Understanding climate change day 1: understanding climate

The first week’s learnings of the Climate Change course have included:

  • Key principle is ‘blanket Earth‘.
    “A blanket traps heat and re-radiates some of it back to whoever is lucky, or unlucky, enough to be rolled up in it”
  • Climate is a system.
    “containing a series of components that interact with one another”
  • Differences between Climate and Weather
    – weather is what we see daily (temp, humidity, wind, sun) that can change by the hour.
    – climate looks at how weather changes over a long period of time (typically 30 years).
    – climate system=interactions between atmosphere and oceans, land masses, vegetation & gases in the atmosphere + sun
  • why do we get the two confused?
    – we do not stop to think about the differences
    – eg of weather change: front brings rain to a summer day
    – eg of climate change: changing El Nino and la Nina weather patterns; desertification of once-green areas due to deforrestation