Climate change is a long-term shift in global or regional climate patterns. Often climate change refers specifically to the rise in global temperatures from the mid-20th century to present.

Climate is sometimes mistaken for weather. But climate is different from weather because it is measured over a long period of time, whereas weather can change from day to day, or from year to year. The climate of an area includes seasonal temperature and rainfall averages, and wind patterns. Different places have different climates. A desert, for example, is referred to as an arid climate because little water falls, as rain or snow, during the year. Other types of climate include tropical climates, which are hot and humid, and temperate climates, which have warm summers and cooler winters.

Climate change is the long-term alteration of temperature and typical weather patterns in a place. Climate change could refer to a particular location or the planet as a whole. Climate change may cause weather patterns to be less predictable. These unexpected weather patterns can make it difficult to maintain and grow crops in regions that rely on farming because expected temperature and rainfall levels can no longer be relied on. Climate change has also been connected with other damaging weather events such as more frequent and more intense hurricanes, floods, downpours, and winter storms.

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