How can movements in the lithosphere affect climate?

1 Answer
Jan 18, 2018

Shifting of climatic zones


The surface of the Earth is divided in a series of plates that are continuously moving relatively to each other.

The resulting of such movements is that a given specific plate will "migrate" along the surface of the planet likely changing its latitude and longitude. As example areas that are now close to the equator can move towards the poles through the geological time (we are talking of several million of years) thus changing their climatic zone.

England during the Carboniferous period (about 350 Ma) was close to the equator with a warm tropical climate that allowed for the growing of rain forest which vegetation (once buried and fossilized) originated the large deposits of coal called "Coal Measures" that were the main source of energy for the Industrial Revolution.

Moreover the movement of the plates can lead to the formation of mountain ridges and/or the opening of new oceans. Both have great impact on the climate at regional and global scale.