According to NASA the difference between “Climate” and “Weather” is simply a duration of time.
If you are speaking of the atmospheric conditions over a short period of time, it is assumed you are speaking about the weather.
It is raining now.
It will be cold tomorrow.
Yesterday was very hot.
These are all descriptions of weather. Climate, according to NASA is ” how the atmosphere “behaves” over relatively long periods of time”. Remember that word “relatively”, it will be important.
So, for the purposes of this article, I am going to ask that you accept NASA’s definitions of weather and climate. Now lets focus on the word “relatively”. A week can sometimes feel like a very long time, but for everyone who looks forward to Friday as “payday”, a week can be a very long time. But, in terms of weather and climate, a week is a relatively very brief period of time. You would say the weather next week will be nice, not the climate next week will be nice.
We now have a general idea of how to gauge the difference between weather and climate. When scientists, or politicians, talk about “climate change” they are referring to atmospheric conditions over long periods of time. They are not referring to next week, or even next year. Usually, they would be referring to duration’s measured in decades at the very least, and this is where I begin to have a problem with those who push climate change as the biggest threat to our world.
Now, with our understanding of the difference between climate and weather, what do you think would be the response of a politician who believes in the threat of climate change, if you pointed out that because it snowed today, they provide evidence that the climate was not warming because it never snows on March 18, in the South. The politician would point out that you are confusing weather with climate. He might even tell you that 1 day is only .27% of a full year. (1 divided by 365 X 100). He might tell you that scientists, of which 97% agree, use much larger spans of time to measure climate and the science is settled. How do I know this? I have not spoken directly to a politician, but I have spoken to quite a few fervent believers in man caused climate change.
Those discussions are what led me to think a little more on the subject. I am not a climatologist, I am not even a scientist. I do however, know how to use a calculator. If we are talking about the effect of burning fossil fuels on the climate, I would think that this would have occurred during the industrial age.
The industrial age began in about 1760. To be generous, lets consider the industrial age began in 1750. That is 277 years ago. Lets even be more generous, to make the math easier. Civilizations have been around since at least the year 1. That is 2,017 years ago. Scientists have determined the Earth to be about 4.5 billion years old. That is 4.5 billion years of atmospheric behavior happening. Then we take 2,017 and divide by 4,500,000,000 and multiply that by 100 to get a percentage of time. The answer is civilization has only been impacting the climate for .000045% of the total lifetime of the Earth.
So, if 1 day, which is .27% of a year, is considered weather. Now remember, according to NASA the time duration is relative, then would not mans impact on the climate be considered weather? I mean relatively speaking, we are only talking about .000045% of total climate time. Is that really a large enough data set for a politician to call the science “settled”? Really? I am all for cleaner fuels, renewable energy, clean air, and clean water, but don’t tell me we are all going to die a fiery death next year because it was unseasonably warm today. Don’t tell me that and call it science.