Climate Change Essay

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------------------------------------------------- Climate change From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia For current and future climatological effects of human influences, see global warming. For the study of past climate change, see paleoclimatology. For temperatures on the longest time scales, seegeologic temperature record. Climate change is a significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of weather patterns over periods ranging from decades to millions of years. It may be a change in average weather conditions or the distribution of events around that average (e.g., more or fewer extreme weather events). Climate change may be limited to a specific region or may occur across the whole Earth. ------------------------------------------------- Terminology The most general definition of climate change is a change in the statistical properties of the climate system when considered over long periods of time, regardless of cause.[1] Accordingly, fluctuations over periods shorter than a few decades, such as El Niño, do not represent climate change. The term sometimes is used to refer specifically to climate change caused by human activity, as opposed to changes in climate that may have resulted as part of Earth's natural processes.[2] In this sense, especially in the context of environmental policy, the term climate change has become synonymous with anthropogenic global warming. Within scientific journals, global warming refers to surface temperature increases while climate change includes global warming and everything else that increasing greenhouse gas levels will affect.[3] ------------------------------------------------- Causes On the broadest scale, the rate at which energy is received from the sun and the rate at which it is lost to space determine the equilibrium temperature and climate of Earth. This energy is distributed around the globe by

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