You are here:

Global warming and climate change

Global warming and climate change

What is the difference between global warming and climate change?

These terms are often used interchangeably however they refer to slightly different things.

Global warming refers to the long term warming of the planet. Scientists have shown there has been rise in global temperature since the early 20th century most notably since the 1980s. These has been an average increase in temperature of 0.40C since 1980 to 2008.

This warming has mainly been caused by the burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil, gas and peat.

Climate change refers to a much broader range of changes that are happening to Earth's climate caused by this warming. Some of these changes include melting ice-caps, rising sea levels and changes in natural processes such as plant blooming times.


Video source: NASA