The difference between weather and climate

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT)-- Global warming is a hot topic.

"In the last 50 to 100 years, we've had a warm up much more quickly than anything we've seen in history," said Matthew Kelsch, University Corporation for Atmospheric Research.

Meteorologists say the recent cold spell has nothing to do with global warming.

"In a world where the average is warmer, we're still going to have hot spells and cold spells," said Kelsch.

Global warming is currently affecting the climate, which is different than weather. Climate is the long-term average temperatures and precipitation totals of an area.

"Climate is the average of all the weather. The phrase we like to use is 'climate is what we expect, weather is what we get'," said Kelsch.

Weather consists of day-to-day conditions.

"Weather tells us what we're going to wear today. What do we pull out of the closet to go outside. Climate is more the long-term changes, over 30 years or a 100 years or more. That tells us what to actually put in our clothes closet to begin with," said Chris Cuoco, National Weather Service.

Global warming's effects on weather are a little cloudy.

"Climate change can only be measured over many years, decades, even hundreds of years. The evidence is very strong that the earth has been warming over the past 150 years. Now, what does that do to the actual weather? That is the difficult part. Climate scientists are suggesting that some of this global warming could be influencing some of the storms," said Cuoco.

Changes in weather need some time to determine.

"Climate is a look-back science," said Cuoco.



 
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