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

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

Dictionary Entries Near climate change


climate change

climate change denial

See More Nearby Entries 

Statistics for climate change

Cite this Entry

“Climate change.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 24 May. 2022.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon


Test Your Vocabulary

Name That Food

  • a-light
  • Name these cookies!
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Universal Daily Crossword

A daily challenge for crossword fanatics.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

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