Climate warming promises more frequent extreme El Niño events

El Niño events cause serious shifts in weather patterns across the globe, and an important question that scientists have sought to answer is: how will climate change affect the generation of strong El Niño events? A new ...

Use the Amazon's natural bounty to save it: experts

Brazilian prize-winning climatologist Carlos Nobre is calling for a bioeconomic plan to save the Amazon by drawing on its wealth of berries and nuts—an idea championed at a key Vatican summit.

Future flash drought will increase over humid regions

Flash drought is a new phenomenon with increasing prominence due to global warming. Drought develops rapidly without sufficient early warning, and has stricken the world with severe impacts during recent years, such as the ...

What will the world look like in 2050?

It's 2050, and another balmy day in Los Angeles. A young woman steps outside and puts on her air filtration mask. The air is thick with smog, which aggravates her asthma. As she hurries to get into an air-conditioned, self-driving ...

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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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