What is Climate: Definition and 189 Discussions

Climate is the long-term average of weather, typically averaged over a period of 30 years. More rigorously, it is the mean and variability of meteorological variables over a time spanning from months to millions of years. Some of the meteorological variables that are commonly measured are temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, and precipitation. In a broader sense, climate is the state of the components of the climate system, which includes the ocean, land, and ice on Earth. The climate of a location is affected by its latitude/longitude, terrain, and altitude, as well as nearby water bodies and their currents.
Climates can be classified according to the average and the typical ranges of different variables, most commonly temperature and precipitation. The most commonly used classification scheme was the Köppen climate classification. The Thornthwaite system, in use since 1948, incorporates evapotranspiration along with temperature and precipitation information and is used in studying biological diversity and how climate change affects it. The Bergeron and Spatial Synoptic Classification systems focus on the origin of air masses that define the climate of a region.
Paleoclimatology is the study of ancient climates. Since very few direct observations of climate are available before the 19th century, paleoclimates are inferred from proxy variables that include non-biotic evidence such as sediments found in lake beds and ice cores, and biotic evidence such as tree rings and coral. Climate models are mathematical models of past, present and future climates. Climate change may occur over long and short timescales from a variety of factors; recent warming is discussed in global warming. Global warming results in redistributions. For example, "a 3°C change in mean annual temperature corresponds to a shift in isotherms of approximately 300–400 km in latitude (in the temperate zone) or 500 m in elevation. Therefore, species are expected to move upwards in elevation or towards the poles in latitude in response to shifting climate zones".

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  1. D

    Theoretical Physicist working on physics of energy systems and climate

    See also my LinkedIn page under my name, Dirk Smit. I retired recently from a big energy company where I was the corporate chief scientist. I am now affiliated with Oxford Univ and MIT working on the applied science and engineering of the energy transition in particular the role of the...
  2. A

    B Questions about climate and physics

    1)The atmosphere is an extremely complex system, so much so that weather forecasts beyond a few days are not possible. Why are seasonal or 10-20 year climatological forecasts reliable? I heard from a climatologist in a video on YB (I know it is not a valid source) that weather forecasts are an...
  3. F

    I Do you think emissivity of air makes sense?

    Hello guys :)In the frame of finding a physical model for the temperature of Earth's surface, talking about the very "idealized" two-layers model of atmosphere, I ask you now the question to the other physicists or engineers: does it make sens to associate an emissivity to a layer of air (+ some...
  4. benswitala

    Laser cooling of Earth's climate

    Hi, I am worried about climate change. I want to cool the earth. Would it work to build solar panels to provide shade, and then to blast the captured light energy out into space via lasers? I think only certain frequencies will go through the ozone. Could solar powered lasers help cool the...
  5. S

    Consequences of global climate change

    It is known, that due to global warming, the average temperature on Earth over the past 100 years has increased by 1.2 degrees. At the same time, I heard that earlier the temperature of the Earth was 7 degrees higher than the current one. I do not deny the danger of global warming, because I...
  6. anorlunda

    Viral spillover risk increases with climate change in High Arctic lake

    https://royalsocietypublishing.org/doi/10.1098/rspb.2022.1073 This raises the specter of pre-human era pathogens being re-released because the permafrost is melting. AFAIK, even the sci-fi authors have not explored that idea.
  7. M

    Does climate change affect air density at altitude (scale height)?

    Increases in global temperature change affect the tree line and presumably comfortable habitability via temperature, and average air pressure associated with weather patterns. That's not what I mean. I'm thinking a 1/50 increase in kelvin temperature might increase the scale height of Earth's...
  8. Algr

    Can Green Ammonia Be a Climate Fix?

    Wired has a new article that seems interesting. https://www.wired.com/story/can-green-ammonia-be-a-climate-fix/ The part about eliminating the use of methane in ammonia production sounds good to me. This could also be a good case of switchable demand - if the wind or solar power dips, the...
  9. kadiot

    Can climate change trigger earthquakes?

