climate change

noun
a long-term change in the earth's climate, especially a change due to an increase in the average atmospheric temperature: Melting glaciers imply that life in the Arctic is affected by climate change.

Origin:
1980-85

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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
Main Entry:  climate change
Part of Speech:  n
Definition:  any long-term significant change in the weather patterns of an area; also used figuratively
Example:  Climate change can be natural or caused by changes people have made to the land or atmosphere.
Dictionary.com's 21st Century Lexicon
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

climate change
1983, in the modern "global warming" sense, from climate + change.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Encyclopedia Britannica
Encyclopedia

climate change

periodic modification of Earth's climate brought about as a result of changes in the atmosphere as well as interactions between the atmosphere and various other geologic, chemical, biological, and geographic factors within the Earth system

Learn more about climate change with a free trial on Britannica.com.

Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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Example sentences
One of the reasons many opt for wood-burning features is concern about global
  climate change.
Despite the heat waves across the country, no one is screaming climate change
  is real because of them.
The idea that anthropogenic climate change might cause a war or two sometime in
  the future is not new.
Among the more perplexing bits of climate change research are the predictions
  for both more droughts and more floods.
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