Climate is the average atmospheric condition in a certain location near the surface of the Earth measured after a period of months to decades. Climatic elements include precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind veloity, and phenomena such as fog, frost, and hailstorms, among others. There are many types of climates. You may live in one or two types of climate. As the seasons change, the climate changes slightly. It might get warmer or colder. You might have more or less rain or sunlight. “Climate variability” is the change in climate from one year to another. It can be caused by changes in ocean conditions far away, which can affect climate worldwide. Climate variability is natural and occurs continuously.
Questions and answers
What is the difference between weather and climate?
People often confuse climate and weather. Weather refers to hourly or daily atmospheric phenomena, such as temperature, rain and wind... Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over thirty years.
What exactly is climate change?
Climate is the average of many weather events over a long period of time. Climate change is the change in average climatic conditions in a place or region over a time period that ranges from decades to hundreds of years. Climate change involves both natural changes and changes caused by human activity. Since the industrial revolution (1850), human activity has been changing and polluting the atmosphere in many ways. We now use cars and airplanes; we have large industries – all of which have an impact on our climate. The release and increase of greenhouse gases causes, among other things, global warming. The world and its climate could change so much that the Earth would seem like nothing we have seen before.
What is global warming?
Global warming refers to an average increase in Earth’s temperature, which in turn causes changes in climate. A warmer planet may lead to changes in rainfall patterns, a rise in sea levels, and a wide range of impacts on plants, wildlife and humans. Many low-lying countries may become smaller by rising sea levels and some small islands may become submerged. In addition, illnesses such as malaria may appear in countries that are becoming warmer. Global warming is happening today – scientists have estimated that the world’s average temperature has increased by about 0.76°C since the industrial revolution (1850).
How is climate change affecting our water resources?
Only 2 per cent of total water on Earth is freshwater, of which approximately 70 per cent is contained in ice caps. Globally, over a short time (a few centuries in this case!), the total amount of freshwater has remained more or less the same. But water is not distributed evenly around the world. Many of the planet’s largest river basins run through areas that are not heavily populated, whereas in populated places, many people do not have enough water. Moreover, freshwater in the form of precipitation is not available all year round. Rising temperatures, shrinking glaciers and high demand for water in big cities will accelerate changes in freshwater distribution – even if the total amount of water in the planet will most likely stay the same.