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Climate = Sum of Weather - ORIGINAL CONTENT

Edward A. Reid Jr.
Posted On:
Aug 22, 2023 at 7:00 AM
Climate Change

Climate characterizes the average weather conditions for a particular location over a long period of time (usually 30 years). World Meteorological Organization

Weather is a series of events occurring at a specific location at a specific time. The events include high and low temperatures, precipitation, wind speed, storm nature and intensity and other factors. These events are typically recorded daily and compiled as the average weather for a specific location in a specific month. This compilation is performed for each specific location for each month of a given year and reported as the average weather for that year.

Climate is the compilation of the series of events for each specific location for each year over a period of 30 years. However, the history of weather events in each year of the 30-year period can vary widely from year to year relative to the compilation which is the climate for that specific location.

Once the climate for a location has been established, future weather can be compared with the climate average for that particular climate period and also with the historic range of weather events from which the climate for the location was compiled. In most cases, the future weather would be expected to fall within the range of the weather events for the climate period. However, the future weather would not be expected to match the average weather for the climate period.

The occurrence of weather which falls outside the range of weather conditions which compose the climate period is of interest because it is different. It is typically referred to as an anomaly. The repeated occurrence of weather which falls outside the range of the weather conditions which constitute the established climate raise the question of whether there will be a long-term change in the weather conditions which would ultimately constitute a climate change.

Climate change can be tracked in several ways. Tracking a moving 30-year period, adding the most recent year’s data and dropping the data from the oldest year in the climate period would alter the range of events for the moving climate period, if the most recent year’s data is outside the range of the prior climate period. However, the effect on the climate average would likely be minimal. Tracking is more frequently done on 10- and 30-year periods, which makes the effect of weather outside the range of the previous climate period more obvious. A thirty-year period with different ranges of weather events and/or a different average would constitute a changed climate.

Weather events are recorded across the globe in a variety of different climate regimes, ranging from deserts to the poles. The changes in each of these climate regimes are monitored and recorded. They are then compiled and analyzed to establish an assessment of the global climate and of changes in the global climate. One of the results of combining the data from the numerous climate regimes is that significant detail is lost in the averaging process across months, years and the 30-year period.