Global Warming Basics: It's Called Climate Change for a Reason
Contrary to the shrill cries of those who don't really want to have a debate, it's called climate change for a reason.The globe does not always warm. Sometimes it cools. Both the terms "climate change" and "global warming" have been in use for decades.
I have been one who found it humorous that scientists and the media seemed recently to be using the term "climate change" more often than "global warming". It turns out that it's not a big deal.
Has the phrase "climate change" come into vogue in place of "global warming" because the globe is no longer warming? Earth may be in a current warming pattern, or it may not be. But the climate has warmed and cooled over the millennia of its existence, and various episodes of warming and cooling have been caused by such things as volcanic eruptions, changes in the amount of the sun's activity, and variations in earth's orbit.
To me, therefore, the term "climate change" is preferable to "global warming".
There hasn't really been a radical change in use of terminology. Ask yourself this: is there an "Intergovernmental Panel on Global Warming"? No, because it has always been called the "Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change".
The term "climate change" seems to have been first used in 1935. Scientist Gilbert Plass began regularly using the term "climatic change" in 1956. It actually wasn't until 1988, when NASA scientist James Hansen testified before congress, that the term "Global Warming" became commonly used, although scientists have studied global warming for over a century.
But what about the fear of global cooling in the 1970's? What about this article in Time magazine that prognosticated a future ice age?
Read the "Global Warming Basics" series: