Global Warming versus Climate Change

From Open Risk Manual


Global Warming versus Climate Change clarifies the relation of two linked phenomena. [1]

Global warming is an increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature that occurs when the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere increases. These gases absorb more solar radiation and trap more heat, thus causing the planet to get hotter. Burning fossil fuels, cutting down forests, and farming livestock are some human activities that release greenhouse gases and contribute to global warming.

Climate change refers to the long-term changes in the Earth’s climate that are warming the atmosphere, ocean and land. Climate change is affecting the balance of ecosystems that support life and biodiversity, and impacting health. It also causes more extreme weather events, such as more intense and/or frequent hurricanes, floods, heat waves, and droughts, and leads to sea level rise and coastal erosion as a result of ocean warming, melting of glaciers, ad loss of ice sheets.

Global warming is an an important but not the only tangible (measurable) manifestation of climate change.