What is climate change?

Answer
Climate change refers to long-term shifts in temperatures and weather patterns that have come to define Earth's local, regional, and global climates. These changes have a broad range of observed effects that are synonymous with the term. Changes observed in Earth's climate since the mid-20th century are driven by human activities, particularly fossil fuel burning, which increases heat-trapping greenhouse gas levels in Earth's atmosphere, raising Earth's average surface temperature. Climate change is causing a range of increasing impacts on the environment, including more frequent and intense extreme weather, such as heatwaves, droughts, and floods, rapid melting of glaciers and ice sheets, contributing to sea level rise, huge declines in Arctic sea ice, ocean warming, and marine heatwaves. People's lives are already changing as a result, and the economically disadvantaged and people of color are the most likely to suffer from its worst impacts. Scientists use observations from the ground, air, and space, along with computer models, to monitor and study past, present, and future climate change.
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