Global Warming vs Climate Change: Differences and Similarities
Almost everyone has heard about climate change and global warming. We are hearing about greenhouse gas emissions, usage of natural resources, and other human activities, which are dramatically transforming the planet we love and live on.
Global Warming vs Climate Change: Is It a Big Difference?
By the summer of 2020, the Earth’s temperature had risen 33.8 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 1 °C), and the Arctic ice cover had shrunk to a record low of 1.60 million square miles.
Europe experienced several waves of abnormal heatwaves during which temperatures rose to 115 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 46 °C). Moreover, there were massive wildfires in Siberia, Canada, and Alaska. NWD has been closely following the UN summit on climate change and the ratification of the Paris Agreement by various countries. And now we have decided to explain the difference between global warming and climate change and why they are so often confused.
What Is Global Warming?
The global warming definition is used by scientists to explain a long-lasting increase in temperature on the Earth. The change of average air temperature can cause huge problems to all being on the planet. Most often, global warming meaning refers to the increasing level of carbon dioxide concentrations caused by human-caused influences.
At the beginning of the Industrial Revolution, no one foresaw how fast the use of fossil fuels would grow. At the beginning of the 1900s, the over burning of fossil fuels created about 1.5 billion tons of dangerous carbon dioxide. By the mid of the 1900s, emissions from the industries were three times that amount. Today they are almost 20 times more. June 2020 was a record month, as the increase in the concentration of carbon dioxide passed the safety threshold set by air quality research institutes. These are all signs of global warming.
These changes are very significant. For instance, during the last ice age, thousands of years ago, our planet was only 41 degrees Fahrenheit (ca. 5 °C) cooler than it was in 2020. That was enough for almost a third of the planet to be covered in ice. Today, the reverse process is happening. In the summer of 2019, Iceland grieved for the Ogjökull Glacier, which was formed more than 700 years ago. It was the first glacier in the country whose disappearance is considered to be caused by global warming.
Therefore, global warming refers just to an increase in the temperature of the Earth’s surface and is one of the parts of the much bigger problem of climate change. Now, having global warming explained, let’s move to the meaning of climate change.
What Is Climate Change?
The climate change definition is the human-caused observed and projected changes, long-term ones, in climate averages temperatures and conditions. In addition, this refers to climate variability, including dangerous anomalies such as severe storms, earthquakes, floods, and droughts. Human activity certainly contributes to climate change, but it is only part of the process. The Earth’s climate can change over time not only because of changes in the atmosphere, but also because of interactions between the atmosphere and various geological, chemical, biological, and geographic factors.
Climate change is a concept that includes not only global warming, but also a broader range of changes that are happening to our planet. These changes include rising ocean levels, melting ice in Greenland, Antarctica, and the Arctic, and changes in the timing of plant blooms. What does climate change mean for us? Basically, that means that our planet is changing, and no one knows whether it be possible to adapt to the new weather conditions.
Global Warming versus Climate Change
Well, knowing what global warming and climate change are, you may assume that these two processes are closely connected. You might even say that global warming is asmall but meaningful part of climate change. The world is changing because of our harmful activities and over-usage of natural resources. Global warming and climate change are happening right now, and it is a fact. The existing infrastructures of cities, industrial and power plants, and automobiles are enough to raise the global temperature above the safe mark, that is, by 35 degrees or more.
This is an introductory article to understand what the difference is and why it’s important to know about it. Follow our articles for an even better dive into the subject of climate change versus global warming.