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During the s, the term climate change replaced climatic change to focus on anthropogenic causes, as it became clear that human activities had a potential to drastically alter the climate.
Climate change is now used as both a technical description of the process, as well as a noun used to describe the problem. Prior to the 18th century, scientists had not suspected that prehistoric climates were different from the modern period.
By the late 18th century, geologists found evidence of a succession of geological ages with changes in climate.
There were various competing theories about these changes, and James Hutton , whose ideas of cyclic change over huge periods of time were later dubbed uniformitarianism , was among those who found signs of past glacial activity in places too warm for glaciers in modern times.
By the end of the 19th century, scientific opinion had turned decisively against any belief in a human influence on climate.
And whatever the regional effects, few imagined that humans could affect the climate of the planet as a whole. In , taking advantage of the ability of digital computers to integrate absorption curves numerically, Syukuro Manabe and Richard Wetherald made the first detailed calculation of the greenhouse effect incorporating convection the "Manabe-Wetherald one-dimensional radiative-convective model".
Research during this period has been summarized in the Assessment Reports by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 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 the equilibrium temperature and climate of Earth.
This energy is distributed around the globe by winds, ocean currents,   and other mechanisms to affect the climates of different regions.
There are a variety of climate change feedbacks that can either amplify or diminish the initial forcing. Some parts of the climate system, such as the oceans and ice caps, respond more slowly in reaction to climate forcings, while others respond more quickly.
There are also key threshold factors which when exceeded can produce rapid change. Forcing mechanisms can be either "internal" or "external".
External forcing mechanisms can be either anthropogenic e. Whether the initial forcing mechanism is internal or external, the response of the climate system might be fast e.
Therefore, the climate system can respond abruptly , but the full response to forcing mechanisms might not be fully developed for centuries or even longer.
The ocean and atmosphere can work together to spontaneously generate internal climate variability that can persist for years to decades at a time.
The oceanic aspects of these circulations can generate variability on centennial timescales due to the ocean having hundreds of times more mass than in the atmosphere , and thus very high thermal inertia.
Due to the long timescales of this circulation, ocean temperature at depth is still adjusting to effects of the Little Ice Age  which occurred between the and s.
Life affects climate through its role in the carbon and water cycles and through such mechanisms as albedo , evapotranspiration , cloud formation , and weathering.
In the context of climate variation, anthropogenic factors are human activities which affect the climate.
The scientific consensus on climate change is "that climate is changing and that these changes are in large part caused by human activities",  and it "is largely irreversible".
While much remains to be learned, the core phenomenon, scientific questions, and hypotheses have been examined thoroughly and have stood firm in the face of serious scientific debate and careful evaluation of alternative explanations.
Of most concern in these anthropogenic factors is the increase in CO 2 levels. This is due to emissions from fossil fuel combustion, followed by aerosols particulate matter in the atmosphere , and the CO 2 released by cement manufacture.
There is very little change to the area-averaged annually averaged sunshine; but there can be strong changes in the geographical and seasonal distribution.
Combined together, these produce Milankovitch cycles which affect climate and are notable for their correlation to glacial and interglacial periods ,  their correlation with the advance and retreat of the Sahara ,  and for their appearance in the stratigraphic record.
The IPCC notes that Milankovitch cycles drove the ice age cycles, CO 2 followed temperature change "with a lag of some hundreds of years", and that as a feedback amplified temperature change.
Upon seawater temperature change, the solubility of CO 2 in the oceans changed, as well as other factors affecting air-sea CO 2 exchange.
The Sun is the predominant source of energy input to the Earth. Both long- and short-term variations in solar intensity are known to affect global climate.
However, there is evidence for the presence of water on the early Earth, in the Hadean   and Archean   eons, leading to what is known as the faint young Sun paradox.
The Great Oxygenation Event —oxygenation of the atmosphere around 2. Solar output varies on shorter time scales, including the year solar cycle  and longer-term modulations.
Some studies point toward solar radiation increases from cyclical sunspot activity affecting global warming, and climate may be influenced by the sum of all effects solar variation, anthropogenic radiative forcings , etc.
A study suggests "that the effects of solar variability on temperature throughout the atmosphere may be contrary to current expectations".
The next step is to find more about these trace vapours, including whether they are of natural or human origin.
