Oceans saved us, now we can return the favor

Humanity must heal oceans made sick by climate change, pollution and overfishing in order to rescue marine life and save ourselves, experts warned ahead of a major UN conference opening Monday in Lisbon.

Defects in quartz crystal structure reveal the origin of dust

Global warming and a progressively drier climate in many parts of the world are causing more dust storms. To predict how these storms are caused, researchers are looking into the past to understand where the dust came from, ...

Coastal marsh migration may further fuel climate change

As rising sea levels cause marshes to move inland in six mid-Atlantic states, the coastal zone will not continue to serve as a carbon sink but release more carbon into the atmosphere, a new modeling study led by researchers ...

Aerosol instrument SPEXone mounted on NASA's climate satellite

Over the past few weeks, a group of engineers from SRON Netherlands Institute for Space Research, Airbus Netherlands and NASA has been working on installing the Dutch aerosol instrument SPEXone on NASA's PACE satellite. PACE ...

Climate change a factor in 'unprecedented' South Asia floods

Scientists say climate change is a factor behind the erratic and early rains that triggered unprecedented floods in Bangladesh and northeastern India, killing dozens and making lives miserable for millions of others.

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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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