Climate Terms You are too Afraid to Ask About
A greenhouse gas is a chemical compound found in the Earth’s atmosphere, such as carbon dioxide, methane, water vapor, and other human-made gases.
weather vs climate
It’s all about timing when it comes to differentiating weather and climate. Weather refers to atmospheric conditions in the short term, including changes in temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, wind, and visibility.
Biofuels are renewable fuels derived from biological materials, such as algae and plants, that can be regenerated. This distinguishes them from fossil fuels, which are considered nonrenewable. Example of biofuels are ethanol, methanol and biodiesel.
Global warming versus climate change
Many people use these two terms interchangeably, but I think it’s important to acknowledge their differences. Global warming is an increase in the Earth’s average surface temperature from human-made greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, climate change refers to the long-term changes in the Earth’s climate, or a region on Earth, and includes more than just the average surface temperature. For example, variations in the amount of snow, sea levels, and sea ice can all be consequences of climate change.
Global average temperature
Global average temperature is a long-term look at the Earth’s temperature, usually over the course of 30 years, on land and sea.
Methane is a chemical compound that’s the main component of natural gas, a common fossil fuel source. Just like carbon dioxide, methane is a greenhouse gas that traps heat in the atmosphere. Methane accounts for about 10 percent of all US greenhouse gas emissions (using 2013 figures), second only to carbon dioxide.
Mitigation refers to an action that will reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, such as planting trees in order to absorb more CO2. It can also include developing and deploying new technologies, using renewable energies like wind and solar, or making older equipment more energy efficient.
Find more definitions
If the word you were thinking of did not appear here, try looking at UC Davis’ list here.