Any significant change in measures of climate (such as temperature, precipitation,
or wind) lasting for an extended period (decades or longer). Climate change
may result from:
A natural system known as the greenhouse
effect regulates the temperature on Earth. Human activities have the
potential to disrupt the balance of this system by increasing the amount
of heat-trapping gases in the atmosphere
which enhances the warming capability of the natural greenhouse effect.
It is the human-induced enhanced greenhouse effect that causes environmental
concern. It has the potential to warm the planet at a rate that has never
been experienced in human history.
- Natural factors, such as changes in the Sun's intensity or slow changes
in the Earth's orbit around the Sun;
- Natural processes within the climate system (e.g. changes in ocean
- Human activities that change the atmosphere's composition (e.g. through
burning fossil fuels) and the land surface (e.g. deforestation, reforestation,
urbanization, desertification, etc.)
Climate change is more than a warming trend. Increasing temperatures will
lead to changes in many aspects of weather, such as wind patterns, the amount
and type of precipitation, and the types and frequency of severe weather
events that may be expected to occur. Climate change could have far-reaching
and/or unpredictable environmental, social and economic consequences.
AND THE ENVIRONMENT