What is the difference between Weather and Climate?

The aim of Carbon Handprint is to share the good news as well as the bad, so let's talk about one thing that always gets mentioned in both contexts - the weather.

Weather describes the day-to-day conditions that we experience when we walk out of the door. A short period of Unseasonable or out of place weather doen't necessarily indicate climate change or anything odd at all, until it is part of a long term pattern or trend.

Can we blame the Romans?

The standard measures of days, years and months have been in place for thousands of years. They were named after Gods and Emperors thousands of years ago - could they have got it wrong? Perhaps things would line up better if we had an extra month or two? Would Summer always be Summer and Winter always be Winter if Autumn was longer?

Thankfully Climate scientists don't just the calendar as their only point of reference, though longer weekends would get my vote. The annual calender is a useful meaure but science accepts that a climate cycle might not exactly match the human measurement of 365 days in a normal year (or indeed, even be limited to a single year in length). Interestingly, one key reason for the calendar we know today was to predict climate events such as the flooding of the Nile and other extreme weather events.

So when you look up on a particularly hot or cold day and say "that is Global warming" it isn't necessarily true, but if we compare a number of years and see a pattern then yes, that could indeed be climate change.
And No, we can't blame the Romans.

Read More: »Origin of month names   


Steve is the founder of CarbonHandprint.org. He works in technology and lives in a barn. He fills his dustbin once a month and drives a low Co2 family car.