global warming


: an increase in the earth's atmospheric and oceanic temperatures widely predicted to occur due to an increase in the greenhouse effect resulting especially from pollution
A Russian-owned tanker, built to traverse the frozen waters of the Arctic, completed a journey in record time from Europe to Asia this month, auguring the future of shipping as global warming melts sea ice.Russell Goldman
Debates about stem cells, global warming, and alternative energy might be less contentious if the scientific issues behind them were better understood.Elizabeth Gettelman
The development is also meant to boost tourism in Zermatt, which, like many Alpine towns worried about the effects of global warming on winter tourism, is exploring ways to draw visitors throughout the year.Jim Rendon
… I think it makes a compelling case, at least for most audiences, that humans are the cause of most of the global warming that is taking place, and that unless we take quick action the consequences for our planetary home could become irreversible.Al Gore

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Exxon officials have known since the late 1970s that burning fossil fuels would lead to global warming. Tony Briscoestaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 12 Jan. 2023 Methane, another key gas that contributes to global warming, rose by 12 parts per billion to a total of 1,894 ppb. Daniel Amarante, ABC News, 10 Jan. 2023 The director also discussed with Wallace the idea of his film Titanic as a metaphor for societal indifference to global warming. James Hibberd, The Hollywood Reporter, 6 Jan. 2023 And recent studies have found that hydrogen causes a reaction in the atmosphere that contributes to global warming. Sabrina Shankman,, 13 Dec. 2022 And the spread in mosquitoes and ticks that has been linked to global warming is more likely to infect humans with pathogens, some experts say. Michael Birnbaum And Ellen Francis, Anchorage Daily News, 2 Dec. 2022 And the spread in mosquitoes and ticks that has been linked to global warming is more likely to infect humans with pathogens, some experts say. Ellen Francis, Washington Post, 2 Dec. 2022 After carbon dioxide, methane is the most significant contributor to global warming. Graeme Malcolm, Fortune, 25 Nov. 2022 How much any one event can be attributed to global warming isn’t clear-cut. Matthew Dalton, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'global warming.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

First Known Use

1953, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of global warming was in 1953

Dictionary Entries Near global warming

Cite this Entry

“Global warming.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 31 Jan. 2023.

Kids Definition

global warming

: a warming of the earth's atmosphere and oceans that is predicted to result from an increase in the greenhouse effect caused by air pollution

More from Merriam-Webster on global warming

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
Love words? Need even more definitions?

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

Challenging Words You Should Know

  • hedgehog reading a book
  • Often used to describe “the march of time,” what does inexorable mean?
True or False

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

Solve today's spelling word game by finding as many words as you can with using just 7 letters. Longer words score more points.

Can you make 12 words with 7 letters?