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global climate change

The long-term fluctuations in temperature, precipitation, wind, and all other aspects of the Earth's climate. External processes, such as solar-irradiance variations, variations of the Earth's orbital parameters (eccentricity, precession, and inclination), lithosphere motions, and volcanic activity, are factors in climatic variation. Internal variations of the climate system also produce fluctuations of sufficient magnitude and variability to explain observed climate change through the feedback processes interrelating the components of the climate system. Source: NASA (http://earthobservatory.nasa.gov/Glossary)