Weather versus Climate

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Weather versus Climate refers to an important and confusing conceptual of overlap of two phenomena that are important in the connect of Climate Change[1].

Weather refers to atmospheric conditions at a particular time in a particular location, including

  • temperature
  • humidity
  • precipitation
  • cloudiness
  • wind, and
  • visibility

Weather conditions do not happen in isolation, they are correlated in time and space. The weather in one region may be related with weather patterns hundreds or thousands of kilometers away.

Climate is in contrast the average of weather patterns in a specific area over a longer period of time, usually 30 or more years, that represents the overall state of the climate system.

  • Weather changes are immediately observable whereas climate change, by definition, is slower.
  • Weather volatility and extreme events need not persist year after year. By the same token climate change will not reverse in short timescales.

It is now widely acknowledged that human activity in the industrial age, and particularly during the last century, is significantly altering our planet’s climate through the release of harmful greenhouse gases.