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The Earth's climate has always been changing.

However, for at least 100 years we have been aware of a serious problem with the way our activities on earth may be affecting the climate. Swedish scientist Svente Arrhenius first raised the issue in 1895, and since then Climate change has now become accepted as possibly the most serious threat mankind has to face.  Tackling climate change is urgent – not only the causes of climate change, but also the effects it will have on our society.  So that we can understand the nature of climate change fully, we will look at three terms which are used when discussing the subject: Climate Change, Global Warming and the Greenhouse Effect.


The weather is the changing conditions we see from day to day – in any given week (especially here in Northern Ireland!) we may see nearly all types of weather – sun, rain, wind, dry spells, warmth and cold.


Climate, on the other hand, is like a ʻweather averageʼ. Climate is usually based on long term weather records, over 30 years for example. Climate records could tell us that the average temperature in 2002 in Northern Ireland was 10.2°C, although there would have been many days above or below this temperature.  Climate tells us the average weather conditions we can expect in a particular place at a certain time of the year. You will ...

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