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Why did the term change from "Global Warming" to "Climate change?"?

I don't seem to hear "Global Warming" that much any more.


Hey Gary, you need not be an ******. This IS a question and answer format. I was asking a question in order to get an answer. That is why they invented this little thing they call Yahoo answers. Sorry we are all not as educated as your holiness.

16 Answers

  • Noah H
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    A very small change in average temperature world wide is by definition 'global warming'. Even if the average temperature went up only a fraction of a degree over the average for the last 100 years or 1,000 years or one million years you could honestly say that the 'globe got warmer'. But of course that's not the point. The point is the 'effect'. Even a small uptick in the 'average overall temperature' will effect the overall world climate to some degree. When there were few people on this planet it didn't matter all that much. Now we have a #$%^ load of people and it does matter. Even the deniers who claim it's 'all natural' don't deny that an uptick in the 'average temperature' effects climate. The real question rests with the total amount of man made CO2 that gets tossed into our paper thin atmosphere every year at an accelerating pace. 200 years ago at the beginning of the industrial age we human critters managed to toss in a few extra tons of this stuff into the big deal...not enough to notice. 200 years later we toss in 30 billion tons of this stuff every year into the air and no end in sight....that IS a big deal! The physics of this situation are fairly straight line. The more CO2 we put into the atmosphere the more heat will be retained. That's what's happening. It ain't the 'sun', it ain't volcanoes, and it ain't the Will of God. It's the result of burning fossil fuels. We're currently looking at 400ppm of of this stuff and it's definitely changing the climate...hence, 'climate change'! Change caused by 'warming', caused by adding mucho CO2 to the atmosphere and that in turn has created an ever more robust 'greenhouse effect', and down the road...climate change! If you want to believe that it's 'all natural' there's no law to stop you. You can also believe that storks bring babies or evil spirits cause disease. But for anyone with an ounce of sense the thought that we have to stop doing what we're doing or we're all going to be 100% totally #$%^ed does cross the mind. Science and the data proves the point...but if you don't 'believe' in science and data...well...God bless you one and all!

  • 1 decade ago

    mainly because of secpticism, because even with average global warming some of the planet will actualy cool and also there will be more effects than just warming, so the term climate change covers the more broad area, also it is just more correct.

    ether term still has the same basic meaning, but because of what i have said above more people are using climate change

  • Anonymous
    5 years ago

    Wasn't the arena intended to expire of oil through now, and won't all of us be lifeless from swine flu, or the hen flu, or the..................... Alarmists needed to difference worldwide warming to local weather difference considering the fact that the earth has truthfully been going into its cooling cycle in view that 1997. Right on time table. Just find it irresistible did in all of its cycles LONG earlier than the interior combustion engine. Unfortunately, the "greenies" have caught round and feature made their good value harm everlasting. They have began a motion established on junk technology that we will be able to no longer quickly be rid of, I am afraid...

  • 4 years ago


    Source(s): Conquer Women Hearts
  • 1 decade ago

    It's true the term "Climate Change" has been used for ages BUT....

    Our AGW believers like Gary & Dana are being quite disingenuous regards the shift in how often they were used.

    The common term was 'Global Warming' until a couple of years ago. Then almost overnight 'Climate Change' became the norm along with phrases like 'Settled Science' and 'Denier'.

    The reason is this:

    East Anglia Global Temp chart 1850 to 2010

    About 10 years ago the Globe stopped warming. The AGW guys were screaming Hockey Stick & Runaway Greenhouse and wham - 10 years no warming.

    Now I have known for a long time these guys were doing 'prove what we believe' instead of 'find the truth' science, but I didn't realize they were a Religion till the whole 'Denier/Settled/Climate-Change thing.

    Now 10 years of stable temps doesn't mean AGW theory is false, but it DOES mean there is cause for Skepticism.

    Between Gary's condescending hostility & Dana blocking anyone with a decent argument, the picture of these people emerges.

