DIFFERENCE between CLIMATE and WEATHER - Summary and Characteristics

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It is very common that, in our day to day, we confuse the concepts of weather and climate when we speak. In fact, many people use them as if they were synonyms and, although they are very close concepts, they do not mean the same thing.

If you want to learn more about the difference between climate and weather, join us in this curious article by Green Ecologist. Here we not only talk about what climate and weather are and their difference, but you will also learn about the elements and factors of climate and about meteorological instruments to measure atmospheric time.

Difference between climate and weather - explanation

The words time and climate cannot be used interchangeably despite the closeness of their concepts. There is a fundamental difference that separates and distinguishes them: the temporal scope.

When we talk about atmospheric weather, we are referring to weather conditions such as temperature, humidity or pressure in a certain area and relatively short time. That is, when we see the weather forecastThey are talking about the weather, and not the weather.

The weather, instead, it refers to all those same atmospheric values, but valued at a average for a given region over a long period of time. For this reason, when one speaks, for example, of climate change, it is done taking into account the records and data collected over many years.

What is climate - definition and characteristics

As we have said, we can define the weather as the weather statistics over a long period of time, which is usually 30 years old. To measure the climate we must look at the variations of its elements, which we list below. The climate system of a given area is determined by its five components. The components of climate are:

  • Atmosphere.
  • Hydrosphere.
  • Cryosphere.
  • Lithosphere.
  • Biosphere.

Climate is also affected by its various factors, such as terrain or vegetation. Here you can learn more about How vegetation influences the climate and How relief influences the climate.

Weather elements

The elements that make up the climate are five:

  • Atmospheric temperature: It is, as its name suggests, the level of heat or cold that the air has at a certain point and time. This is mainly affected by solar radiation, which according to planetary and geographical factors will make it higher or lower. Atmospheric temperature and rainfall are the two most important elements of climate.
  • Precipitation: It encompasses any way that water from clouds in the atmosphere falls to the surface of the earth. Rain, snow and hail are forms of precipitation.
  • Atmospheric pressure: is the weight that the air masses exert in all directions. The higher the altitude, the lower this weight, since we have less air above us. Temperature also causes the air to expand and lose density, so, as with altitude, the higher the temperature, the lower the pressure.
  • Wind: it is about the movement of the air that is in the whole atmosphere. Here you can know the Types of wind in Spain.
  • Humidity: Finally, among the elements of climate is atmospheric humidity, which is the amount of water in the form of vapor that is present in the atmosphere.
  • Water evaporation: physical process by which water goes from its liquid state to its gaseous state. Learn more in this other post about What is water evaporation and examples.
  • Cloudiness: it is about clouds and the amount of clouds in the atmosphere. In this other article you can discover the different types of clouds that there are.

Climate factors

The main climate factors are 6:

  • Latitude: is the angular distance between a given point and the Earth's equator. This influences the angle of incidence of solar radiation, and therefore the intensity with which it heats the area, as well as the duration of the days and nights.
  • Altitude: is the vertical distance between a specific point and sea level. This has a great impact on the climate, since higher altitude always implies lower temperatures and lower pressures. The thermal floors are given by the altitude.
  • Distance to the sea: It is important because of the influence of large bodies of water and its ability to retain heat for longer than the continental surface. Areas far from the sea have a greater thermal amplitude, since they do not have the softening effect of this.
  • Ocean currents: they carry enormous amounts of water coming from more or less warm places, so they act like the pipes or sections of a radiator or refrigerator.
  • Orientation of the relief: marks if an area is sunny or shady, marking how much it receives the sun's rays.
  • Direction of planetary and seasonal winds: To finish talking about climate factors, we mention the winds, which fulfill a function similar to that of ocean currents, moving large masses of air in motion, with different temperatures and storms or other atmospheric effects.

Learn more about the climate with these other Green Ecologist articles:

  • What is the temperate Mediterranean climate.
  • What is the tropical climate and its characteristics.
  • How many climates are there in Spain.

What is atmospheric weather - definition and characteristics

Time, or atmospheric weather, refers to the state of all those atmospheric factors in a single at a specific place and time determined. It is what we look at when we mention if it will rain tomorrow or if it will be sunny or if it was very cold last week. Therefore, it is what we see in the weather report or the Whaether forecast.

Weather has been studied in depth since ancient times precisely because the deeper our knowledge of it, the more accurately we know the weather and, therefore, the more tools we have to be able to predict it. Being able to predict the weather has always been very important to humans. From its most basic application, which is for agriculture, to the development of plans, trips or events.

Meteorological instruments for measuring the weather

To finish knowing the difference between climate and weather, we can only finish talking a little more about the latter. It is also very important to know the meteorological instruments for measuring the weather and make a weather or meteorological forecast:

  • Thermometer: allows you to measure the atmospheric temperature of a place at a specific time. This is how the maximum, average and minimum temperatures of an area are known.
  • Barometer: measures atmospheric pressure.
  • Anemometer: measures the speed of the wind.
  • Pluviometer: measures rainfall, hail and snow.
  • Vane: It helps us to know the direction of the wind.

If you want to read more articles similar to Difference between climate and weatherWe recommend that you enter our Nature Curiosities category.

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