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What's The Difference between Weather & Climate

It's a question you hear over and over again...what's the difference between weather and climate?  The National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration, or NOAA, recently spelled it out in an article.

In a nut shell, weather is what conditions of the atmosphere are over a short period of time, and climate is how the atmosphere \"behaves\" over relatively long periods of time, typically in 30 year intervals.

It's been determined the earth has warmed 1 degree Fahrenheit in the past century with accelerated warming during the past twenty years.  There is strong evidence much of this is attributed to human activity, but there's still some debate about the role of natural cycles and processes.  Rising global temperatures have been associated with rise in sea levels and change in precipitation amounts.  This could also affect crops, forests, and water levels. 

Human activities have altered the chemical composition of the atmosphere through a buildup of greenhouse gases, especially carbon dioxide.  The heat-trapping property of these gases is undisputed, but there are still many unknowns on how the earth's climate responds.

The United States Global Change Research program, or USGCRP, was created as a high-priority national research to address key uncertainties about changes in the earth's global environmental system.  At a global level, countries around the world continue to try the puzzle of climate change by working with satellites, other tools, and computer models simulating and predicting the earth's condition.

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