- 2000 to 2009 has been the warmest decade recorded since 1850. The hottest year on record was 2007.
- In 1783, Horace Benedict de Saussure of Geneva, Switzerland, built the first hygrometer (an instrument used for measuring relative humidity) by using human hair to measure air dampness.
- In 1840, the electric telegraph enabled the real time reporting of accurate weather conditions globally.
- In 1957, the first weather forecast was televised from Pennsylvania State University, in the United States of America. The presenter, a professor in the university’s meteorology department, drew pictures on the chalkboard of what the weather would be like in the coming days.
- In 1959, the first weather satellite was placed into orbit.
- In the 1960’s, computers made it possible for meteorologists to calculate weather changes faster, more accurately, and for longer periods.
- The lowest surface temperature recorded was in Vostok, Antarctica: -89°C (-129°F) on 21 July 1983; the highest temperature recorded was in El Azizia, Libyan Arab Jamahiriya: 57.8°C (136,4°F) on 13 September 1922.
- Weather and climate affect human health. Illnesses change according to the season: In cold winter, influenza strikes; in spring, hay fever may become more prevalent. A summer heatwave or a winter cold snap may kill humans, particularly the youngest and the elderly.
- Earth's climate has been changing continuously over its 5-billion-year history.
- The world’s average temperature has increased over the past 200 years by about 0.76°C compared with 6°C over the past 12,000 years.
- The Earth is warming. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) wrote in its 2007 report that “warming of the climate system is unequivocal.”
- In 2009, there was about 38 per cent more carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere than in 1750. Global atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases have increased markedly as a result of human activities. The more CO2 we put into the air, the more temperatures could rise. Two major activities that increase CO2 are the burning of fossil fuels and deforestation.
- Forests are sometimes called “carbon sinks” because they take CO2 from the air and store it. When trees are cut down and burned, the CO2 that is stored in them is released back into the air. Scientists believe that every year, 2 billion to 5 billion tonnes of CO2 are released into the air from forests that are cut down and burned.
- Records of ancient human civilizations in China, Egypt, India and Mesopotamia contain many references to weather and climate.
- 360 BC, the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote Meteorologica, the first book on meteorology.
- In 1593, Galileo Galilei (1564–1642), of Italy, constructed a simple glass thermometer, which served as a model for the more accurate liquid-in-glass thermometer.
- In 1643, Evangelista Torricelli (1608–1647), also of Italy and a pupil of Galileo, invented the mercury barometer, which allows some changes in weather to be forecast.
- In 1724, Daniel Fahrenheit (1686–1736), of Germany, developed the Fahrenheit temperature scale. In 1742, Astronomer Anders Celsius (1701–1744), of Sweden, developed the Celsius temperature scale.