Climate Change


The term climate change — often used interchangeably with the term global warming — is growing in preferred use as conveys a more rounded description of any number of changing climate patterns in addition to rising temperatures. Changing patterns of temperature (up or down), precipitation, wind, severe weather and seasonal shifts are some of the other indicators.

Climate change refers to any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change may result from: natural factors, such as changes in the sun's intensity or slow changes in the Earth's orbit around the sun; natural processes within the climate system (e.g. changes in ocean circulation); and human activities that change the atmosphere's composition (through the burning of fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation, urbanization, desertification, etc.).

Sources: EPA for background; Photo: John LeGear CC BY-SA 2.0/Flickr

2019 was the second-hottest year on record, ending the hottest decade on Earth

The oceans are warming so fast, it's like 5 atomic bombs exploding every second

Climate change may have been the one thing Vikings truly feared

A beautiful thing happened after coal-fired plants were shut down in the U.S.

Scientists warn the world is about to reach 'peak meat'

This time-lapse video makes clear how Alaska's glaciers are changing

Catastrophic fires in Australia raise concerns about the future of koalas

Greenland's ice sheet briefly hosted the world's tallest waterfall

Carbon dioxide in Earth's atmosphere has set another ominous record

Insect 'extinction event' will transform nature

Coral reef fish are now moving into temperate kelp forests, with dire consequences

See how much Arctic ice has vanished over the last 25 years