global warming

The effect on the world’s climate of increases in the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere, caused principally by the burning of fossil fuels (there are many other natural sources of variation in the climate; see climate change). The rate of warming is not constant over the earth’s surface and some areas may cool, including north-west Europe.

This definition is abridged from A – Z of tree terms: A companion to British arboriculture.
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