Date of Award



Edward Van Buren


The terms "global climate change" and "global warming" describe the same phenomena, but are not perceived as being synonymous. Both terms are used as overarching phrases to address the dramatic environmental changes that result from human interaction with natural systems. Many studies have concluded that subjects do not perceive global climate change and global warming in a similar fashion. These studies show that people are more likely to believe in the environmental issues facing the world when these problems are described under the term "global climate change." However, the media and politicians frequently use the term “global warming,” which makes this term more familiar to the general public. This study was conducted to observe the views of the respondents, Fordham University Students, on “global warming” and “global climate change” and whether or not the views of the current phenomena differed based on which term the respondents saw. The survey was distributed to 53 respondents and contained 22 statements and 13 items on a semantic differential scale. In both of these sections, half the respondents were asked to rate their beliefs and perception regarding “global warming” and the other half regarding “global climate change.” Results suggested that the respondents perceived global climate change to be more serious on various subscales than global warming.