Climate vs. Weather - Enhanced Transcript
What Is Climate?
- Jessica Harrop (for Climate Central): The weather forecast predicts a heat wave next week. Climate scientists predict a global heat wave over the next 50 years. One of these is weather, and one is climate. So what exactly is the difference?
- Dr. Otis Brown : Climate is what you expect. Weather is what you get. Weather Ã¢Â€Â“ this is the day to dayÃ¢Â€Â¦what we actually see. Climate Ã¢Â€Â“ thatÃ¢Â€Â™s what we expect.
- Jessica Harrop: In other words, while weather describes the conditions on a specific day in a very specific area, climate depicts the average conditions in a general region. And because climate and weather are on different time scales, there are unique ways to measure them.
- Dr. Otis Brown: Weather models move forward with from seconds to minutes to hours to days. Climate models start with some average situation and try to look at how the mean situation is going to change over years or decades.
- Jessica Harrop: We see weather models being used all the time on TV. They help us figure out whether or not to pack an umbrella. But climate models help us make other longer-range decisions, from seasonal occurrences like El Nino, to ones that stretch out much further, like global warming.
- Dr. Otis Brown: Climate has been viewed as Ã¢Â€Âœwhat do I want to leave two generations in the futureÃ¢Â€Â rather than Ã¢Â€Âœdoes it really matter to me?Ã¢Â€Â If we look now at the investments we need to make, whether its infrastructure or whether its new power plants or new highways. Do you move communities? Do you elevate them? WhatÃ¢Â€Â™s the answer? Whatever it is it is not cheap. And so we as a society are going to be making those investments over the next 10 or 20 or 30 years. And so we need to have a much better understanding of the impacts of climate change.
- Jessica Harrop: IÃ¢Â€Â™m Jessica Harrop, Climate Central.