What is the difference between weather and climate?
Climate is defined as a weather average. Both weather and climate refer to atmospheric conditions, but the timeframes are different. Weather describes short-term atmospheric conditions in a specific place – whether Monday next week will be hot and sunny in Timbuktu, Mali, or if it will rain in Dhaka, Bangladesh.
Climate is about atmospheric conditions over much longer periods - decades or centuries: the weather of Timbuktu and Dhaka can be the same on a given day, yet the climate of the two cities is very different: Timbuktu is in the Sahara desert and has a hot, dry climate, while Dhaka lies in the monsoon zone and has a hot, humid climate.
According to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), confusion between weather and climate is common: scientists are often asked how they can predict the climate 50 years into the future when they cannot predict the weather a few weeks from now.
Predicting weather beyond a few days is difficult, as the development of atmospheric events – rainfall, etc - can be chaotic. The IPCC explains it like this: it is impossible to predict the age at which any particular man will die, but the average age of death for men in industrialised countries can be pinned down to 75.
What is the difference between climate change and global warming?
People often use the terms interchangeably, assuming that they imply the same thing. But there is a difference: global warming refers to an average increase in temperature near the earth's surface; climate change refers to changes in atmospheric events, such as temperature, precipitation, etc., measured over decades or longer.
Climate change is the preferred term to use when you are referring to the influence of factors other than increase in temperature.
According to the US Environment Protection Agency, climate change may result from:
• natural factors, such as changes in the sun's...