Skeptics accuse those who believe in global warming of having changed the phrase “global warming” to “climate change” in order to deceive the public. They claim that the change was made in order to explain any natural phenomenon other than mere warmth. They also state that this change was relatively recent, although they rarely say when it was made. By saying that it is recent, one could assume that they mean in the last decade at the most.
However, the phrase “climate change” or “climatic change” has been in the scientific literature for almost sixty-five years. With respects to human-caused climate change, the earliest known scientific papers using the phrase (In the titles) were published in 1956.
Below is a condensed list of scientific papers, from before the year 2000, with the phrase climate or climatic change in their titles:
1994: Managing the global commons: The economics of climate change – William D. Nordhaus
1994: What Do People Know About Global Climate Change? 1. Mental Models – Ann Bostrom, M. Granger Morgan, Baruch Fischhoff, Daniel Read
1993: Reflections on the Economics of Climate Change – William D. Nordhaus
1991: The cost of slowing climate change: a survey – William D. Nordhaus
1991: Climate change and wildfire in Canada – M. D. Flannigan and , C. E. Van Wagner
1990: Global Climate Change: Implications for the United States Navy – Department of the Navy: Naval War College
1990: Global climate change and US agriculture – Richard M. Adams, Cynthia Rosenzweig, Robert M. Peart, Joe T. Ritchie, Bruce A. McCarl, J. David Glyer, R. Bruce Curry, James W. Jones, Kenneth J. Boote & L. Hartwell Allen Jr
1989: The Potential Effects of Global Climate Change on the United States – Joel B. Smith
1984: Response of unmanaged forests to CO2-induced climate change: available information, initial tests and data requirements – Solomon, A.M.; Tharp, M.L.; West, D.C.; Taylor, G.E.; Webb, J.W.; Trimble, J.L.
1980: On the distribution of climate change resulting from an increase in CO2 content of the atmosphere – Syukuro Manabe and Richard T. Wetherald
1978: What might man-induced climate change mean? – Charles F. Cooper
1977: Carbon Dioxide and Climate: The Uncontrolled Experiment. Possibly severe consequences of growing CO2 release from fossil fuels require a much better understanding of the carbon cycle, climate change, and the resulting impacts on the atmosphere – F. Baes Jr., H. E. Goeller, J. S. Olson and R. M. Rotty
1976: Climate Change and the Quality of Life for the Earth’s New Millions – Walter Orr Roberts
1975: Climatic Change: Are We on the Brink of a Pronounced Global Warming? – Wallace S. Broecker
1961: Man’s activity as a factor in climatic change – H. Flohn
1956: The Carbon Dioxide Theory of Climatic Change – Gilbert N. Plass
Please note above that the 1975 paper by Wallace Broecker has both “global warming” and “climatic change” in the same title.
Also, in the 1990 Naval report, both phrases are used interchangeably in the same sentence, three different times on the same page (Page 9).
So, based on their claim that the phrase “climate change” is a recent invention, one can tell that Skeptics have not studied the scientific literature on the subject.
What is the difference between “global warming” and “climate change”? Simply put, global warming is the cause; climate change is the result. Both terms are interchangeable.