What is climate change? The definition, causes and effects

What is climate change? The definition, causes and effects

Climate change is the catch-all term for the shift in worldwide weather phenomena connected with an increase in global average temperatures. It’s real and temperatures being going up round the world for most decades.

Reliable temperature records began in 1850 and our world has become about one degree Celcius hotter than it was into the period between 1850 and 1900 – commonly called the “pre-industrial” average.

The change is even more visible over a shorter time period – compared to average temperatures between 1961 and 1990, 2017 was 0.68 degrees warmer, while 2016 was 0.8 degrees warmer, as a result of a extra boost from the naturally-occurring El Niño weather system.

While this temperature increase is more specifically called global warming, climate change is the term currently favoured by science communicators, as it climate change essay titles explicitly includes not only Earth’s increasing global average temperature, but also the climate effects caused by this increase.


Global efforts are now focussed on keeping temperatures from increasing more than two degrees above that pre-industrial average, and ideally no more than 1.5 degrees. That goal may nevertheless be possible if the international community pulls together.

Which are the ramifications of climate change?

The effects of anthropogenic – human-caused – climate change range from more frequent and severe droughts to snowstorms and extreme winter weather in temperate regions due to warming Arctic weather fronts.

It’s not only humans which can be affected. Warming ocean temperatures are increasing the frequency of coral reef bleaching; warmer, drier weather means that forests in some regions are no longer recovering from wildfires and wildlife habitats round the world are becoming less hospitable to animals.

Climate change is having economic and socio-political effects, too. Food security is already being impacted in several African countries and researchers are studying suggestive links between climate change and an increased likelihood of military conflict.

We’re already seeing the first climate refugees as people are displaced by rising sea levels, melting Arctic permafrost and other extreme weather.

Which are the factors behind climate change?

We have been. While a wide range of natural phenomena can radically affect the climate, publishing climate scientists overwhelmingly agree that global warming and resultant climate effects that we’re witnessing are the results of real human activity.

Life on Earth is dependent on an atmospheric “greenhouse” – a layer of gasses, primarily water vapour, into the lower atmosphere that trap heat from the sun as it’s reflected back from the Earth, radiating it back and keeping our planet at a temperature capable of supporting life.

Peoples activity is currently generating an excess of long-lived greenhouse gasses that – unlike water vapour – don’t dissipate in response to temperature increases, resulting in a continuing buildup of heat.

Key greenhouse gasses include carbon dioxide, methane and nitrous oxide. Skin tightening and is the best-known, with natural sources including decomposition and animal respiration. The main source of excess skin tightening and emissions is the burning of fossil fuels, while deforestation has paid off the total amount of plant life offered to turn CO2 into oxygen.


Methane, a more potent but less abundant greenhouse gas, comes into the atmosphere from farming – both from animals such as for example cattle and arable farming methods including standard rice paddies – and from fossil fuel exploration and abandoned oil and gas wells.

Chlorofluorocarbons and hydrofluorocarbons – once widely used in manufacturing applications and home appliances such as for example refrigerators – were key greenhouse gasses released during the 20th century, but are now heavily regulated because of the severe impact on the atmosphere, which includes ozone depletion, in addition to trapping heat into the lower atmosphere.

Our warming climate is also creating a feedback loop as greenhouse gasses trapped in Arctic permafrost are released.

For many years, oil companies were heavily dedicated to pushing the narrative that fossil fuels did not have an impact on climate change. To this end, they bought advertising and funded organisations to cast doubt on climate change, even while their own research conclusively showed that fossil fuels really are a major contributing cause of climate change.

This can be still playing out in ongoing lawsuits against oil companies, but even giants such as for instance Chevron now publicly acknowledge the role that fossil fuel use has played in changing our climate. Now, their key defence is that it’s the fault of fossil fuel consumers for using it, instead of of the companies that extracted, marketed and profited from oil.

Definition of Climate Change

Nasa defines climate change as: “a broad range of global phenomena created predominantly by burning fossil fuels, which add heat-trapping gases to Earth’s atmosphere. These phenomena include the increased temperature trends described by global warming, but also encompass changes such as for example sea level rise; ice mass loss in Greenland, Antarctica, the Arctic and mountain glaciers worldwide; shifts in flower/plant blooming; and extreme weather events.”

In the last 50 years, real human activities such as for example excavating the earth, use of fossil fuels and greenhouse emissions have drastically altered the earth’s climate in negative methods. During this period of time, the burning of fossil fuels has released large quantities of skin tightening and and greenhouse emissions which in turn have trapped heat into the earth’s lower atmosphere thereby affecting our global climate.

