global warming(redirected from climate change)
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Related to climate change: global warming
glo·bal warm·ing(glō'băl wōrm'ing),
A gradual increase in the temperature of the atomosphere and the oceans, observed since the late 19th century and thought to be due to the so-called greenhouse effect (reduction in radiation of heat from the Earth by an increase in CO2 concentration of the atomsphere). Possible public health effects of global warming include shifts in the habitats of pathogenic organisms and vectors, food crop failures, and health hazards associated with changes of climate (elevated average regional temperatures, drought, flooding).
an ecological model of world climate changes based on the greenhouse effect, exacerbated by burning of fossil fuels, massive deforestation, and conversion of cropland to industrial and other urban uses, all contributing to an increase in the earth's temperature. Major shifts in climate are not unusual in the history of the earth, which has undergone global warming in previous periods of geological history.
glo·bal warm·ing(glō'băl wōrm'ing)
A nonspecific colloquialism for the phenomena related to changes in weather pattern caused by generalized elevation of ocean temperature. Although still in dispute in some quarters, recognized as a dangerous and potentially overwhelming ecologic crisis; some scientists believe it may be possible to slow or reverse the trend through limitation of greenhouse gas emissions, which are thought responsible for the rise in global temperatures.