    AGW fits in perfectly with the Religious belief that humanity must be saved from Capitalism by Socialism. AGW ultimately has nothing to do with actually understanding the climate & everything to do with proving the Socialists need to tax the $hit out of all things fossil fuel.

    And the Politicians KNOW this is just a Religion to frighten/control the masses.

    Which is why Obama will will take a fossil fuel jumbo jet across the Atlantic to Amsterdam for a lecture on why you shouldn't needlessly burn fossil fuels.

    Think of the tons of fuel saved if he just emailed a video.

    Oh my Did Michelle just take 40 of her friends to Spain on another Jumbo Jet?

    OK Dana, Gary & Trevor. Does Barack 'Cap & Trade' Obama believe in AGW?

    'Cause he's got a REALLY odd way of showing it.

    Source(s): Obama says Cap & Trade makes energy prices skyrocket.
  • 1 decade ago

    It has always been climate change. A journalist used the term global warming about 35 years ago and it is a convenient label for the increasing global average temperature. It is inappropriate because the climate system does not always lead to warming in all regions. In this period, of say the last hundred years or so, the term rapid climate change is appropriate.

  • Trevor
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Hi Retrovertigo,

    Both terms have been used for many, many years. There are documents from the 19th century that refer to ‘climatic change’ and from the 1930’s onwards there are references to ‘climate change’. Both terms gained popularity and much media coverage in the 1980’s.

    The media tended to use the term ‘global warming’ when perhaps they should have been using ‘climate change’. And so it became popularly known as global warming. This is especially true in the US, elsewhere in the world it’s been called ‘climate change’ for a long time.

    Both terms are correct when used in the right context, think of global warming as being the cause and climate change as being the effect.

    - - - - - - - - - -


    I’m a scientist not a politician, I don’t involve myself with politics and take very little interest in what the politicians think, do or say.

    What Obama said during a Jan 2008 interview with the San Francisco Chronicle “Under my plan of a cap and trade system, electricity rates would necessarily skyrocket”. What you seem to think he said “I don’t believe in global warming”. How do you draw such a conclusion?

    I don’t necessarily agree with Obama, we’ve had ‘cap and trade’ for several years. The price is determined more by supply and wholesale rates than anything else. During the last couple of years, when tougher greenhouse gas restrictions have been put in place, the average cost of gas and electricity has fallen to less than half the price.

    As for the notion that warming stopped 10 years ago. You’re looking at a graph based on 10 year means. 1998 was an exceptionally warm year due to the strongest El Nino episode on record, when this is taken into account then the trend is a continually rising one. You also forgot to take into account that fact that 2010 is the hottest year on record (to date). This value is excluded from the graph, if it were included then the trend is an upward one.

    If you look at a more representative graph based on 30 year trends, then the average global temperature has risen for 43 consecutive years (longer periods better compensate for anomalies like 1998 which is why climatologists use 30 years as a minimum period).

    Further, if the term ‘global warming’ was changed to ‘climate change’ for reasons of convenience, then why is the world’s primary organisation on such matters called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and not the Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming? Bear in mind it was formed in the 1980’s, long before the so called rebranding that you allude to.

  • bubba
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago

    Just refining terms. Global warming results from increasing CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere. This increases the energy in the climate system. This means that climate change will occur as a result of global warming. If climate change occurs, it could have very bad consequences on our ecological systems and ultimately people. As it is typically used, both terms are the same, but the mean temperature of the globe increasing would not be that big of a deal if it didn't mean that climate would change and earth's ecosystems would change. As a result, most scientist now use the term climate change.

  • Vince
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago

    Global Warming is the cause of the climate change we're experiencing.

  • 1 decade ago

    It has always been Climate Change. The IPCC for example was never called the IPGW. Global Warming was slang, a descriptive shortcut.

    The Bush administration made a concerted effort to increase the use of the term Climate Change because Global Warming sounded too scary, on the advice of cummunication guru Frank Luntz in 2003. The Luntz memo is now publically available.

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