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What is climate change?

Climate change is a change in the usual weather found in a place. This could be a change in how much rain a place usually gets in a year. Or it could be a change in a place's usual temperature for a month or season. Climate change is also a change in Earth's climate. This could be a change in Earth's usual temperature. Or it could be a change in where rain and snow usually fall on Earth.

Weather can change in just a few hours. Climate takes hundreds or even millions of years to change. Earth's climate is always changing. There have been times when Earth's climate has been warmer than it is now. There have been times when it has been cooler. These times can last thousands or millions of years.

People who study Earth see that Earth's climate is getting warmer. Earth's temperature has gone up about one degree Fahrenheit in the last 100 years. This may not seem like much. But small changes in Earth's temperature can have big effects. Some effects are already happening. Warming of Earth's climate has caused some snow and ice to melt. The warming also has caused oceans to rise. And it has changed the timing of when certain plants grow.