Why is Global Warming Different from Climate Change?

By: Langston Staton

When talking about Global Warming many people can not differentiate it from climate change. The two terms refer to weather and climate regarding people, are confusing but allude to weather events in different ways. 

According to NASA “weather refers to atmospheric conditions that occur locally over short periods- these include minutes, hours, and even days”. Typically, climate refers to long-term, at least twenty to thirty years. This includes the regional global average, temperatures humidity, rain, and snow over most years seasons, and decades.

Global warming is the long-term heating of the earth’s surface that has been observed since the pre-industrial period. (The pre-industrial period was from 1850 and 1900). Due to human activities such as fossil fuel burning examples include coal and gasoline. 

These increase greenhouse gas levels in the Earth’s atmosphere. Global warming is not interchangeable with the term “climate change.” Climate change is a long-term change in weather patterns that have come to define the earth’s local, regional global climates, according to NASA.

Changes have been observed in the earth’s climate since the mid-20th century. They are driven by human activities that also include internal variability patterns in the oceans El Nino, La Nina. El Nino refers to the above average sea surface temperatures, representing the warm phase of the ENSO cycle. On the contrary, La Nina refers to the cooling of sea surface temperatures.

Scientists take observations from the ground, air space, and computer modules to study the past present, and possible future climate changes. What most people do not know is that climate data records provide evidence of key indicators like global land and ocean temperature increases, due to sea levels rising, ice loss at the north and south poles as well as mountain glaciers. The frequency can cause severe changes in our weather such as hurricanes, heatwaves, floods, wildfires, precipitation, droughts, cloud, and vegetation changes.

Does Climate change entail global warming? Yes, but climate change refers to a broader range of changes that are happening to our planet.  These include rising sea levels, mountain glaciers, and an acceleration of ice melting in Greenland, Antarctica, and the artic. All these issues in nature have become consequences of global warming. 

This is due to people also burning fossil fuels at an alarming rate. Since 1850, which is the start of the Industrial Revolution, fossil fuel consumption has changed over the past few centuries.

As shown in the graph below “fossil fuel consumption has increased significantly over the past half a century around eight-fold since 1950 and doubling since 1980” according to Our world in

Global warming is a long-term warming of a planet. Ever since the 1970s, there has been a well-documented rise in the earth’s temperature. The average temperature of the earth has risen 1 degree Celsius which is about 2 degrees Fahrenheit. This is an additional 0.15 degrees Celsius of warming between 1750 and 1880. If humans make everyday changes to their life that include using fewer fossil fuels, recycling products and clean our environment, the world can cool itself down.

Categories: science, Worldwide News

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