Climate Change Scenarios and Their Potential Impact on World Agriculture

  • C. Wallace
  • D. Viner

The Earth’s climate system is a complex interaction of a number of components, such as the ocean, atmosphere, ice masses (cryosphere) and living organisms (biosphere). Although the system is ultimately driven by solar energy, changes to any of the components, and how they interact with each other, as well as variability in the solar radiation received, can lead to a change in climatic conditions. There are many causes of climate change which operate on a variety of time scales. On the largest time scales are mechanisms such as the Milankovitch-Croll effect and geological processes.

The Milankovitch-Croll effect concerns the characteristic of the Earth’s orbit around the sun and is thought to be responsible for governing the main glacial and interglacial episodes that are evident in the prehistoric climate record. Over a time scale of thousands of years variability is experienced in three important orbital characteristics.


Climate System Climate Change Scenario Future Climate Change Tree Ring Width Medieval Warm Period 
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© Springer Science + Business Media B.V 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • C. Wallace
    • 1
  • D. Viner
    • 2
  1. 1.National Oceanography CentreUK
  2. 2.Principal Specialist Climate Change, Science and EvidenceUK

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