The Earth’s climate refers to the weather over a long period. In other words, the climate is like the pattern of the weather. It gives an idea of the average weather in a particular place. The climate is studied by looking at the weather pattern for 30 years. In other words, it has a slower change that takes decades.
Climate or weather
The climate on Earth is sometimes mistaken for the weather, but the weather refers to a much shorter time. For example, how much sun or rain there is in a particular place on a specific day. Hence, the weather changes daily, which means weather changes much faster than climate.
The ongoing climate crisis has led to a debate about the climate and weather. For example, some link extreme weather events, such as fires or floods, to the human influence on the climate on Earth. While some still claim that these events are unique weather events. However, it is a fact that human activities, releasing GHG emissions, affect the Earth’s climate. Since human activities release more greenhouse gases than the Earth naturally does. Which eventually leads to a warmer climate because of the greenhouse effect. Thus, human activities are slowly but surely changing it.
Furthermore, human emissions also affect the ozone layer, which protects against the sun’s harmful UV radiation. More so, a warmer climate also affects the circulation of the ocean. For example, the warmer climate melts the ice and glaciers on Earth. Eventually, this leads to an increase in freshwater in the oceans. Which then leads to changes in currents, such as the Gulf Stream. Hence, more greenhouse emissions eventually affect Earth’s climate and patterns.
Observing the climate on Earth
People have been studying the climate of Earth for over 150 years. Precipitation (e.g. rain), atmospheric pressure and average temperatures, among other things, have been observed and documented. These observations make it possible to understand how the climate has changed over the past 150 years. For example, the Earth’s average temperature has increased by around one degree since 1850. Most of this warming is related to human emissions of greenhouse gases.
As a result of the above, scientists can say that the climate has changed beyond its natural balance. An increase of 1°C from 1850 to today is considered a rapid and decisive change. A one-degree difference leads to melting ice, rising sea levels and changing rainfall patterns. These changes have several chain reactions. Such as flooding in the world’s coastal cities.
Although it can be misleading to link a single extreme weather event to climate change, such as a hurricane or fire, it is a fact that a warmer climate leads to more extreme weather. The so-called climate models can prove this, as they estimate the climate of the future.
More so, a global average temperature increase of 1°C creates much better conditions for heat waves and floods. SMHI states that climate change is visible in the worldwide increase of catastrophic weather events.
The Earth’s climate zones
The planet’s climate has four different climate zones: the tropical zone, the subtropical zones, the temperate zones and the polar zones. The tropical zone is closest to the equator and has a warm climate with large rainforests. The second zone, the subtropical one, lies at some distance from the equator and has long, hot summers and mild winters. Then there is the temperate climate zone, with four seasons – for example, the climate in Sweden. Finally, there is the polar zone, which is generally cold all year round. These zones are likely to change and are not permanent in the long term.