A: “Weather is what’s happening in the atmosphere, on any given day, in a specific place. Local or regional weather forecasts include temperature, humidity, winds, cloudiness, and prospects for storms or other changes over the next few days. Climate is the average of these weather ingredients over many years. For example, it might be raining in Riverside today, but we have a dry, hot climate because on average, it only rains a few days of the year. Weather can day to day but climate changes slowly, over decades or centuries.” More at UC Riverside
Glaciers are melting, sea levels are rising, forests are being decimated, extreme weather is accelerating and wildlife is scrambling to keep pace with unprecedented rates of extinction reported. It has become clear that humans have caused most of the past century’s warming by releasing heat-trapping gases as we power our modern lives. Called greenhouse gases, their levels are higher now than at any time in the last 800,000 years.
While many people think of global warming and climate change as synonyms, scientists use “climate change” when describing the complex shifts now affecting our planet’s weather and climate systems—in part because some areas actually get cooler in the short term. “Global warming” refers to the rise in global temperatures due mainly to the increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.
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