    I joined Dystopia Manila anthology book project. It’s a collection of one-shot stories with two very important elements: 1. A climate change crisis that humans failed to address; and 2. A dystopian, sci-fi story that is set in a futuristic Metro Manila I'm wondering if climate change triggers...
  10. M

    Historic CO2 levels, climate change

    Not trolling here, just have genuine confusion over CO2 levels comparied to what we believe CO2 levels have been historically and their effect on climate change. I recently saw some Facebook group infographic posts which claimed that CO2 concentration in the atmosphere is the lowest it has ever...
  11. hrvojezujic

    Creating a Global Climate Calendar

    Is it possible to create a two-seasonal global climate calendar as a statistical model of some physical property of Earth's upper air, independent from interacting factors such as topography, elevation, latitude, nearby water, ocean currents, vegetation and prevailing winds? The beginning of the...
  12. A

    Climate skeptics according to faculty and/or degree?

    I'm looking for a survey, research or some statistics that shows in which university faculty climate skeptics are more or less present. Same for level of degree. I found only some according to the political orientation but nothing about the above. Did I miss something? If so, can you please...
  13. K

    Uncertainties in climate models

    I have seen that many posters here seem to be very knowledgeable about the man made climate "emergency". So someone can surely point out a reference where all the sources of uncertainties for at least one specific model are provided with an estimate of their values (for examples, uncertainties...
  14. Amrator

    Other Books on the Physics of Climate Change

    Hello, I'm looking for a textbook on climate change that is not afraid to use advanced physics and mathematics (thermal/statistical physics, differential equations, fluid dynamics, etc.). Too many textbooks on the topic shy away from the mathematics, preventing me from obtaining a deep...
  15. N

    A question about the parameters/constants entering climate models

    Can someone point out to a resource where would be provided a list and description of the constants/parameters used in modern climate models. And the values used with their uncertainties. (PS: I know that any question related to global warming tends to trigger some people, I was called dumb...
  16. C

    Today's Climate Change and the Permian-Triassic Boundary

    This video shows how geologists figured out that a huge greenhouse effect nearly wiped out life on Earth 250 million years ago. The explanation is premised on an analysis of rock samples found at the Permian-Triassic Boundary in Utah. It involves a lot of Chemistry and Earth science so I...
  17. BillTre

    How will climate change affect the US?

    Several maps, from ProPublica, showing how climate change may play out as changes in the US. Lessor amounts of similar data can be found in this PNAS publication. Some of the maps are interactive (different levels of continued emissions). The maps cover: temperature/humidity based most...
  18. L

    MATLAB Gaussian process and climate model in Matlab

    I'll admit I am very new to Gaussian processes, but from what I know a Gaussian process is completely determined by a mean vector E(Y(θ)) and a covariance function Cov[Y(θ1), Y(θ2)]. E(Y(θ)) is given, and we have the correlation, which is just the covariance divided by Var(θ1)*Var(θ2).The...
  19. C

    Carbon sequestration, how does it work? Is it practical?

    Hi All, I understand carbon sequestration in the simplest sense is capturing and storing carbon. As seen in the title, I'm going to split this into two sections. i) How does it work? I imagine that trees, in a sense are doing this. They take in the carbon from our atmosphere and is stored...
  20. A

    Are orbital sun shades to reverse climate change realistic?

    I'm referring to proposals that suggest putting large reflective surfaces at the L1 Lagrange point. I've also been thinking of something like capturing a nearby asteroid and turning it into an artificial ring at the equator or dumping lots of small infrared reflecting particles or releasing...
  21. BillTre

    How can we engineer corals to better adapt to climate change?

    Here is a long Science magazine News article on trying to engineer corals to better deal with climate change. Two challenges corals face due to climate change: increasing the temperature of the water in which coral lives (A 2˚ C temperature increase is said to be deadly to most coral) as...
  22. jedishrfu

    Interactive Map of Changing Climate City by City

    In this Science Alert article, an interactive map reference is provided to show the effects of climate change on your city in 2080: https://www.sciencealert.com/in-the-year-2080-your-city-will-feel-like-it-s-500-miles-away and the map: https://fitzlab.shinyapps.io/cityapp/
  23. B

    Earth’s magnetic field alignment and climate change?

