Atlantic oscillation, and the Arctic oscillation, represent what?
A: Climate variability rather than climate change.
Slight variations in Earth's orbit lead to changes in the
A: Seasonal distribution of sunlight reaching the Earth's surface and how it is distributed.
There is very little change to the area-averaged annually
averaged sunshine; but there can be strong changes in the what?
A: Geographical and seasonal distribution.
What are the three types of orbital variations?
A: Variations in Earth's eccentricity, changes in the tilt angle of Earth's axis of rotation, and precession of Earth's axis.
Combined together, these produce what?
A: Milankovitch cycles which have a large impact on climate.
The Sun is the predominant source of what?
A: Energy input to the Earth.
Both long- and short-term variations in solar intensity are
known to what?
A: Affect global climate.
Three to four billion years ago the sun emitted how much
A: Only 70% as much power as it does today.
If the atmospheric composition had been the same as today,
liquid water should not have what?
A: Existed on Earth.
The Great Oxygenation Event happened how long ago?
A: Around 2.4 billion years ago.
Solar output also varies on shorter time scales, including
A: The 11-year solar cycle, and longer-term modulations.
The cyclical nature of the sun's energy output is not yet
fully understood, and it differs from what?
A: The very slow change that is happening within the sun as it ages and evolves.
Volcanic eruptions considered to be large enough to affect
the Earth's climate on a scale of more than 1 year are the ones that inject how
much SO2 into the stratosphere?
A: 0.1 Mt.
This is due to what properties of SO2 and sulfate aerosols?
A: The optical properties.
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in 1991, the second largest
terrestrial eruption of the 20th century, decreased global temperatures by about
0.5 °C (0.9 °F) for how long?
A: Up to three years.
The Mount Tambora eruption in 1815 caused what?
A: The Year Without a Summer.