English Expressions to Discuss Climate Change

No one on Earth is oblivious to the changes that are taking place on our planet. Climate change is one of those issues that affect everyone. Every day, more and more people are committing themselves to save the planet from a terrible destiny.

If you have come to this article, that is because you’re also worried about living in a better world. Discussing these problems with as many people as possible is becoming increasingly necessary. That is why we thought that this English vocabulary article would be very useful when it comes to talking about climate change.


Climate Change Vocabulary

Before talking about a change, it is important to know how to talk about what is changing. You probably already know some of this vocabulary as it comes up in how to start small talk with people you have met. You may also have seen it as part of an online English course.

Let’s start with a brief review of the vocabulary as well as the most common ways to describe climate change in English.

Basic Nouns

  • Sun
  • Rain
  • Fog
  • Wind
  • Cloud
  • Lightning
  • Thunder
  • Forecast
  • Temperature

You can also form adjectives by adding “-y” to the end of the first five nouns in the previous list.

  • Cloud – cloudy
  • Fog – foggy

Some other adjectives that describe the weather include:

  • Hot
  • Warm
  • Cool
  • Cold
  • Dry
  • Humid

To create sentences in English about different weather conditions, we usually use one of the following:

  • It’s (It is) + adjective 

It’s very foggy today. I don’t think I’ll be riding my bike to school.

  • It’s (It is) + verb ending in -ing 

It’s raining cats and dogs! We’ll have to take a rain check on that picnic in the park.



What is Climate Change?

It is a good idea to start your conversation by seeing what you and the person you’re speaking to know about climate change. Some ways to start that conversation include:

  • What do you know about climate change?
  • Do you know what climate change is?

You can also go a bit deeper by asking the person you’re talking to about their opinion on the subject:

  • How do you feel about climate change?
  • Where do you stand on the climate crisis? Do you think there’s something we can do to reverse it?



What Causes Climate Change?

Once you have started the conversation, you’ll definitely want to go deeper into the subject. For that, knowing the basic English vocabulary for the causes of climate change could be useful.

  • Emissions (gases and other substances released into the air by cars and factories)
  • Carbon dioxide

Carbon dioxide emissions have increased a lot over the last few decades.

  • Greenhouse effect
  • Greenhouse gases

Due to these high emissions, the greenhouse effect has become harmful to our planet.

  • Pollution

Pollution levels in Japan are so high that there are already illnesses caused by it that are named after Japanese cities.

  • Man-made climate change / global warming

I think that by now, no one could deny that most of global warming is man-made.

With this vocabulary, you’ll be able to talk about the causes of the climate crisis. Thanks to the constructions you learned in the previous section, you’ll also be able to ask others their opinions about it.


New Phrases About Climate Change in English

Like the weather, the vocabulary used to describe climate change is constantly changing. This is done in order to impact the greatest number of people and encourage them to take action on the matter.

  • Instead of climate change, expressions like climate crisis, climate emergency, and climate breakdown are being used. These options make the problem seem more urgent and can be very useful when beginning a conversation on the topic.
  • Global warming can also be easily replaced by global heating. While it means the same in general terms, global heating conveys the idea that the world is becoming a hot oven (heating) rather than simply becoming more temperate (warming).


We are sure that the English vocabulary that you have learned in this article will be useful for discussing climate change so that your voice can be heard all over the world. We are also sure that your level of English will have improved with this new vocabulary. Do you want to test how well you’ve done?

Would you like to continue learning English while fighting to leave behind a better world for the generations to come? If so, we suggest trying our online English course. The ABA English course offers 144 free video classes and short films that represent a diverse array of everyday situations. In each situation, you’ll find the tools you need to dominate any discussion. This means that you’ll never find yourself left with the urge to say something but without the ability. You’ll be prepared to explain yourself comfortably in English anywhere in the world.

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