Climate and climate change

Climate and Climate Change

The main difference between weather and climate is that they each refer to a different timescale. Weather describes the conditions of the atmosphere over hourly or daily measurements such as temperature, rainfall, cloudiness, sunshine, and wind speeds. Climate, on the other hand, is the average of these conditions over longer time periods ranging from years to decades.

Whilst there is natural variability in both weather and climate, 'climate change' refers to systematic, large-scale, long-term shift in the planet’s weather patterns and average temperatures.

Click the ‘Climate’ link to learn more about climate observations, climate zones, and the factors that affect our global climate.

Click the ‘climate change’ link to learn more about how our climate is changing, the impacts of climate change, and the effects of human activity on our changing climate.

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