What is the Difference Between Weather and Climate?

What does it mean when you hear the weatherman talking about long-term climate forecasts? What’s the difference between weather and climate? 

The weather describes the current state of the atmosphere, while the climate refers to conditions over a much longer period of time. 

Although they are related, they are two different conditions and each one has its own set of variables that affect it. 

Let’s take a look at both weather and climate in order to better understand how they relate to each other and what their key differences are.



Is Climate Change Happening?

Earth’s climate has changed many times over its history. 

Human activities are increasing Earth’s greenhouse gas concentrations, which leads to warming global temperatures, rising sea levels, and more extreme weather events.

These changes are referred to as climate change. 

In fact, climate change may lead to a situation known as runaway climate change in which effects build on each other in a chain reaction leading to major environmental changes that could persist for thousands of years.


How Does Climate Change Affect Our Daily Lives?

The weather provides a good example of how climate differs from the weather. 

If it was snowing in New York City today, that would represent one day’s weather, not an indication of climate. 

While weather conditions vary over time in any location, long-term climate conditions tend to remain relatively stable. 

Climate change refers to a change in average weather patterns across many years or decades.


Do Humans Cause Climate Change?

If a single human could be held responsible for climate change, it would be George W. Bush. Global warming didn’t become an issue until he was elected president in 2000. 

So yes, humans cause climate change. 

But what about climate conditions? Are we to blame for those as well? 

The answer isn’t quite so clear-cut. 

Climate is defined by meteorologists as the average weather over a long period of time. 

In other words, climate conditions are weather patterns that exist over long periods of time—decades or even centuries—and don't necessarily have anything to do with human activity. 

We can argue whether humans are changing our climate or not, but there's no doubt that we're changing our climate conditions. 

There will always be some degree of natural variation within any climate condition, but if you look at long-term trends you'll see how much our weather has changed from its natural state in recent decades.


Is Global Warming Real?

The short answer to that question is: absolutely. Climate refers to a region's long-term temperature, humidity, wind, rainfall, atmospheric pressure, and other climate conditions.

These factors typically change slowly over time as you move from one region to another. 

In contrast, weather conditions can vary dramatically in just hours or days; 

for example, a tornado ripping through an area on a sunny day could affect that area's weather but would have little effect on its climate.


How can We Reduce our Carbon Footprint?

Carbon footprint refers to all greenhouse gas emissions caused by human activities. 

A carbon footprint can be measured in any unit that expresses a volume of greenhouse gases, such as kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2), pounds of CO2, or cubic feet of natural gas.


Responsible Solar Energy Use in Your Home

The Climate Institute found that in Australia, citizens use solar energy in a responsible manner. 

There are many benefits to solar energy, but it must be used wisely to avoid adverse effects on climate conditions. 

Here are some helpful tips to help you responsibly utilize solar energy. 1. Do not leave your solar panels unattended during times of extreme weather. 

While most experts agree that solar panels will not break from severe wind or snow, there is always a chance of malfunctioning if you do not properly monitor them. 

If you have panels installed, we recommend leaving them uncovered for no more than two days during severe weather events such as heavy snow or hurricanes (Category 3 or higher).

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