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I would like to use ‘challenge’ in this sentence: ‘The climate change has been challenging us.’

Does ‘challenge’ as a verb have a positive connotation, such as presenting difficulties in an interesting way, or does it imply that the problem will be overcome?

When I look up dictionaries, they define ‘challenge’ as follows: ‘to test somebody’s/your ability and skills, especially in an interesting way.’Oxford

Can I use ‘challenge’ in the above situation? I didn’t mean to imply a positive nuance; rather, I meant to convey great seriousness without any positivity or interest.

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  • It's as metaphorical use of Definition 2 'Invite somebody to fight you'. Of course climate change isn't literally 'inviting' us to fight it, but it's something that obviously needs to be fought. Jan 27 at 9:14

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The climate change has been challenging us.

The verb challenge does have a positive connotation in certain context, as in sense 4B2 in your linked dictionary:

to test somebody’s/your ability and skills, especially in an interesting way

challenge somebody The job doesn't really challenge her.

challenge yourself She continues to challenge herself as a dancer.

This verb, however, does not exhibit any positive connotation when used in your proposed sentence--the context, climate change, makes it clear there is nothing good about it. It also doesn't imply that the problem will be overcome.

You can hence use it as you’ve proposed to express your intent, but should omit the article:

Climate change has been challenging us.

We can also use the noun challenge:

Climate change is (or has been) a challenge (for us).

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