Main Menu
Climate

What is Climate?


Climate is the average weather usually taken over a 30-year time period for a particular region and time period. Climate is not the same as weather, but rather, it is the average pattern of weather for a particular region. Weather describes the short-term state of the atmosphere.


What is our climate system?
Atmosphere The atmosphere covers the Earth. It is a thin layer of mixed gases which make up the air we breathe. This thin layer also helps the Earth from becoming too hot or too cold.
Oceans Oceans cover about 70 percent of Earth's surface. Their large size and thermal properties allow them to store a lot of heat.
Land Land covers 27 percent of Earth's surface and land topography influences weather patterns.
Ice Ice is the world's largest supply of freshwater. It covers the remaining 3 percent of Earth's surface including most of Antarctica and Greenland. Ice plays an important role in regulating climate, because it is highly reflective.
Biosphere The biosphere is the part of Earth's atmosphere, land, and oceans that supports any living plant, animal, or organism. It is the place where plants and animals, including humans, live.


What does the oceans have effect on Earth's climate?

As the ocean absorbs the heat emitted from the sun and then latter spread it around the world in currents. These currents from oceans and in some regions the wind driven rivers in the sea that heat or cool the air above them, creating hotter or cooler weather.

What is a Climate Change?

Climate is the long-term average of a region's weather events lumped together. For example, it's possible that a winter day in Buffalo, New York, could be sunny and mild, but the average weather the climate tells us that Buffalo's winters will mainly be cold and include snow and rain. Climate change represents a change in these long-term weather patterns. They can become warmer or colder. Annual amounts of rainfall or snowfall can increase or decrease.

What is El Niño?

El Niño is a climate pattern where the water in the Pacific Ocean near the equator gets hotter than usual and affects the atmosphere and weather around the world. El Niño climate conditions occur every few years, and they are not predictable. El Niño is Spanish for The Little Boy. It refers to the Christ child and was named by Mexican fisherman, who noticed the climate pattern often formed around Christmastime.

What type of a climate pattern do we see with an El Niño?

The climate pattern can change the weather of the United States, particularly in California and the southern states. Usually, El Niño brings more rain and higher temperatures. Also, warm ocean currents come farther north and all kinds of tropical fish can be caught in the waters far north along the United States West Coast. El Niño may also bring warmer than normal winter temperatures to the eastern part of the United States.