Statistics show that the ravages of global warming as well as its ramifications of climate change affects different regions in diverse methods but in total, the earth has witnessed an increase of 0.85 degree centigrade in its general temperature into the last 100 years. These statistics also highlight that the increase is defined to pass acceptable thresholds by 2030. And when this takes place, it’s going to cause dire consequences regarding the earth’s climate and real human health into the long run. Therefore, the responsibility of educating the planet’s population regarding the hazards of global warming falls on your own shoulders. In order to do so, here are 20 short essay topics on global warming students should consider working on to divert our collective attention to this ticking time bomb.

The 20 short essay topics on global warming:

  1. Discussing the Impact of Climate Change on Human Health
  2. Understanding Global Warming, its Relation to Climate Change and Health Effects
  3. Global Warming Driving Extreme Heating in Urban Areas
  4. Natural Disasters, Varying Rainfall Patterns and Your Health
  5. Reducing Wildfires through the Study and Management of Global Warming
  6. Ocean Acidification as well as its Effects regarding the World’s Habitat
  7. Measuring the Health Effects of Global Warming regarding the Earth’s Population
  8. Global Warming, Natural Disasters and also the Correlation with Mental Illness
  9. Global Warming and Excessive Climate Change; A risk to Human Everyday Lives
  10. Investigating Warmer Temperatures and its Support for Allergy-Related Diseases
  11. Investigating Climate Change Effects on the standard of living in Urban and Rural Areas
  12. Results of Global Warming on Health Care
  13. Reducing the ramifications of Global Warming on Human Health
  14. How Global Warming Works and its Dangers to Human Health
  15. Climate Change Droughts and Diseases in Sub-Saharan Africa
  16. Global Warming as well as its unwanted effects on Agriculture and Human Well-being
  17. Climate change, Irregular Weather Patterns as well as the Food Chain
  18. The Health Risks Connected With Greenhouse Emissions and Global Warming
  19. Global Warming as well as its Effects on Air Quality in Urban Communities
  20. Climate Change additionally the Ever-Disappearing Rainforest

The above short essay topics on global warming covers the various far reaching effects of climate change regarding the earth’s ecosystem. Therefore, if you are enthusiastic about studying nature or natural disasters, you can simply decide on a topic that targets how global warming affects your area of study and the individuals residing in these regions.

In the next part of this article, a topic will likely to be chose and a short essay may be written around it to provide you with some direction on drafting essays on global warming. You should remember that this article was encouraged by the first article — 10 facts on global warming and peoples health in world climate change — in this three part series.

Sample Short Essay: How Global Warming Works and Its Dangers to Human Health

Throughout the last two decades, scientist have been involved with a race to prove that the trend known as global warming exists and could drastically affect real human life in the coming decades. The need to offer hard facts stemmed from the criticism the environmental community has received from politicians and naysayers which think that an ulterior motive is integrated into the message of cleaning up the environmental surroundings. Therefore, I intend to use this essay to discuss the meaning of global warming and how it’s going to affect real human life into the near future.

In simple terms, global warming is the increase of the earth’s average surface temperature as a result of effect of greenhouse gasses such as skin tightening and, which in turn trap heat into the earth’s atmosphere. In an ideal situation or ecosystem, these heat created by the application of fossil fuels and deforestation would escape from the earth’s surface but the number of greenhouse vapors the earth currently produces outweighs the earth’s natural filters.

As earlier stated, global warming is caused by carbon dioxide and greenhouse emission produced in large quantities by real human activities. These activities are the burning of fossil fuel in our vehicles, industries and homes, and the massive deforestation occurring in rural areas to present building materials, paper and fuel for human consumption.

This abuse of the earth’s resources has led to increased emission rates, trapped heat and an overall boost in the earth’s temperature by 0.85 degree centigrade into the 21st century. The increase in temperature also has its adverse effects regarding the world’s climate and contains led to irregular weather conditions worldwide. Due to climate change, rivers and oceans now overflow their financial institutions resulting in summary of act one of as you like it’ flooding of farms which are the resources of food and revenue for rural communities.

The result was widespread malnutrition, mosquito population growth, and increase in malaria-related deaths and the spread of waterborne diseases which drastically reduces the grade of life in rural areas. Urban areas may also be not left out, as irregular weather conditions have led to heat waves which have been responsible for around 30,000 deaths on a yearly basis. Wildfires are another by-product of a changing climate and they’ve led to displacements, disillusionment and anxiety among individuals who have been caught up in their part.

Although global warming affects the people of earth in diverse ways, everybody however suffers its ravages. Studies also show that if the trend in which fossil fuels are being consumed continues, the year 2030 will witness unprecedented climate irregularities which could cause around 250,000 deaths. Therefore, the task of saving everyday lives falls on our shoulders and the public could be sensitized and better educated once we all agree that global warming and the issues it raises are important.