What’s The Difference Between Climate Change and Global Warming
Climate change and global warming are often used interchangeably in conversation, but the two terms are not synonymous. They are related, however, and understanding the difference between the two terms can help people better understand the implications of the current climate crisis.
What is Global Warming?
Global warming is the increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature due to the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. These gases trap heat from the sun, leading to an overall temperature increase. Global warming would not occur without human activities, which release large amounts of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
What is Climate Change?
Climate change is a broader term that encompasses global warming, but also includes other effects of human activities on the climate. These activities include land-use changes, deforestation, and the burning of fossil fuels. These activities can lead to changes in precipitation patterns, ocean acidification, and melting of glaciers and ice sheets, among other impacts. Climate change is a long-term, global phenomenon that can cause extreme weather events and other disruptions in the environment.
The Connection Between Climate Change and Global Warming
Global warming is caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which is in turn caused by human activities. This means that climate change is caused by the same activities that lead to global warming. As such, climate change is an umbrella term that includes global warming.
The Implications of Climate Change and Global Warming
The impacts of global warming and climate change are becoming increasingly apparent. Extreme weather events, rising sea levels, and melting ice caps are just a few of the effects we are already seeing. If left unchecked, these effects will only worsen in the future, with devastating consequences for human and natural systems.
Climate change and global warming are not the same thing, but they are related. Global warming is caused by the accumulation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, which is caused by human activities. Climate change is a broader term that encompasses global warming, as well as other effects of human activities on the climate. The effects of climate change and global warming are already being felt around the world and are likely to worsen if left unchecked.
Kyle Whyte is a notable scholar and professor at the University of Michigan, holding positions such as the George Willis Pack Professor in the School for Environment and Sustainability and Professor of Philosophy. Specializing in environmental justice, his work critically examines climate policy and Indigenous peoples’ ethics, emphasizing the nexus between cooperative scientific endeavors and Indigenous justice. As an enrolled Citizen Potawatomi Nation member, he brings a vital perspective to his roles as a U.S. Science Envoy and member of the White House Environmental Justice Advisory Council. His influential research is supported by various prestigious organizations including the National Science Foundation, and disseminated through publications in high-impact journals. Kyle actively contributes to global Indigenous research methodologies and education, with affiliations to numerous institutes and societies dedicated to traditional knowledge and sustainability. Recognized for his academic and community engagement, Kyle has earned multiple awards and served in various visiting professorships. His efforts extend to leadership positions on boards and committees focused on environmental justice nationwide.