Restoring Earth's natural defenders

It's no secret that the forests of the world are under severe pressure from human activities. We tend to think of tropical forests, and in particular the Amazon, as bearing the brunt of the impacts of deforestation and other ...

CO2 monitors new weapon in Paris climate fight

Spurred on by growing social movements, cities across the world are getting serious with their climate action, vowing to slash pollution and implement greener laws.

Scientists work to mitigate fire danger in Santa Fe Watershed

Scientists at The University New Mexico are working to help mitigate fire danger in Santa Fe watershed utilizing two scenarios involving thinning and conducting prescribed burns. Under both scenarios, the occurrence of stand-replacing ...

Climate change in protected areas endangers biodiversity

Researchers at the University of Bayreuth have calculated for the first time how climate change is likely to affect the earth's conservation areas by 2070. In Nature Communications, they present their study with which they ...

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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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