Important Climate Change Terms

It describes the total of all weather occurring over a long period in a given place. It is the average weather condition of that place. Climate tells us what it is usually like in the place where you live.

For example, some countries like Cameroon, Ghana, and Liberia are all in the tropical wet region of Africa. They have a very sunny, hot, and wet climate all year round. However, there may be very different day-to-day weather conditions in each village or town in these countries.


Weather or climate?
Weather or climate?

Weather is all around us. The weather may be one of the first things you notice when you wake up. Weather describes whatever is happening outdoors in a given place at a given time. It can change a lot within a short time. For example, It can be windy at night, rainy in the morning, hot and sunny at noontime, and even back to windy before sunset. It includes daily changes in rainfall, temperature, and wind in a given location.

A greenhouse is also another word you should know. Have you ever seen a greenhouse? In some countries, people build a small glasshouse to plant crops in it. They construct these small glasshouses to keep the sun’s heat from escaping from the glasshouses.

In a way, the planet earth is like a glasshouse. The earth has some very important gasses in the atmosphere that keeps us warm.

Some of these gases are water vapor, carbon dioxide, nitrous oxide, and methane.

When the sun heats the earth’s surface, these gases keep the heat on the earth’s surface. Without these gases, heat would escape back into space, and earth’s average temperature would be about 60°F colder.

Did you know…

Did you know that Methane (a greenhouse gas) is produced when vegetation is burned, digested, or rotted with no oxygen present? Garbage dumps, rice paddies, and grazing cows and other livestock release lots of methane.

Have you ever got into a car that has been left in the sun with all windows closed? The trapped heat is a good example of the greenhouse effect.