Tag Archives: Greenhouse Gas Effect

Climate Change vs. Global Warming

These terms are often interchangeably used by those describing the conditions of the Earth’s temperature. Understanding the causes and effects of the two will help to distinguish the difference between climate change and global warming.

Global warming is caused when the sunray penetrates the Earth’s ozone layer, releases its heat and the heat is unable to escape the Earth’s atmosphere. The heat is unable to escape the atmosphere because it is blocked by the greenhouse gas, which is a type of gas that is caused by human activities such as burning of fossil fuels and excessive release carbon dioxide. Other than carbon dioxide, this gas is made of water vapor, methane and nitrous dioxide. This gas forms a blanket around the Earth and warms the surface area, causing the average temperature to rise. With global warming, the average temperature rises but it can also mean certain parts of the Earth cools. Generally, global warming describes the continued increase in average global surface temperature.

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Climate change on the other hand is caused by natural processes of the Earth like volcanic eruptions that cause changes in the climate system. These processes alter the climate by changing the average conditions like every day temperature and the changeability in weather. Certain climate change side effects like the increase acidity in the ocean that causes coral bleaching is not caused by global warming but rather by the increase of carbon dioxide in the ocean water due to excessive carbon in the air. Recently, climate change has been attributed to the increase of human activities.

So, in other words, global warming is actually a part of climate change’s side effect, making the climate change the bigger piece of the puzzle. Although some may argue on the distinct difference between climate change and global warming, they are essentially talking about the same thing – the changes in the Earth’s condition due to human activities.