Climate variations have always had an impact on human activities. Sometimes the climate has even changed the history of entire civilisations with the advent of long periods of unfavourable conditions due, for example, to floods or droughts. Recent and unequivocal examples of climate impact are the abnormal harvest of 1972 and the tragic situation in the Sahel regions. The impact of climate variability will be even greater in the coming years as the demand for resources and food increases. In recent years, there has been increasing evidence that human activities can influence the Earth’s climate. Changes to the ozone layer, increased carbon dioxide and the production of tropospheric aerosols are among the questionable activities.
Other perturbations are linked to changes in the carbon cycle, probably due to the management cycle of forest resources. In contrast, there is evidence of climate variability in past epochs, both on scales of hundreds and thousands of years, as in the case of ice ages, but also on scales of tens of years, such as the so-called ‘little ice age’ of the 17th century. Better understood, climate variability could improve resource management and planning and bring undeniable economic benefits to the national and international community.
According to the traditional definition, climate is a characteristic that refers to a specific region of the Earth. It is well known that the Earth-atmosphere system has experienced alternating cold periods – glaciations and interglacials – the last of which began 15,000 years ago. Therefore, despite appearances, the Earth’s climate is extremely variable, and the amplitude of variations varies widely on both spatial and temporal scales. This means that the climate fluctuates from one region to another over the course of years. Not unlike any other natural phenomenon, climate, and its fluctuations (short- or long-term) are governed by physical laws. These laws and their identification are the subject of modern climate research. This field, once a branch of descriptive geography, has in the last quarter century developed into a quantitative discipline of physics. Short-term fluctuations and long-term variations result from internal processes or external influences, which operate on a complex system comprising the atmosphere, hydrosphere, land, cryosphere, and biosphere. This represents the ‘climate system’ in its combination. The different components of this system are mutually interactive with characteristic time scales that differ by orders of magnitude from each other. This occurs in such a way that a natural or induced variation in one of them gives rise to feedback processes that could cause a change in climate on both a global and regional/local scale.
The International School of Climatology aims to be a highly qualified forum that brings together the world’s most distinguished scientists. It will allow them to compare their experiences and share their views on the above-mentioned topics. It also offers deserving young students an exceptional opportunity to learn about the most up-to-date theories and studies in climatology.