The eruption of Mount Pinatubo in , the second largest terrestrial eruption of the 20th century, affected the climate substantially, subsequently global temperatures decreased by about 0.
Small eruptions, with injections of less than 0. Seismic monitoring maps current and future trends in volcanic activities, and tries to develop early warning systems.
In climate modelling the aim is to study the physical mechanisms and feedbacks of volcanic forcing.
Volcanoes are also part of the extended carbon cycle. The US Geological Survey estimates are that volcanic emissions are at a much lower level than the effects of current human activities, which generate — times the amount of carbon dioxide emitted by volcanoes.
The annual amount put out by human activities may be greater than the amount released by supererruptions , the most recent of which was the Toba eruption in Indonesia 74, years ago.
Although volcanoes are technically part of the lithosphere, which itself is part of the climate system, the IPCC explicitly defines volcanism as an external forcing agent.
Over the course of millions of years, the motion of tectonic plates reconfigures global land and ocean areas and generates topography.
This can affect both global and local patterns of climate and atmosphere-ocean circulation. The position of the continents determines the geometry of the oceans and therefore influences patterns of ocean circulation.
The locations of the seas are important in controlling the transfer of heat and moisture across the globe, and therefore, in determining global climate.
A recent example of tectonic control on ocean circulation is the formation of the Isthmus of Panama about 5 million years ago, which shut off direct mixing between the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
This strongly affected the ocean dynamics of what is now the Gulf Stream and may have led to Northern Hemisphere ice cover. The size of continents is also important.
Because of the stabilizing effect of the oceans on temperature, yearly temperature variations are generally lower in coastal areas than they are inland.
A larger supercontinent will therefore have more area in which climate is strongly seasonal than will several smaller continents or islands. The Earth receives an influx of ionized particles known as cosmic rays from a variety of external sources, including the Sun.
A hypothesis holds that an increase in the cosmic ray flux would increase the ionization in the atmosphere, leading to greater cloud cover.
This, in turn, would tend to cool the surface. The latter can increase the flux of high-energy cosmic rays coming from the Virgo cluster.
The recovery time for this event took more than 30 years. Paleoclimatology is the study of changes in climate taken on the scale of the entire history of Earth.
It uses a variety of proxy methods from the Earth and life sciences to obtain data previously preserved within things such as rocks , sediments , ice sheets , tree rings , corals , shells , and microfossils.
Notable climate events known to paleoclimatology are provided in this list of periods and events in climate history.
Historical climatology is the study of historical changes in climate and their effect on human history and development. The primary sources include written records such as sagas , chronicles , maps and local history literature as well as pictorial representations such as paintings , drawings and even rock art.
Climate change in the recent past may be detected by corresponding changes in settlement and agricultural patterns.
Climate change effects have been linked to the rise  and also the collapse of various civilizations. Evidence for climatic change is taken from a variety of sources that can be used to reconstruct past climates.
Reasonably complete global records of surface temperature are available beginning from the mid-late 19th century.
For earlier periods, most of the evidence is indirect—climatic changes are inferred from changes in proxies , indicators that reflect climate, such as vegetation , ice cores ,  dendrochronology , sea level change , and glacial geology.
The instrumental temperature record from surface stations was supplemented by radiosonde balloons , extensive atmospheric monitoring by the midth century, and, from the s on, with global satellite data as well.
Taking the record as a whole, most of the 20th century had been unprecedentedly warm, while the 19th and 17th centuries were quite cool.
Glaciers are considered among the most sensitive indicators of climate change. As temperatures warm, glaciers retreat unless snow precipitation increases to make up for the additional melt; the converse is also true.
Glaciers grow and shrink due both to natural variability and external forcings. Variability in temperature, precipitation, and englacial and subglacial hydrology can strongly determine the evolution of a glacier in a particular season.
A world glacier inventory has been compiled since the s, initially based mainly on aerial photographs and maps but now relying more on satellites.
The World Glacier Monitoring Service collects data annually on glacier retreat and glacier mass balance. From this data, glaciers worldwide have been found to be shrinking significantly, with strong glacier retreats in the s, stable or growing conditions during the s and s, and again retreating from the mids to the present.
The most significant climate processes since the middle to late Pliocene approximately 3 million years ago are the glacial and interglacial cycles.
