What is Global Climate Change?

Dan Cavallari

Global climate change is the change in global temperatures, weather patterns, and other statistical figures pertaining to global climate over the course of years, centuries, and eons. It is a blanket term that can refer to any statistical change in global climate, but most recently the term has referred to changes in the global climate as a result of human activity. It also refers to political initiatives aimed at reducing greenhouse gasses and improving air quality throughout the world. As weather patterns change, global climate change can be analyzed, and in modern times, the change in global weather and climate has led to an analyzation of human impact on the earth.

A map of the polar ice caps, which are thought to be affected by global warming.
A map of the polar ice caps, which are thought to be affected by global warming.

"Global warming" is a term that is often associated with global climate change. It refers to the change in global temperature, which is affecting other aspects of normal functions of the earth. The accrual of carbon in the earth's atmosphere due to industrialization throughout the world has led to a change in global temperatures, which in turn affects the way all living things function on a day to day level as well as evolutionarily. Many political entities have advocated for major changes in industrial practices as a result of the damage built up carbon can do to the atmosphere.

The effect man has on global climate change is constantly debated. Some argue that man is directly responsible for the negative consequences of global climate change, while others argue climate change is a natural process and man and other animals will evolve along with it. This debate has stalled many global efforts to curb greenhouse gas emissions from large polluters such as energy companies producing power from coal, oil, gas, or nuclear reactions. Some argue that climate change is a direct threat to the safety and sustenance of human beings, while others argue the impact is overstated.

While some causes of global climate change can be addressed by man, others are simply beyond man's control. Solar output, for example, has increased over the course of centuries, and it has thus become a major contributor to global warming. Some argue that rising sea levels cannot be addressed by man, though one consequence of global warming is melting ice caps, which in turn contribute to rising sea levels. Many believe that humans can reduce the emissions caused by industrialization, thereby slowing the rise in sea levels as well as other consequences of global warming.

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