Spain, Portugal dryness 'unprecedented' in 1,200 years

Parts of Portugal and Spain are the driest they have been in a thousand years due to an atmospheric high-pressure system driven by climate change, according to research published Monday, warning of severe implications for ...

Thousands evacuate from 'dangerous' Sydney floods

Rapidly rising rivers swamped swathes of rain-lashed Sydney on Monday, forcing thousands to flee "dangerous" floods as the city's largest dam spilled torrents of water.

Environmental justice advocates slam Supreme Court ruling

The Supreme Court decision to limit how the Environmental Protection Agency regulates carbon dioxide emissions from power plants could make an already grave situation worse for those affected most by climate change and air ...

Study reveals an unprecedented change in Europe's fire regime

A study reveals an unprecedented change in the fire regime in Europe which is related to climate change. The affected areas are in Southern, Central and Northern Europe but this historical change in Europe's fire regime is ...

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Climate

Climate encompasses the statistics of temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, atmospheric particle count and numerous other meteorological elements in a given region over long periods of time. Climate can be contrasted to weather, which is the present condition of these same elements over periods up to two weeks.

The climate of a location is affected by its latitude, terrain, altitude, ice or snow cover, as well as nearby water bodies and their currents. Climates can be classified according to the average and typical ranges of different variables, most commonly temperature and rainfall. The most commonly used classification scheme is the one originally developed by Wladimir Köppen. The Thornthwaite system, in use since 1948, incorporates evapotranspiration in addition to temperature and precipitation information and is used in studying animal species diversity and potential impacts of climate changes. The Bergeron and Spatial Synoptic Classification systems focus on the origin of air masses defining the climate for certain areas.

Paleoclimatology is the study and description of ancient climates. Since direct observations of climate are not 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.

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