    The Earth’s magnetic field is slowly moving with respect to the Earth’s surface and to the Sun’s incoming radiation and solar wind direction. Does the tilting/moving of Earth’s magnetic field axis to the incoming solar wind direction change the protection on different points of the Earth’s...
  24. Jarvis323

    Relationship between Subglacial Volcanism and Climate

    I have been thinking about the possibility of subglacial volcanism having a potential large impact on glacial ice mass, melting and climate in the past. Since there are volcanos all over the world, I thought there likely are plenty of subglacial volcanoes as well, but I find it hard to find...
  25. W

    Maunder Minimum & Climate Change

    We all know that our CO2 emissions will warm the planet. However I am wondering to what extent do climate models include the view that we might be heading to a new Maunder Minimum? https://www.nextbigfuture.com/2018/11/winter-is-coming-super-grand-solar-minimum.html Will this buy us a bit more...
  26. J

    Writing: Input Wanted What Makes Great Lakes Earth So Geographically Unique?

    https://orig00.deviantart.net/1603/f/2018/163/d/8/great_lakes_earth_map_by_jdailey1991-dce7cbj.jpg Dark brown=mountains. Light brown=uplifts. Black=Igneous provinces still visible today at their original extent with no consideration of erosion. Let us say that, in the future, some scientists...
  27. hagopbul

    Are there other variables that control climate change?

    Hello all It's been a while ,as I read the almost daily news on climate change , some question come up to my mind , dose the ionosphere has any effect on climate change , as we all know now the Earth magnetic field is weakening ,and the temperature is rising ,dose this two variables related to...
  28. Posty McPostface

    Will climate change stimulate or harm the economy?

    I'm reading about the parable of the broken window, which states: I was wondering if this can be related in some way to climate change as a whole. My reasoning is that given that climate change is a consequence of a lack of knowledge about the sum total negative and positive externalities of...
  29. BillTre

    The Earth's Climate Can Change Rapidly

    One of the Snowball Earth periods geology has been able to find went into its all (or almost) Earth frozen all over state, in a geological moment (estimated at 1,000 to 100,000 years). Science news article here.
  30. rooneysoccer

    What are the differential impacts of climate change across different regions?

    Hello guys The climate in my country varies from year to year Please tell me why ?
  31. R

    Divide observational data into normal periods for study

    When analyzing hydrological and climatological timeseries/observations it is common practice to compare statistics made on normal periods. As WMO calls them "WMO Climatological Normals". These periods consist normally of 30 years of data. If you want to compare two normal periods with each...
  32. M

    Climate Change: Why Doesn't Rising Temperature Balance Out?

    First, I am not a scientist, so this may be a stupid question. But with all the concern about global warming - and given that temperature and pressure are related - why doesn’t rising temperature cause the atmosphere to expand outward and the temperature to fall as a result, back to an...
  33. T

    Climate 300 years after nuclear apocalypse?

    So, I'm writing something taking place a few centuries after a global nuclear war, but I'm unsure what the climate would be like, both in general and in the story's specific setting - the western coast of Canada. Would the average temperature or amount of yearly rainfall change? Would areas...
  34. G

    Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity

    Equilibrium Climate Sensitivity - what is the relevance of the word 'equilibrium' - why not 'climate sensitivity?' Hope you can help.
  35. I

    Calculating Changes in Internal Energy for a Rising Air Parcel

    Homework Statement A 1 kg parcel of dry air initially at a temperature of 15 Celsius (288 K) rises from ground level to its equilibrium height, which corresponds to a pressure of 750 hPa. What is the decrease in internal energy?What is the temperature of the air parcel at its equilibrium...
  36. lomidrevo

    Introduction to Climatology: Resources to Get Started

    Hi guys, could you please recommend a valuable introduction to climatology and/or atmospheric physics? It could be a textbook, online book, article, tutorial, etc... Thanks in advance!
  37. Delta Force

    Climate Effects of Cleaner Fossil Fuels?

