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A change in the climate that can occur over various time and spatial scales, including globally. Climate change has occurred naturally throughout the Earth’s history, with numerous causes such as changes in the Earth’s orbit, fluctuations in ocean circulations and variations in the Sun’s activity.
Over recent decades, the majority of climate scientists have concluded that the current period of global climate change is real and that human activities are the main driver.
An increase in the global average temperature at the Earth’s surface. Global warming can have both natural and human causes.
Global warming is commonly used to refer to the warming effect of increased amounts of greenhouse gases emitted by human activities into the atmosphere.
Proposed actions to tackle global warming that work by deliberately changing the climate. Most proposals fall into one of two types: those that remove carbon dioxide from the air, and those that reflect sunlight back towards space.
Tiny particles in the atmosphere which affect the climate by scattering sunlight or helping clouds to form. Aerosols can be liquid or solid. They occur naturally, for example in dust from volcanic eruptions or sea spray, and also as a result of human activities, such as those producing smoke or other kinds of air pollution.
A powerful greenhouse gas found in the atmosphere. Ozone is most abundant in the stratosphere, where it absorbs harmful ultraviolet energy from the Sun.
A summary of the weather in a particular region over a period of at least ten years, but more commonly defined over 20 - 30 years. The climate describes both the average weather conditions (for example temperature, rain, snow and wind) in a particular region as well as the extremes.