Global warming and climate change are two critical consequences of increased human activities, yet the difference between them is still unknown to lots of people.
Most of the cases, we consider climate change under global warming. This might be due to our perception of these two problems.
Whenever we debate on global warming, we can visualize its picture clearly. But, in the case of climate change, the scene is not clearly known as it is a long-term process, and we can’t see its impacts in a shorter period.
In other words, global warming is more relatable to our day to day life, unlike climate change. Still, both should be studied and understood for taking measures to avoid further effects on our mother nature.
Therefore, in this article, we will explore the differences between global warming and climate change, along with their brief introduction. So, let’s have a closer view.
Table of Contents
What is Global Warming?
Before understanding the differences, let’s see what global warming is. It is the long-term increase in temperature of the earth’s atmosphere due to several human activities.
These human activities include mining, deforestation, increased population, industrialization, urbanization, and further burning of fossil fuels.
Several studies indicate that these two links are interlinked with each other. For example, we can see global warming as a cause of climate change. Further, climate change can also increase the temperature of our earth’s surface.
Both cases are due to human-made causes. However, research shows people assume global warming as more human-oriented and climate change as natural.
“Global temperature rise” or “global warming” started to be noticed in the early 20th century since the 1970s. In 1880 about 1ºC temperature has increased as compared to the period between 1951 to 1980.
The primary cause of global warming includes the growing population. Due to the high population, the demands of human needs increase. The first demand is food, which increased agriculture requires.
Increased agriculture demands more lands, and a more significant number of trees have been chopped out. Moreover, food processing requires advanced industrialization.
A high amount of fossil fuels is needed to be burned to fulfill the demand for fuel or electricity. Increased automobiles further have a consequence of greenhouse effects and ozone depletion.
This causes harmful sun radiations to reach our living atmosphere, and several climatic changes and health hazards begin.
What is Climate Change?
However, climate change refers to the change in the average of total weather variation for 30 years. All the weather factors like temperature, atmospheric pressure, humidity, wind, clouds, and precipitation are measured regularly to know the mean climate changes over three decades.
We can say climate change due to global warming, as the atmospheric temperature is a major climatic factor. Due to climate change, we can’t feel a single weather condition at a single season.
The broader effect of earth’s climate change was studied in the early 20th century due to burning fossil fuels like coal and petroleum and accelerated green-house gases.
The earth’s average temperature fluctuation is nothing new, but we experienced this before. Some of the evidence for this is the long warm periods (interglacial) and cold periods, i.e., ice ages.
Several natural causes of global climate change involve variation in the sun’s energy, changes in the earth’s orbit, increased volcanic activities, etc.
Moreover, increased climate change results in more severe weather like thunderstorms, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, and even drought.
These extreme atmospheric conditions then become a reason for decreased food production and food supply, economic loss, hunger and poverty, unemployment, and migration to other cities.
Most of the cases, the unpredictable precipitation hampers our regular life. In between health hazards are common effects of both the issues. Therefore, knowing the difference between global warming and climate change can take us towards their control measures.
Global Warming vs. Climate Change
From the above observation, we will know that global warming and climate change are two interchangeably used terms having the same causes and impacts on our earth. Still, we can discuss some differences between them.
According to several research and findings, it is found that global temperatures are increasing rapidly over the past 1,700 years, causing both devastating situations.
The following table shows the comparison factors and some differences in global warming vs. climate change.
|Comparison Factors||Global Warming||Climate Change|
|Definition||Global warming is the overall increase in temperature due to several man-made causes.||Climate change is the resultant instability of weather for 30 years.|
|Causes||Burning fossil fuels, deforestation, increased population, Mining, industrialization, urbanization, pollution, etc.||Increase the greenhouse gas rate in the atmosphere, variation in the sun’s energy, changes in the orbit of the earth, ocean acidification, etc.|
|Effects||Instability in the ecosystem, species extinction, coastal erosion, health hazards, coral bleaching, climate change, etc.||Increased drought and heatwaves, severe thunderstorms, intense hurricanes, an increase in sea level, melting of glaciers, etc.|
|Measurements||Global temperature is measured by a widely used index of GISTEMP.||Climate change is commonly measured using global average surface temperature for three decades.|
|Factors||Man-made||Man-made and natural|
Summing up the difference between global warming and climate change, we can understand that these two terms are similar in various aspects.
In fact, one is a cause, as well as the effect of others. For that reason, several environmental leaders use both terms interchangeably to show harmful impacts.
Temperature is the most common thing we can show to compare both. In most cases, global warming is a well-known term, and people can’t visualize the consequences of climate change. However, several scholarly articles provide evidence that climate change has been known before the term global warming.
Both have similar impacts on our biotic and abiotic components of the ecosystem. This can be imagined as our earth is burning over a stove, and all animals, plants, and infrastructures have been destroyed.
The most drastic effects of both global warming and climate change are shown due to accelerated human activities. The natural causes of climate change are not in our hands. But, if we want to save our earth from those distressing realities, we must take essential control measures.