Causes of Climate Change On the Widest Scale; the rate at which energy is lost to space and the rate at which energy is collected from the sun determines the Climate of Earth and the Equilibrium temperature. The energy is saturated around the globe by ocean currents, winds and other mechanisms to alter the climates of various regions. Factors that can alter climate are referred to as “forcing mechanisms” or climate forcing. These entails processes such as variations in the reflectivity or albedo of the oceans and continents, continental drift and mountain-building, variations in the Earth’s Orbit, variations in solar radiation, and lastly changes and continental drift in greenhouse concentrations There are a lot of various climate change feedbacks that can either diminish or amplify the initial forcing. Some aspects of the climate system such as the ice caps and oceans react more hesitantly in response to climate forcing while others respond faster. There are also major threshold factors which when exceeded can result to a rapid change. Forcing mechanisms can either be “external” or “internal”. External Forcing mechanism can be either anthropogenic (for instance; maximized emissions of greenhouse gases) or natural (that is; changes in solar output). Internal forcing mechanisms are natural processes within the climate system itself (that is; the thermohaline circulation) Whether the critical forcing mechanism is external or internal; the reaction of the climate system might be slow (that is; thermal widening of warming ocean water), speedy (that is; an instant cooling as a result of airborne volcanic ash which reflects sunlight) or a combustion (that is; instant loss of albedo in the arctic ocean as sea ice melts as this is followed by more slowly thermal enlargement of the water). Therefore; the climate system can react suddenly but the full reaction to forcing mechanisms might not be completely developed for centuries or a longer period of time.