The present interglacial period the Holocene has lasted about 11, years. Other changes, including Heinrich events , Dansgaard—Oeschger events and the Younger Dryas , however, illustrate how glacial variations may also influence climate without the orbital forcing.
Glaciers leave behind moraines that contain a wealth of material—including organic matter, quartz, and potassium that may be dated—recording the periods in which a glacier advanced and retreated.
Similarly, by tephrochronological techniques, the lack of glacier cover can be identified by the presence of soil or volcanic tephra horizons whose date of deposit may also be ascertained.
Both ice sheets have seen an acceleration of ice mass loss since The decline in Arctic sea ice, both in extent and thickness, over the last several decades is further evidence for rapid climate change.
It covers millions of square kilometers in the polar regions, varying with the seasons. In the Arctic , some sea ice remains year after year, whereas almost all Southern Ocean or Antarctic sea ice melts away and reforms annually.
Satellite observations show that Arctic sea ice is now declining at a rate of Decades of shrinking and thinning in a warm climate has put the Arctic sea ice in a precarious position, it is now vulnerable to atmospheric anomalies.
During the Arctic summer, a slower rate of sea ice production is the same as a faster rate of sea ice melting. Global sea level change for much of the last century has generally been estimated using tide gauge measurements collated over long periods of time to give a long-term average.
More recently, altimeter measurements—in combination with accurately determined satellite orbits—have provided an improved measurement of global sea level change.
The predominant dating methods used are uranium series and radiocarbon , with cosmogenic radionuclides being sometimes used to date terraces that have experienced relative sea level fall.
Analysis of ice in a core drilled from an ice sheet such as the Antarctic ice sheet , can be used to show a link between temperature and global sea level variations.
The air trapped in bubbles in the ice can also reveal the CO 2 variations of the atmosphere from the distant past, well before modern environmental influences.
The study of these ice cores has been a significant indicator of the changes in CO 2 over many millennia, and continues to provide valuable information about the differences between ancient and modern atmospheric conditions.
Past precipitation can be estimated in the modern era with the global network of precipitation gauges. Surface coverage over oceans and remote areas is relatively sparse, but, reducing reliance on interpolation , satellite clouds and precipitation data has been available since the s.
Climatological temperatures substantially affect cloud cover and precipitation. For instance, during the Last Glacial Maximum of 18, years ago, thermal-driven evaporation from the oceans onto continental landmasses was low, causing large areas of extreme desert, including polar deserts cold but with low rates of cloud cover and precipitation.
A change in the type, distribution and coverage of vegetation may occur given a change in the climate. Some changes in climate may result in increased precipitation and warmth, resulting in improved plant growth and the subsequent sequestration of airborne CO 2.
A gradual increase in warmth in a region will lead to earlier flowering and fruiting times, driving a change in the timing of life cycles of dependent organisms.
Conversely, cold will cause plant bio-cycles to lag. At this time vast rainforests covered the equatorial region of Europe and America.
This branch of climate science is called dendroclimatology , and is one of the many ways they research climate trends prior to written records.
Even though this is a field with many uncertainties, it is expected that over the next 50 years climate changes will have an effect on the diversity of forest genetic resources and thereby on the distribution of forest tree species and the composition of forests.
Diversity of forest genetic resources enables the potential for a species or a population to adapt to climatic changes and related future challenges such as temperature changes, drought, pests, diseases and forest fire.
However, species are not naturally capable to adapt in the pace of which the climate is changing and the increasing temperatures will most likely facilitate the spread of pests and diseases, creating an additional threat to forest trees and their populations.
Palynology is the study of contemporary and fossil palynomorphs , including pollen. Palynology is used to infer the geographical distribution of plant species, which vary under different climate conditions.
Different groups of plants have pollen with distinctive shapes and surface textures, and since the outer surface of pollen is composed of a very resilient material, they resist decay.
Changes in the type of pollen found in different layers of sediment in lakes, bogs, or river deltas indicate changes in plant communities.
These changes are often a sign of a changing climate. Remains of beetles are common in freshwater and land sediments.
Different species of beetles tend to be found under different climatic conditions. Given the extensive lineage of beetles whose genetic makeup has not altered significantly over the millennia, knowledge of the present climatic range of the different species, and the age of the sediments in which remains are found, past climatic conditions may be inferred.
