Difference between Climate Change and Global Warming

Key difference: The difference between climate change and global warming is that, the change in climate is the cause, whereas global warming is the consequence.

Climate change and global warming are terms that can be commonly heard these days, and are often used interchangeably. However, they are two different phenomena that are causing drastic changes on the earth. Though, they are different crisis, both are inter-linked and affect each other.

Global warming is the accelerated warming of the Earth’s temperature. It is caused due to an increase in the emission of greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, carbon monoxide and gases of sulphur. The emissions from industries, burning of solid waste, the burning of fossil fuels and vehicles are also the sources that emit large quantities of green house gases all over the world. All this is considered a cause of Global Warming.

The accelerated warming can be measured in Earth's atmosphere and oceans. The destruction of ozone layer is also enhancing global warming as more rays of sun are reaching to earth. The evidence can be seen in retreating ice caps, dry lakes, increased habitat reduction for animals, the global temperature rises, shifts in weather, coral bleaching, sea-level rise and more.

Global warming is the human-induced rise in global temperatures, causing a rise in te ocean levels, which is engulfing many small island, and eventually many species of plants and animals are extinct, which were living on these islands.

Climate change is the natural change in global temperatures over time. More specifically, a change in Earth's energy can result in both, an increase and a decrease in the global temperatures. Climate always changes; there are several reasons for climate changes which include volcanic eruptions, natural variance, changes in ocean circulation, albedo, and even tectonic activities. Also, there are other factors such as, the average day and night temperatures, precipitation, humidity, air pressures, and wind direction that cause a change in the climate. However, any changes in these factors over a long period of time leads to drastic climate changes.

Climate change is a natural process; which has been a continuous process right from the Earth’s creation, but due to above mentioned factors, this change has been accelerated by many folds, and is becoming a concern for human beings.

Another common factor of changes in climate and increase in global warming is the ‘human interference’, which is accelerating both, by contributing to air pollution.  

Comparison between Climate Change and Global Warming:


Global Warming

Climate Change


An overall warming of the planet, based on the average temperature over the entire surface.

It is defined as the changes in the regional climate characteristics, including temperature, humidity, rainfall, wind, and severe weather events.


It refers to the increasing change in the Earth’s average temperature.

It refers to the changes in the wind, precipitation, the length of seasons and the strength and frequency of extreme weather events.  


This is primarily caused by the emission of green house gases.

This is primarily caused by the global warming in the climate.

Phenomenon scale

It is worldwide phenomena.

It is seen at a more regional or local scale.

Image Courtesy: breitbart.com, earthgreen9.com

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