What is the difference between "global warming" and "climate change?"

1 Answer
Dec 20, 2015

Global warming is one aspect of climate change; climate change is a much broader term used to describe changes in the planet's climate.


Global warming refers to the increase in average global temperatures due to an increase in greenhouse gases.

Climate change refers to changes in the Earth's climate happening over a long scale. Global warming is one such change, but climate change also includes more extreme weather events, sea level rise, ocean acidification, etc. Thus, climate change includes global warming but also the other symptoms of increased greenhouse gases.

Another way to think of the two terms is to think of global warming as a symptom of climate change similar to how a fever is a symptom of the flu.

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