Similarly, the historical abundance of various fish species has been found to have a substantial relationship with observed climatic conditions.
Climate change has already led to the alteration in geographical distribution of various human disease vectors.
Temperature alone can have an effect on vector biting rates, reproductive cycles, and survival rates. There is significant variability in how various vector borne diseases are impacted by climate change.
Changes in human and animal migration patterns due to climate change have caused an increased in prevalence of vector borne diseases.
Climate change can also affect migration patterns of vectors, such as those that carry hemorrhagic fever viruses.
Climate change has been shown to cause changes to weather patterns, affecting temperature, wind patterns, precipitation, etc.
These changes in weather affect human health outcomes by increasing the rate of major natural disasters, physical trauma, and infections, especially impacting vulnerable, lower income communities  .
It has been estimated that by , an increase in the number of climate change related deaths would be seen due to heat wave induced cardiovascular disease, floods, and vector borne diseases, like malaria .
By , it is estimated that adverse health outcomes would double due to climate change . The rise in temperatures due to climate change, estimated to be around 1.
Heat waves are associated with higher mortality rates, especially in vulnerable populations . The elderly population are more likely to be impacted by the higher temperatures in a heatwave, often perishing from cardiovascular, respiratory, and cerebrovascular causes of death .
Other vulnerable populations, such as immunocompromised individuals, the mentally ill population, and children, have an increased mortality rate during heat waves .
Urban islands, pockets of land in urban areas where human changes to the landscape can exacerbate the effect of increasing temperatures, are also associated with higher mortality rates during heat waves  .
Heatwaves can also cause an increase in air pollution and humidity levels, thus increasing rates of mortality . Despite the increase in death rates during heat waves, adaptations for higher temperatures, like increased quality of healthcare and awareness of public health, are known to decrease the effect of climate change on the number of deaths due to heat waves .
Climate change can cause an increase in precipitation, increasing the likelihood of rapid rising floods. These floods raise mortality rates by increasing drowning related deaths.
Mortality rates also increase due to infectious diseases and exposure of toxic pollutants after these floods . The increase in rainfall leads to pollutants entering the water system, often contaminating drinking water with sewage, animal feces, pathogens, etc.
Floods also lead to growth of fungal species and habituation of vectors of infectious diseases in previously unexposed areas, propagating the spread of vector borne diseases.
Long term effects on human health are also known to be caused by flooding. Malnutrition and mental disorders, along with gastrointestinal and respiratory problems are known to increase after flooding  .
This most commonly occurs in less wealthy countries or areas that have more people residing in vulnerable areas and a lack of governmental aid for natural disasters and public health structures .
It has been shown that the due increased precipitation from climate change, the number of people worldwide at risk of a flood would increase from 75 million to million .
The changing weather patterns due to climate change cause more droughts, by decreasing levels of groundwater.
The lack of groundwater leads to a decrease in health of forest trees, leading to an increase risk of wildfires. Wildfires increase the risk of physical and respiratory damage to the human body.
Changing weather patterns caused by climate change can also damage crops leading to malnutrition. New wind patterns can present crops with novel pathogens and decrease the number of available pollinators which usually serve a protective role.
Habitats are often affected by these changes of weather. Changes in temperature and rainfall have damaged coral reefs by introducing new pathogens and inducing physical trauma by storms.
The damaged reefs increase the levels of salt that are taken up by tropical fishes eaten by locals, which may lead to adverse health outcomes .
Climate change also causes more extreme weather. It is stated that climate change increases the severity of tropical storms, like Hurricane Katrina .
Winter storms may become more severe because climate change increases precipitation levels and the strength of winds. Stronger storms lead to more problems with traveling and increase chances of physical trauma .
The transmission of infectious diseases are affected by changes in climate, by changing levels of humidity, precipitation, and temperature .
Warmer temperatures cause land species to inhabit previously cold areas and invade areas closer to human dwellings, increasing the risk of transmission of vector borne diseases .
Other factors like overcrowding and poverty levels can multiply the effect of climate change on outbreaks infectious diseases . Climate change also affects air pollution.
Due to increased temperature caused by climate change, ozone pollutants are formed faster. Increasing levels of ozone lead to a rise in mortality rate caused by these pollutants.
Changing wind patterns and levels of precipitation affect distribution of air pollutants, and may cause more wildfires that increase the risk of physical and respiratory trauma .
