[Coral-List] Climate Change definitions

Mark Eakin Mark.Eakin at noaa.gov
Wed Aug 1 11:31:18 EDT 2007

On Jul 27, 2007, at 1:37 PM, Tom Williams wrote:

> By the way what is the difference between "Golobal
> Warming" and "Climate Change"...sorry I don't mean to
> start any thing.

Global warming, climate change, global climate change, and  
anthropogenic climate change are often used interchangeably to denote  
the changes that are occurring in our global climate system as a  
result of human releases of greenhouse gases.  There are some valid  
differences between the terms and political input has also influenced  
the use of the terms.

The term global warming has become more politically charged and was  
listed as a "banned term" for US federal communications by the  
current administration.  Politics aside, the administration  
recommended term global climate change is far more accurate.  The  
influence of anthropogenic greenhouse gases has not caused a  
consistent increase in temperatures around the globe, nor would this  
be expected.  The change has been much more complex with some areas  
actually cooling at times, complex teleconnections between the oceans  
and atmosphere, and varied patterns of change in temperature and  
precipitation.  While most glaciers and ice sheets have been shown to  
be melting at more rapid rates, there are others that are actually  

However, whatever you call it, it is a major problem for coral reefs  
in much of the world.  It is unfortunate that many areas, like those  
Tom pointed out, are the recipient of far more damaging local stress  
as well.


C. Mark Eakin, Ph.D.
Coordinator, NOAA Coral Reef Watch
National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
Center for Satellite Applications and Research
Satellite Oceanography & Climate Division
e-mail: mark.eakin at noaa.gov
url: coralreefwatch.noaa.gov

E/RA31, SSMC1, Room 5308
1335 East West Highway
Silver Spring, MD 20910-3226
301-713-2857 x109                   Fax: 301-713-3136

The contents of this message are mine personally and do not  
necessarily reflect any position of the Government or the National  
Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.

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