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What is the difference between weather and climate?

I'm trying to understand the difference between weather and climate but I need some advice on this.

What is the difference? Is there a difference or are they the same thing?

If they are not the same please explain why.

Posted in Geography, asked by lefe, 6 years ago. 910 hits.


The difference between weather and climate

The main difference between “weather” and “climate” is the duration and time of measurements.

Data that is gathered and interpreted over short periods of time such as days, weeks or as current is what we call weather. The state of the atmosphere at a given time is the weather.

Climate on the other hand is the prevailing weather conditions, which is determined by long term weather pattern information.

When it comes to climate, the weather data is gathered over long periods of time which can then be used for determining weather patterns and averages over years or even longer periods of time. This is called climate.

Over long periods, patterns of climate change begin to emerge, but these patterns can't be seen in weather (over short periods of time).

Examples and other differences between weather and climate

Another important thing to consider is that weather can change suddenly, for example, in the morning the weather could be overcast or raining, but in a matter of minutes or ours clear up and become sunny. This is why weather can be difficult to predict. Climate is different because it is the average of daily weather determined over long periods.

If there is a sudden change in climate then that is a strong indication that something is wrong. While weather can sometimes be unstable or unpredictable, climate is stable and predictable over the long run.

This is because climate is generally well balanced and cyclic in nature. For example, even in the case of global warming, the climatic temperature changes are small (yet very significant) while weather temperature change is much greater.

Climate is typically the average of weather over 30 years but could be millions of years or as little as a year or several months.

Perhaps another important factor is that climate determines the weather of a particular location while the environment determines the evolutionary process of climate. For example, if humans continue to pollute the air, over time, the pollution will slowly change the climate and when the climate begins to change, it will cause weather disturbances.

The internal state of our planet has massive impacts on climate but those impacts wouldn’t be noticed in a single day’s weather. This is why we can’t rely on weather data in order to determine the consequences of pollution or environmental changes.

5 years ago
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