Djcnor’s Weblog

The Difference between Weather and Climate

Posted on: December 16, 2008

The last 12 months have been the coolest since the year 2000.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2008/dec/16/scienceofclimatechange-climatechange

And yet this year was the 10th hottest on record, hot enough to maintain the trend that leads the overwhelming majority of climate scientists to believe in global warming.

All ten of the ten warmest years on record have occurred since 1997, and this last decade has been 0.2 degrees C (0.36 degrees F) warmer than the one before.

This year was 0.42 degrees C (0.76 degrees F) higher than the average of 1951 to 1980 despite being 0.14 degrees C (0.25 degrees F) cooler than the average of 2001 to 2007.

This year was cooler because of specific determiners of weather. At the beginning of the year, there was a strong La Niña event. It is El Niño and La Niña events that have the strongest effect on year to year variability.

That’s weather.

Decade to decade variability is attributable to other factors. Most climatologists, and they are the ones best in a position to know, believe that human activity has been the determining factor for that since the Industrial Revolution.

That’s climate.

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