A significant and lasting change in the statistical distribution of meteorological elements (e.g. wind speeds, temperatures, precipitation) calculated for different periods but relating to the same area. The timescale of climate change may range from decades to millions of years. Climate change can result from natural factors such as changes in solar activity, long-period changes in the Earth’s orbital elements (eccentricity, obliquity of the ecliptic, precession of equinoxes), or natural internal processes of the climate system. Climate change occurring through the activities of mankind is termed anthropogenic climate change. See also global warming.
|Reference: Oxford Press Dictonary of Economics, 5th edt.|