I can't tell you when you'll die, but I can tell you the average age of death of people your age. That's how life insurance companies they make money. That's the difference between weather and climate. Averages are predictable; individual events are not.
"People across the northern hemisphere are facing the fact that a warming planet doesn't get rid of winter ... now is a good time to remind ourselves that weather, like death and taxes, will always be with us." — Robert Henson, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research
When you first arrive at the beach can you tell whether the tide is going in or out? No, not quickly: it would perhaps take you fifteen minutes of wave-watching before you could say for certain. And who's to say that a sudden big wave wasn't caused by a passing ship? It takes time to see the trend.Now let's adopt the scientist's method for determining the tide. This time bring a group of friends to the beach and position them 50 metres apart. When a wave lands, each person notes whether it reached further than the previous waves. If it does, that person shouts out , "a record!". So at first everyone is shouting out 'a record' very frequently—because the sample is so small. However, after 30 seconds or so the frequency will drop. Then after a few minutes the frequency of shouts will either noticeably decrease until they stop altogether (the tide is going out), or they will settle into a steady rhythm (the tide is coming in). Note that the more friends you take with you, the faster you'll arrive at an answer.
If the Arctic is warming, why was the winter of 2010 so cold?The so-called Warm Arctic-Cold Continent Pattern is "kind of like leaving the refrigerator door ajar — the refrigerator warms up, but all the cold air spills out into the house." Variation: As the Arctic warms, so the northern continents at higher latitudes experience cold winters with heavy snow falls. It's rather like the fridge door being left open: warm air goes in at the top as cold air falls out into the room.
Does a winter cold snap disprove global warming? That's like saying in April, "Don't tell me the days are getting longer. Look how dark it is tonight!"Wide short-term fluctuations can mask a slow, long-term trend. Global warming won't eliminate winter, any more than long summer days eliminate nighttime.
When CC walks his dog, he moves in a straight line, but his dog, TC, tugs on the leash and wanders right and left. TC is Temperature Change (short term variance) and his owner, CC, is Climate Change (long term trend). Of course, they both arrive at the same destination.
Climate = what you expect. Weather = what you get. Variation: When travel, climate determines what you pack. Weather determines what you put on each morning.
Climate is about long term trends. Weather is short-term fluctuations.Drawing conclusions about climate by looking at the weather is like saying 'I lost 2 lbs yesterday!' Every veteran weight-watcher knows that one day means nothing. It's the long term trend that counts.
Saying a cold winter disproves long-term global warming is like the guy who wins two hands of poker and thinks he's figured out how to 'beat the house.' Time to double down on his bets, right?
Weather is like CNN. Climate is like The History Channel.
Mark Twain famously said, "Everybody talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it." It turns out that he was wrong. We have been doing something...but unintentionally and not for the better.
(With climate change) “we will see a shorter snow season, but more intense individual snowfall events." – Dr. Michael Mann, Climatologist at Penn State University
"Weather is your mood and climate is your personality." — Dr. Marshall Shepherd, President of the American Meteorological Society
‘Weather is what you see outside your window, climate is what you see from a satellite.’ – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College, New York.
“Climate is the canvas and weather is what is painted on it. Humans have changed the climate so now all weather is affected by us.” – Scott Mandia, Professor of Physical Sciences at Suffolk County Community College in Long Island, New York.
“We can point to (NCAA men’s basketball) games and say ‘that was a great game’ or ‘this has been a great tournament’ but that is like denying there is climate change by saying ‘Hey it was cold yesterday in the Antarctic.’”