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Main causes of climate change

Climate is varying on several timescales, from hours to thousands of years. These cycles are determined by a number of factors. Astronomical factors, such as the distance between the earth and the sun and the shape of the earth’s orbit around the sun, steer the longest variations like ice age cycles (1000—100 000 years). At a relatively shorter time scale (10—100 years) climatic variations are determined by among others ocean circulations and variation in the sun’s radiation. Today, the most prominent factor driving climate change is greenhouse gases.