You are here

What is/are the difference(s) between global warming and climate change?

Global warming, which is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's surface due to the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, is only one cause (albeit a major one) of climate change. 

Climate change is the statistical change in weather patterns on Earth that last for an extended period of time (at least decades long). Other potential causes include:

  • Volcanic eruptions,
  • Shifting tectonic plates,
  • Changes in solar energy, and
  • Natural changes in greenhouse gas concentrations, among other natural factors.

However, global warming due to human interaction has led to a much more significant change in Earth's climate since the middle of the 20th century. 

FAQ Tags: 
Climate Scenarios