Institution of Affiliation
Climate Change and Global Warming
Climate change and global warming are phrases that are used interchangeably. However, they are not the same thing. Climate change refers to the occurrence of new weather patterns that may last for at least a few decades and millions of years (Oppenheimer). Unpredictable weather patterns are also a characteristic of climatic change. The climatic system is composed of various interacting components that include the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, atmosphere and cryosphere. The climatic system receives most of its energy from the sun while some of the energy is derived from the earth’s interior. It also gives out energy to the outer space and thus maintaining a balance in the earth’s energy budget. Global warming on the other side refers to the long term increase in the average temperature of the earth’s climatic system (Harvey). It also refers to the observed and continued increment in the average air and the ocean temperatures that is as a result of the carbon emissions or other greenhouse gases that are emitted from the industries.
The two phrases interrelate in that climatic change encompasses global warming but referring to the wide range of the changes that occur to the globe as a result of global warming. Some of the changes that are caused by global warming that are a characteristic of climate change include the shrinking of mountain glaciers, shifts in flower and plant booming times, accelerated ice melting as well as the rising sea levels all which are caused by the temperature increment in the earth’s crust. Therefore, the terms interrelate in that one term can be used to explain the other, global warming leads to climatic change. The issue is complicated for the two terms in that individuals use them interchangeably while explaining a different concept as they get confused which results to which simply because they have similar mitigation strategies and this leads to the misuse of the words.
Oppenheimer, Michael, and Jesse K. Anttila-Hughes. “The science of climate change.” The Future of Children (2016): 11-30.
Harvey, LD Danny. Global warming. Routledge, 2016.