What Is Climate Change?
Climate change is a change in the weather patterns that we experience from day to day. To understand it better, it is helpful to distinguish between weather and climate.
Weather is what you experience each day – if it rains or if its sunny, hot or cold. The weather is what you experience when you look out the window.
Climate is the average of the weather over a long period of time, 100 years or even thousands and millions of years. The average temperature, the length of winter and summer, and the amount of rain every year make up averages that are what we measure when we talk about climate.
You don’t experience climate, but you experience the effects of how it changes with time: If you ask your parents, they may remember that the weather was different when they were young.
In the past, climate change has also happened without us humans doing anything, over millions and millions of years. But in the last 200 years, human emissions of greenhouse gases, (particularly the CO2 emissions that come from burning oil, gas and coal), have been the main drivers of climate change. The models scientists have made suggestions that the world will become much warmer in the next 100 years, most probably between 2 and 6 degrees.