Weather and Climate

Climate and weather are not the same. Weather is a day-to-day state, characterized by temperature, precipitation and wind. Weather has become irregular; it no longer follows a particular pattern. Climate is the average day-to day assessment of weather results and patterns over long periods.

The difference between weather and climate is that weather consists of the short-term changes in the atmosphere, usually considered in hours and days.   We often think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure. Weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. Climate relates to the assessment of average weather over a longer period of time and space. Climate assessments include average day-today weather results, annual average rainfall, maximum and minimum temperatures, frequency of monsoons, hurricanes and cyclones and other temperature related factors typically collated and assessed, generally in thirty-year groupings. 

Elements of Weather

There are many components to weather such as sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, steady rains from a cold front or warm front, excessive heat, heat waves and more.

Elements of Climate Change

The science of climate change is complex and involves assessments of  averages precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period. Scientists also asses rainfall average data, lake and reservoir levels and satellite data. Scientists can tell if during a summer, an area was drier than average because they compare the results to historical climate records . If it continues to be drier than normal over the course of many summers, than that would indicate a change in the climate.

The science of Climate Change

The science of climate change involves physical, biological and chemical assessments of the atmosphere, ocean temperatures and the way they circulate between the equatorial region and the polar and glacial regions. In the history of mankind there has never been such a wide spread joint venture partnership between so many countries, governments, scientists, universities and institutions; this alone shows how serious climate change is.

The science of climate change starts with discovering the history of earth’s climate dating back millions of years and then, comparing the historical records with the modern era.  To achieve this ambition a global partnership was created by the United Nations in 1988. It is called the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). The IPCC’s objective was to create an massive organisation which partners all countries,  leading scientists and research organisations to study all aspects of climate change, global warming and carbon emissions and to share their findings openly. 

The IPCC can be thought of as a ‘clearing house’ for this research, where leading scientists distribute and assess each other’s comprehensive research, findings and reports concerning scientific, technical and socio-economic research in relation to climate change. The research reports’ focus on the causes, risks and consequences of climate change. The IPCC also develops strategies as to how the world can adapt to global warming and climate change. IPCC participants include thousands of scientists, researchers, universities, schools, teachers, governments, universities, NASA, European Space Agency, defence and military forces, financial and banking institutions, historians, museums, archaeologists, medical professionals and multitudes of other entities and organisations.

They all contribute to the understanding of climate change impacts and adaptation, risk and methods of mitigation. The IPCC is comprised of around 198 member countries. It co-ordinates and distributes scientific findings between all countries for further input because each country undertakes a variety of climate change research programs and projects. The results are passed on to the IPCC for checking and final dissemination. The IPCC developed a multi stage review process of all professional reports. The system starts with an expert review, then a review by governments and their own experts who consider, comment or contribute further to the scientific / technical / socio-economic research reports. The information circulation process involves hundreds of scientists examining the drafts to check the scientific information and evidence. At the end of these checking processes the final reports are released.