climate change


Definition of climate change

: significant and long-lasting change in the Earth's climate and weather patterns The half-tonne … turtles were thought to have died out 30,000 to 40,000 years ago because of climate change.New Scientist especially, in current use : such change associated with global warming Concerns about greenhouse gas emissions and global climate change are renewed among scientists and the public with every new report about the possibility of melting icecaps and rising temperatures. — Randy Showstack Drought is a paleontological fact in the American West, but the latest desiccations have a new signature, and my region's climatologists, hydrologists, foresters, and water managers are nearly unanimous in their conviction that what we are seeing now is climate change, the anthropogenic kind, a consequence of too much CO2 and other greenhouse gases. — Kenneth Brower

First Known Use of climate change

1854, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about climate change

Time Traveler for climate change

Time Traveler

The first known use of climate change was in 1854

See more words from the same year

Statistics for climate change

Cite this Entry

“Climate change.” The Dictionary, Merriam-Webster Inc., Accessed 26 January 2020.

Comments on climate change

What made you want to look up climate change? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to express in a more acceptable way

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Intact Latin Quiz

  • roman tablet
  • What did focus mean in Latin?
Spell It

Can you spell these 10 commonly misspelled words?

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!