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“Weather vs Climate”

“Weather” and “climate” are terms often used interchangeably, and many people believe they refer to the same things. However, the two are different and it’s important to learn their key differences.

Weather

Weather is the condition of the atmosphere at a certain time and place. Sunshine, rain, hurricanes, and storms are very different conditions, yet they are all considered weather. Weather can change from hour to hour, minute to minute, and day to day.

Weather conditions

The weather conditions refer to the weather in a specific area throughout a particular period, ranging from one to several weeks. A series of thunderstorms in the scorching summer, a foggy month in autumn, or other weather conditions characteristic of a given place and season are all weather conditions.

Edited by: Aira Joyce Bautista

Climate

Some scientists define climate as the average weather conditions for a particular place over a lengthy period (minimum of 30 years). Maritime, cold-dry desert, and tropical climates are only a few examples. Climate classification maps around the world show a wide range of temperatures. In the Philippines, the climate is maritime and tropical. It can be described as having relatively high temperatures, high humidity, and abundant rainfall.

Any prolonged change in the long-term statistics of climate variables such as temperature, precipitation, pressure, or wind is called climate change.

Source: NASA

How is the weather measured?

Meteorologists use barometers to measure atmospheric pressure, which is essential in monitoring the weather, anticipating storms and weather trends, and determining altitude.

Weather conditions in specific locations will be hot and dry, while others will be chilly and windy, and meteorologists will regularly monitor and forecast these weather conditions.

How is climate measured?

Scientists will evaluate the average temperature, precipitation, humidity, sunshine, and wind over a long period when determining an area’s climate. Climate change is calculated over a 30-year period and the planet’s average surface temperature is the most frequent metric for measuring climate change.

How does climate change affect extreme weather around the world?

Over 350 peer-reviewed research on weather extremes worldwide has been published, ranging from heat waves in Sweden and droughts in South Africa to flooding in Bangladesh and hurricanes in the Caribbean. As a result, there is growing evidence that human activity increases the danger of certain types of extreme weather, particularly those related to heat.

According to principal research scientist Samuel Myers, human activities such as the burning of fossil fuels, extensive land and water use, overfishing, and deforestation have been increasingly disrupting the Earth’s atmosphere, oceans and land surface for over 50 years. As a result of these disruptions, human health and well-being are endangered.

Carbon Brief, a UK-based website specializing in the science and policy of climate change, has mapped every extreme-weather attribution study that has been published to see how the evidence matches up on this fast-moving topic.

Source: Carbon Brief

According to Carbon Brief’s research:

  • 70 percent of the 405 extreme weather events and trends included in the map that are more likely or severe are human-caused climate change.
  • 9% of events or trends were made less likely or less severe by climate change, meaning 79% of all extreme weather events had some human impact. The remaining 21% of occurrences and trends were inconclusive or did not appear to be influenced by humans.
  • In 92% of the 122 attribution studies looking at excessive heat around the world, climate change made this event or trend more likely or severe.
  • Of the 81 studies that looked at rainfall or flooding, 58 percent showed that human activities had increased the likelihood or severity of this particular event.

The study of weather and climate is obviously important to man because it helps to determine future climatic changes in different parts of the world. Such awareness helps us to prepare ahead for disasters that may occur in the future and also to find possible ways to adapt to such situations. For instance, studying climate allows us to predict how much rain the coming rainy season will bring, as well as how much sea levels will rise as a result of rising sea temperatures.

Although these two are closely related, weather and climate are not the same things and if we do not take further action to stop any ambiguous acts of mankind, climate change will result in more frequent and more intense: heatwaves, rainfall, droughts, and storms. And as a consequence to humans, there might be: an increase in floods and soil erosion, a decrease in crop and livestock production, an increase in forest fires and in coastal erosion, and overall, an increase risk to human life.