Climate change also increases rates of asthma by increasing temperatures and changing wind patterns. These changes increase the levels and distribution of plant based irritants, like pollen and fungi.
Several Belgian militias and armies were easily defeated including the Belgian Army of the Meuse near Hasselt, on 8 August. The French and British intervened, leading to a ceasefire.
After a Conference in London , they signed a treaty in and established after that both Limburg and Luxemburg would be split between the two states.
Belgian Limburg became officially Flemish when Belgium was divided into language areas in In the case of Voeren , surrounded by French speaking parts of Belgium, and having a significant population of French speakers, this was not without controversy.
The centre of Belgian Limburg is crossed east to west by the Demer river and the Albert Canal , which run similar paths. The eastern border of the province corresponds to the western bank of the Maas, which originates in France.
Its drainage basin includes not only the Jeker but most of the northern part of Belgian Limburg. The south of the province is the northern part of the Hesbaye region in Dutch: Haspengouw , with fertile soils, farming and fruit-growing, and historically the higher population density.
The hilliness increases in the southeast, including the detached Voeren part of Limburg. This area was relatively less populated, until coal-mining started in the 19th century, attracting immigration from other areas, including Mediterranean countries.
As in all Flemish provinces, the official language is Dutch , but two municipalities, Herstappe and Voeren , are to a certain extent allowed to use French to communicate with their citizens.
Such municipalities are called the municipalities with language facilities in Belgium. Several variations of Limburgish are also still actively used, these being a diverse group of dialects which share features in common with both German and Dutch.
Limburg mijn Vaderland is the official anthem of both Belgian and Dutch Limburg, and has versions in various dialects of Limburgish, varying from accents closer to standard Dutch in the west, to more distinctive dialects near the Maas.
Outside of the two Limburgs related dialects or languages are found stretched out towards the nearby Ruhr valley region of Germany.
As in the rest of Flanders a high level of multi-lingualism is found in the population. Limburg is close to Germany and Wallonia , and because of the natural political, cultural and economics links, French and German have long been important second languages in the area.
English has also now become a language which is widely understood and used in business and cultural activities, and is supplanting French in this regard.
Veldeke, the medieval property of the family of Hendrik van Veldeke , was near Hasselt, along the Demer river, to the west of Kuringen.
Coal mining has been an important industry in the 20th century,  but has now ended in this province.
Nevertheless, it has laid the basis for a more complex modern economy and community. In the 20th century, Limburg became a centre for secondary industry , attracting Ford , who had a major production centre in Genk that closed in December , and the electronics company Philips, who had a major operation in Kiewit.
Many areas such as Genk continue to have a lot of heavy and chemical industry, but emphasis has moved towards encouraging innovation.
The old Philips plant is now the site of a Research Campus,  and the Hasselt University in Diepenbeek has a science park attached to it.
The region today promotes itself as a centre for trade in the heart of industrialised Europe. It is part of the Meuse-Rhine Euroregion , which represents a partnership between this province and neighbouring provinces in Germany, the Netherlands and Wallonia.
Like the rest of Belgium, association football soccer and cycling, including cyclocross , are dominant sports, and tennis has gained a high prominence.
The team plays its home games in the Sporthal Alverberg. Site at Tongeren near the " Perroen ". He was followed by Maximilien de Beeckman who governed the united province until , when the Belgian revolution began and division of Limburg began, first with the separation of Maastricht.
The splitting of Dutch and Belgian Limburg was completed by The following list contains all governors of the province of Limburg since the Second World War.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. This article is about a province in Belgium. For other uses of Limburg, see Limburg disambiguation.
This article includes a list of references , but its sources remain unclear because it has insufficient inline citations. Please help to improve this article by introducing more precise citations.
May Learn how and when to remove this template message. Province of Belgium in Flemish Region. History of Belgian Limburg.
Lotharingia and County of Loon. Department of Lower Meuse and Province of Limburg — Zutendaal Arrondissement of Maaseik: Peer Arrondissement of Tongeren: List of governors of Limburg, Belgium.
Ambiorix 1st century B. Ingrid Daubechies , - Physicist and mathematician. Neel Doff , — - Writer. Jan van Eyck , ca. Adrien de Gerlache , — - Former Antarctica explorer.