    My understanding of climatology is that sulfur elements have a proven cooling effect while there is less certainty around particulate elements (which could have a cooling or warming effect). I'm wondering how changes in energy use since the 1970s might have impacted climate change, particularly...

    PBL Velocity Profile: Sinusoidal Variation w/ Height

    Why does the planetary boundary layer velocity profile shows a sinusoidal variation with height? Reference: Fig:14.10 Page 576 Fluid Mechanics - Kundu and Cohen 2nd edition
  39. BillTre

    Attempts to Unify Climate and Weather Prediction Models

    Open access news article from Science magazine news. I found this interesting, but it is really beyond my ability to provide a short explanation.
  40. R

    Hockey Stick and Climate Sensitivity

    I wonder if you might be able to help me with a question I have about climate change, specifically Mann's MBH99 hockey stick graph in relation to climate sensitivity equation. I would like to know where the climate sensitivity equation "Delta T = RF*lamba fits into the making of the hockey stick...
  41. J

    Writing: Input Wanted An Alternate to the Siberian Traps

    Back home, the catalyst for the worst biotic catastrophe in the world, the Siberian Traps, don't have much left. 252 million years of erosion have reduced the igneous province to a pale shadow of its former self. From 60 to 43 million years ago (not 252), a series of flood basalt eruptions...
  42. J

    B E=0. What Does That Mean for the Seasons?

    Currently, Earth's eccentricity (orbital shape) is 0.0167086. Zero is a perfect circle whereas One is parabolic escape orbit and any greater becomes a hyperbola. And in the theory of the Milankovitch cycles, Earth's eccentricity varies between 0.000055 and 0.0679 over a period of 100,000 years...
  43. J

    How Does Great Lakes Earth's Geography Differ from Our Own?

    The geography of Great Lakes Earth, and the questions that come with it. Pangaea From 250 to 200 million years ago, all the continents had joined together to form a singular landmass called Pangaea. The brown lines presented in the map are mountain ranges varying in height above sea level...
  44. Ackbach

    MHB Climate Change and Bias Amongst the Climate Scientists?

    Firstly, and most importantly: I am not interested in getting into a debate about climate change in this thread. If you try to engage in debate with me in this thread, I will immediately abuse my administrative powers and physically delete your post! (Devil) Secondly, I want to make it clear...
  45. jedishrfu

    XKCD's "Climate Change Timeline" | See History's Impact

    XKCD made a really cool Climate Change timeline: https://xkcd.com/1732/ which shows the effect humanity has had on it vs history.
  46. G

    Earth's climate in 100-200 years

    I'm writing a story that set in the second half of the next century, but i think my questions are about real science. Lets suppose that current trends continue for a while, until either fossils depleted, or become unviable to use them, so for a few decades i guess. Is there significant chance...
  47. newjerseyrunner

    Where Is the Majority of Climate Data Stored?

    I keep reading news articles about how researches are trying to dump as much climate data as possible off of government computers before the new presidential term. How much data is actually stored on government servers and no where else? Petabytes? Exabytes? Is it the majority of raw data...
  48. R

    Logical steps of climate change

    There are two ideas: (1) C02 is increasing. (2) The global temperature is increasingI am looking for the specific mechanism (most likely an equation / theories of physics) which climate scientists use to connect (1) and (2) together, and infer that (1) causes (2). I am looking for the math /...
  49. xpell

    Prevailing winds in the mesosphere?

    Hi! Please, does anyone know where could I find information or (ideally) global maps with the direction and speeds of the prevailing winds in the mesosphere (if any)? As much as I've tried to, I've been unable to find any source providing this information. Thank you in advance!
  50. Brage Eidsvik

    I Exoplanet Climate: Can Planets Have Multiple Liquid Layers?

    Is it possible for planets to have multiple liquid layers? Like a ocean made of water, with an ocean within, consisting of a heavier liquid. And could it have a sirculation, as water does on Earth?