100+ Words Related to Climate Change

Climate change–what’s it all about? Is it just a catch-all term to explain away every overly hot, cold, or rainy day that ruins your plans? There are a lot of words related to climate change. And not all of them have to do with the weather. They are related, though. Let’s take a look at some of the definitions. 

Related:

Global Warming

Of all the words related to climate change, global warming is arguably the most confusing because, too often, it is used interchangeably with climate change when really it is just one aspect.

Global warming refers to the fact that the Earth has been progressively growing warmer. And in the past 100 years, the pace has picked up substantially. Most lay the blame for global warming on human activities like burning fossil fuels. 

Every time that coal, oil, or natural gas is burned, they emit carbon dioxide (CO2) into the Earth’s atmosphere. These greenhouse gases (GHGs) then get trapped in the atmosphere, causing surface temperatures to rise. But it’s not just humans who are at fault. Natural occurrences like volcanic eruptions and wildfires also contribute to the mix.   

Drought

What role does climate change play in droughts? Many regions of the world experience periodic dry spells. However, as greater amounts of GHGs become trapped in the atmosphere, temperatures become and remain higher. In turn, these warmer temperatures cause surface water to evaporate more rapidly. And get this. That evaporated water stays in the air in the form of vapor, making it even warmer, which causes even more evaporation. As a result, soils dry out, water sources are drained, and plants die. It’s a vicious cycle.

Ocean Acidification

The global warming component of climate change doesn’t just cause the surface temperature of land masses to increase. A significant amount of CO2 emissions is absorbed into our oceans, causing their temperatures to rise also. This is because the chemical reaction between seawater and CO2 creates an overabundance of hydrogen ions. And that makes the seawater far more acidic. It also creates a lesser abundance of carbonate ions. 

So what does all this talk about ions mean for you and me? Here’s the important thing: Carbonate ions are necessary for the development of things like shells and sea corals. With fewer of those ions in the water, there will be far fewer clams, oysters, and other shellfish to enjoy. More acidic waters also make it difficult for some species of fish to become aware of and avoid predators.

Ocean acidification hurts communities that depend economically on the fishing trade. And it hurts all of us who enjoy fish as part of a healthy diet.

Carbon Footprint

Think about it. Every time you start your gas-powered car or turn on the TV, you’re burning fossil fuels. And this adds to the world’s GHG emissions. Every one of us has a carbon footprint. Think of it as a personal amount of GHGs we add to the planet.

By collectively reducing GHG emissions, we can help reduce global warming. This, in turn, can help negate some of the not-so-good effects of overall climate change.

What are some simple changes you can make to reduce your carbon footprint? You walk or ride a bike, especially for short trips. You can also wash your laundry in cold water or limit your time in the shower to five minutes.

Ozone

Ozone is a gas that lives miles high above the Earth’s surface in the layer of the atmosphere known as the stratosphere. Scientists say it does a good job of absorbing most of the sun’s harmful UV radiation. So it’s critical to our survival!

Back in the 1980s, scientists discovered the stratosphere’s ozone layer was thinning out in some areas. The cause was due to the chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) that made their way up into the stratosphere layer.

And what are CFCs, you may ask? They’re manmade greenhouse gases, chemicals used to make things like aerosol sprays, refrigerants, and packing materials. 

Biofuels

Burning fossil fuels contributes largely to global warming. Because of this, the push has long been on to find Earth-friendly replacements. Enter biofuels. Biofuels are liquid fuels made from–you guessed it–biological matter. It’s stuff like plants, cooking fat, and animal waste. And while burning them does add CO2 to the environment, many argue they don’t add to what’s already here. This is because the same plants used for the purpose of making biofuels absorb CO2 while they grow. Right now, biofuels are a long way away from matching, let alone replacing fossil fuels. Some work still needs to be done to make them truly carbon-neutral.

Climate Justice

Any list of words related to climate change should include climate justice. Climate justice starts with recognizing that the impacts of climate change are not equally distributed. 

For instance, people of lower socioeconomic status, with disabilities, or in underdeveloped countries, to name a few, bear a greater burden. They may not be able to afford air conditioning on oppressively hot days. Nor may they be able to afford flood or fire insurance. And they may have a harder time accessing a reliable food supply. The goal of climate justice is to address and ease such disparities.

