There have been many debates concerning the validity of climate change. Is it a concern exacerbated by scientists to attract research funding or a problem needing urgent attention? Regardless of what one believes, a basic understanding of climate change is pertinent.
What exactly is climate change? Some may simply say it’s a change in climate but it is much more than that. According to NASA, climate change is the “long-term change in the average weather patterns that have come to define Earth’s local, regional and global climates.” These changes create a variety of effects like increased sea levels—the result of melting ice caps in the northern and southern hemispheres. Climate change should not be confused with global warming even though global warming can be considered as one of the effects or causes of climate change. Climate change is primarily used to define all types of changes to the weather while global warming as the name implies, signifies the heating of the earth.
The primary cause of climate change is the constant emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. “While carbon dioxide occurs naturally in the atmosphere, it is one of the main greenhouse gases affecting climate change. Water Vapor is also a greenhouse gas; High concentrations of water vapor in the atmosphere–an effect of the rise of carbon dioxide–increase atmospheric warming. In a way, carbon dioxide and water vapor work together. Other greenhouse gases include nitrous oxide and CFCs (chlorofluorocarbon), each with its origin and impact on the atmosphere.
To sum up, the above is a very brief overview of climate change. One can only hope this will help to create awareness and at the very least, encourage research on the topic.
NASA: The causes of climate change: https://climate.nasa.gov/causes/
NASA: Overview: Weather, Global Warming and Climate Change https://climate.nasa.gov/resources/global-warming-vs-climate-change/