Climate Change and Global Warming
The term climate change is often used interchangeably with the term global warming, but term climate change is preferred over global warming because it helps convey that there are other changes in addition to rising temperatures. Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate such as temperature, precipitation, or wind lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change may result from:natural factors, such as changes in the sun’s intensity or slow changes in the Earth’s orbit around the sun;natural processes within the climate system (e.g. changes in ocean circulation);human activities that change the atmosphere’s composition (e.g. through burning fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation, urbanization, desertification, etc.) Difference between Global Warming and Climate Change
- Global warming refers to the increase of the Earth’s average surface temperature, due to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. An overall warming of the planet, based on average temperature over the entire surface.Climate change is a broader term that refers to long-term changes in climate, including changes in regional climate characteristics, such as temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind, and severe weather events for a given area. Climate change can involve cooling or warming.
- Climate change is a long-term change in the average climate of the planet or a region of the planet. The term “global warming” refers to a sustained increase in global average surface temperature and so, is just one aspect of climate change.
- Global warming is a phenomenon that is a type of climate change. Global warming, as it is defined, can cause climate change. It is also notable that climate change can magnify the process and impact of global warming.