Two crucial terms—global warming and climate change—may have come up in your reading about how to mitigate the effects of our planet’s changing climate.
Global warming and climate change are two independent phenomena that cannot completely be separated, despite the fact that they are frequently used interchangeably. Both phrases are well-established in the vocabulary of climate research, dating back more than a century!
WHAT IS GLOBAL WARMING?
Global warming is simply one component of the larger issue of climate change because it refers to an ongoing and consistent rise in global temperatures. The term “global warming” most frequently refers to the rising temperatures caused by human activity over the last 100 to 150 years.
The combustion of fossil fuels during the industrial revolution is mostly to blame for the excess greenhouse gas emissions (carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, methane, ozone, and water vapour) in the Earth’s atmosphere. Global temperatures are rising in tandem with the amount of emissions that are being trapped in the Earth’s atmosphere.
These gases accumulate and absorb solar heat. That heat would typically radiate back into space if not for those gases. Rather, the energy from the sun is retained within the Earth’s atmosphere, leading to the hothouse (greenhouse) effect, which was originally noted by Arrhenius in the 1800s.
The most prevalent greenhouse gas, CO2, has been steadily increasing over the past ten years, and it is now at its highest point in more than 60 years of measurement. The Earth experienced its warmest year on record in 2016, with 2020 following in second.
WHAT IS CLIMATE CHANGE?
On the other hand, climate change is a long-term alteration in the weather patterns of the planet brought on by the same greenhouse gas emissions. Rising global temperatures are one aspect of climate change, but there are many other effects those greenhouse gases are having on the world as well, some of which even involve some locations growing colder!
A changing climate is a natural part of life on Earth, just as temperature variations are. Large regions of the continent might see major weather changes for months or even years as a result of systems like El Nio and La Nia. But the phrase “climate change” refers to longer-term, abnormal, and unanticipated changes that are the result of human activities.
A wide range of changes, which have become indisputable during the past century, are among the repercussions of climate change. Sea levels have increased, biodiversity has been lost, there have been more heatwaves, droughts, and floods than ever before, and wildfires and hurricanes have never been more powerful. All of which indicate a climate that is drastically and quickly changing.
Difference between Global Warming and Climate Change
Climate change encompasses all the symptoms brought on by pollution and greenhouse gas production harming and changing our ecosystem, whereas global warming only refers to one process (increasing global temperatures as a result of increased greenhouse gas output).
While both natural and human forces contribute to climate change, human activities are the main cause of global warming. This is yet another crucial distinction between climate change and global warming.
Summary: Global Warming vs. Climate Change
To put it simply, climate change and global warming are two different things. Climate change is the long-term alteration of a region’s or the world’s climate, while global warming is the increase in the planet’s average temperature. In other circumstances, climate change is actually a result of global warming because rising temperatures enhance rainfall and alter the lowest and maximum temperatures in a given location. Both global warming and climate change are caused by air pollution, but they are accelerated by human activity. Additionally, both pose hazards to every living thing on Earth because many animals are badly impacted by fast changing weather patterns, and numerous uncommon species are vanishing from the planet. In order to save life on Earth, it is crucial to take dramatic measures right away.
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