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC)

Are there issues that all people on Earth should deeply care about? Absolutely! And fortunately, many nations agree. In June of 1992, 154 nation-states gathered at an Earth Summit and established an environmental treaty. Its purpose is to reduce our collective meddling with the climate and work together to level off the amount of GHGs in our atmosphere. The overall idea then and now is to buy enough time to let our ecosystems adapt naturally to change.

Signers of the treaty also recognized that developed nations were primarily responsible for these GHG emissions. And that a successful outcome would depend on broad cooperation among them.

List of Words Related to Climate Change

  1. Carbon Dioxide 
  2. Sea Level 
  3. Greenhouse Gases 
  4. Fossil Fuels 
  5. Mitigation 
  6. Greenhouse Gas Emissions 
  7. Methane 
  8. Resources 
  9. Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) 
  10. Ecosystems 
  11. Carbon Emissions 
  12. Adaptation 
  13. Glaciers 
  14. Nitrous Oxide 
  15. Ice Sheet 
  16. Conference of the Parties (COP)
  17. Floods 
  18. Climate System 
  19. Paris Agreement 
  20. Carbon Cycle 
  21. Extreme Weather Events 
  22. El Niño (El Niño-Southern Oscillation)
  23. La Niña
  24. Ozone 
  25. Biomass 
  26. Hydrologic Cycle 
  27. Land Use 
  28. Environmental Treaty
  29. Exposure 
  30. Natural Disasters 
  31. Runoff 
  32. Warm Water Current 
  33. Climate Projection 
  34. Scientists 
  35. Earth’s Atmosphere 
  36. Weather Patterns 
  37. Solar Radiation 
  38. Vulnerability 
  39. Land Surface 
  40. Volcanic Eruptions 
  41. Pacific Ocean 
  42. Kyoto Protocol
  43. Greenhouse Gases
  44. Chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs)
  45. Deforestation
  46. Biodiversity
  47. Desertification
  48. Drought
  49. Reforestation
  50. Ocean Acidification
  51. Sea Ice
  52. Permafrost
  53. Habitat Loss
  54. Ocean Currents
  55. Wildlife
  56. Green Energy
  57. Carbon Footprint
  58. Sustainability
  59. Conservation
  60. Emission Reduction
  61. Global Warming
  62. Temperature Rise
  63. Carbon Neutrality
  64. Environmental Impact
  65. Renewable Energy
  66. Climate Action
  67. Resilience
  68. Carbon Pricing
  69. Melting Ice Caps
  70. Climate Finance
  71. Ecological Balance
  72. Carbon Capture
  73. Sustainable Development
  74. Environmental Policy
  75. Ecological Footprint
  76. Carbon Trading
  77. Low Carbon Economy
  78. Sustainable Practices
  79. Climate Crisis
  80. Carbon Sequestration
  81. Green Technology
  82. Emission Targets
  83. Carbon Efficiency
  84. Environmental Conservation
  85. Climate Science
  86. Rising Temperatures
  87. Climate Policy
  88. Climate Research
  89. Climate Adaptation
  90. Conservation Efforts
  91. Climate Resilience
  92. Renewable Resources
  93. Environmental Stewardship
  94. Climate Advocacy
  95. Warming
  96. Changing
  97. Alarming
  98. Critical
  99. Drastic
  100. Global
  101. Catastrophic
  102. Unprecedented
  103. Pervasive
  104. Irreversible
  105. Sustainable
  106. Destructive
  107. Environmental
  108. Urgent
  109. Adverse
  110. Severe
  111. Elevated
  112. Extreme
  113. Threatening
  114. Disruptive
  115. Vulnerable
  116. Unstable
  117. Unpredictable
  118. Mitigating
  119. Sustainable
  120. Consequential
  121. Rapid
  122. Influential
  123. Invasive
  124. Intensifying
  125. Unsettling
  126. Dire
  127. Widespread
  128. Complex
  129. Intergenerational
  130. Ecological
  131. Systemic
  132. Detrimental
  133. Unbalancing
  134. Far-reaching
  135. Transformative
  136. Overwhelming
  137. Precarious
  138. Irregular
  139. Unprecedented
  140. Devastating
  141. Interconnected
  142. Menacing
  143. Affecting
  144. Unforgiving

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