Climate Change and Global Warming have been used interchangeably in the media when in reality they are two very different things. One is causing the other and at a local level its affecting the weather. In understanding this cascade effect we can learn how to stop Global Warming and prevent Climate Change from getting worse.
Causes of Global Warming
“Global Warming” is the increase in average global temperature over time. The main thing that causes the Earth’s temperature to increase is greenhouse gases which can be released by the Earth naturally in forms of methane and carbon dioxide. The problem that we are facing is that with enormous amounts of carbon dioxide being produced by humans (along with the potent nitrous oxide from fossil fuels and fertilizers) we are artificially heating up the atmosphere at alarming rates.
According to NASA, carbon dioxide levels in more than 800,000 years have never been as high as they started to rise in the 1950’s. This was right around the time we started ramping up production of combustion engine vehicles, fossil fuels, mass transportation and manufacturing. The connection between human made Co2 with fossil fuels and the rate at which the Earth is heating up is a clear indication that Global Warming is being caused by our activity.
“Climate” is much different. Climate refers to the weather patterns specific to an area on the planet. An example for climate would be the weather you think about when I say “the Sahara Desert”, hot, dry and sunny. Compare this to the climate of the Amazon Rainforest which is known for being wet, humid and rainy.
How Global Warming is Connected to Climate Change
“Climate Change” is how weather around the world is changing. As the Earth’s temperature is heated up, this destabilizes normal weather patterns of an area. So Climate Change is being caused by Global Warming. By the Earth heating up at rates that are beyond natural levels caused by human made Co2 production, the warming of the planet is causing the Climate to Change.
Weather and Climate Change
As the Earth heats up due to overproduction of greenhouse gases (Global Warming) this causes planet wide Climate Change. Climate change equals weather patterns changing. This can mean stronger hurricanes, stronger tornadoes, floods and heavier rain patterns that are not normal to an area. It can also mean higher temperatures, no rain and no clouds.
If the weather of an area (climate) changes too much, too fast… the natural balance is thrown off which changes the ecosystem. If it gets too cold quickly and stays that way for long periods of time, the Earth can see things like an Ice Age.
In this scenario of Global Warming, since temperatures around the world are much higher than they used to be… and getting hotter, this puts the direction of global climates toward looking like the Sahara Desert. Where its hot, arid, there’s no water and high winds. We are already seeing this in areas like Australia. Other forested areas around the Earth that stay on fire longer are also headed in the same direction.
If humanity doesn’t collectively reduce or eliminate the production of greenhouse gases in order to stop Global Warming, we will be put into a position where we can no longer survive on this planet. And it was all caused by us. By transitioning to clean sustainable energy sources like solar, wind and eliminate fossil fuels… we can stop Global Warming and we can prevent Climate Change.