The Difference Between Weather And Climate Environmental Sciences Essay

Weather is the conditions right here, right now. Look out of the window and you will see what the conditions is like today. It might be cheery, hot, blowy or cloudy, raining or snowing. The conditions takes into history the temperature, precipitation, humidness and atmospheric force per unit area, of the portion of ambiance ( air ) closest to the surface of the Earth.

The conditions is invariably altering as temperature and humidness alteration in the ambiance. Landmasss, such as the British Isles, experience invariably altering conditions conditions.

Climate is the mean conditions conditions – temperature, force per unit area, precipitation and humidness – expected for a certain topographic point. Climate is based on the norm conditions experienced over 30 old ages or more.

Climate refers to what is expected to go on in the ambiance instead than the existent conditions. So it is possible for the conditions today to be different from that suggested by the clime.

Climatic conditions in an country can be affected by the landscape, alleviation and activities ( human and natural ) . Climate can change over clip and infinite.

Within a climatic part, the clime may change from topographic point to topographic point, e.g. top of hill, cheery side of hill, shaded side of hill and underside of the hill. These countries with their little fluctuations are called microclimates.

The scientific discipline of monitoring and analyzing the ambiance and foretelling its conditions and clime is called weather forecasting. Peoples who study the conditions and clime are known as meteorologists.

You will necessitate to cognize and understand the different factors that affect weather conditions in a specific clip and location. These factors include:

temperature and sunlight

humidness and precipitation

clip of twenty-four hours or twelvemonth

local geographics

force per unit area and air currents, and cloud formations

Temperature, sunlight, clip and geographics

Temperature is how hot or cold the ambiance is – Internet Explorer, how many grades Celsius ( centigrade ) it is above or below stop deading ( 0A°C ) . Temperature is a really of import factor in finding the conditions, because it influences or controls other elements of the conditions, such as precipitation, humidness, clouds and atmospheric force per unit area. Temperature is affected by factors such as sunlight, clip, geographics and air current.

1. Sunlight

The sum of sunlight and strength of the Sun influences the temperature of a topographic point.

The figure of hours per twenty-four hours that the Sun radiances in a peculiar location is known as sunlight hours. The figure of sunshine hours in a location is determined by the hours of daytime, and how many of these hours are cloud-free. Tourists and people who work in touristry are interested in the figure of sunshine hours a location has.

2. Time

The temperature of the ambiance is affected by the clip of twenty-four hours, because of the Earth ‘s day-to-day whirling on its axis. As it spins, different parts of it acquire closer to the Sun, so having more light and heat.

Atmospheric temperature is besides affected by the clip of twelvemonth. The Earth takes a twelvemonth to go around around the Sun, and as it revolves different parts of it acquire closer or further off from the Sun. It is this which creates different seasonal climes which vary harmonizing to the clip of twelvemonth.

At the equator the hours of daytime and the seasons vary the least. The farther off from the equator you go, the greater the fluctuations through the twelvemonth.

3. Local geographics

The undermentioned geographical factors affect temperatures:

Latitude is the distance of a location from the equator. The hottest temperatures are found at the equator. This is because the Sun radiances straight on it for more hours during the twelvemonth than anyplace else. As you move farther off from the equator towards the polar parts, less and less Sun is received during the twelvemonth and the climes become colder and colder.

Altitude is the tallness above sea degree or the tallness above the Earth ‘s surface. The higher the height, the lower the temperature will be. This is because the temperature of air depends on its denseness. Air is lighter the higher up the hill you go. Winds besides tend to be stronger near the top of a hill, adding to the wind-chill factor ( see air currents below ) . On norm for every 1,000 meters higher you go the temperature will fall approximately 6.5 A°C.

Aspect is the way that something is confronting. This is of import because inclines confronting the equator will be warmer. This is why husbandmans in the Northern hemisphere, for illustration Norway, favour south-facing inclines for turning harvests and husbandmans in the southern hemisphere favour north-facing inclines.

Proximity to the sea affects the temperature of a topographic point because the sea temperature changes slower than land temperature. So the sea will maintain coastal countries warmer than inland country during the winter and ice chest than inland countries during the summer. This is why islands, such as UK, have more moderate ( less severe ) climes than states on continents ( such as Germany ) .

Sea temperature. Different seas are of different temperatures, so it is possible for islands to be warmer on one side than the other. The west seashore of Norway is heated up by the heater Waterss of the Gulf Stream or North Atlantic Drift.

Currents exist in all the oceans. Currents are governed by the prevailing winds go throughing over them. The chief ocean currents flow approximately in a similar form, anti-clockwise in the southern hemisphere and clockwise in the northern hemisphere. Currents that move H2O from tropical countries towards the poles ( North Atlantic Drift starts in the Gulf of Mexico ) are known as warm currents. Those currents traveling from northern ( or southern ) colder seas, nearer the poles towards the equator are known as cool currents, an illustration is the Canaries current.


Humidity is the sum of H2O vapor in the ambiance.

A high humidness agencies there is a batch of H2O vapor, and a low humidness means a small.

Air can merely keep a certain sum of H2O before condensation occurs.

Condensation will take to precipitation in the signifier of dew or, if it ‘s really cold, hoar.

If condensation occurs higher in the ambiance ( as air is lifting ) it will organize into clouds.

Humidity is measured as a per centum, comparative to the impregnation point where the air can keep no more H2O vapor ( i.e. 100 percent humidness ) .

The humidness degree varies with temperature. The heater air is, the more wet the air can keep as vapor. The colder the air is, the less wet the air can keep.

So on a hot twenty-four hours it can be more humid, than on a cold twenty-four hours.

So in the hottest topographic point, the equator, it can be a batch more humid than in the UK.

So when air rises and begins to chill, it bit by bit loses its ability to keep H2O.

The point when it becomes excessively cold for the air to keep its H2O degree is called the dew point. This is when condensation occurs.

Humidity in tropical rain forests can be Very high!

Precipitation and the H2O rhythm

Precipitation is the term given to moisture that falls from the air to the land. Precipitation includes snow, hail, sleet, mizzle, fog, mist and rain. In the UK, the most common signifier of precipitation is rain.

The sum of H2O held between the Earth, seas and the ambiance is changeless. There is a continual flow of H2O between the Earth, sea and atmosphere called the H2O rhythm.

The type of precipitation experienced in a location is influenced by a figure of factors including temperature and atmospheric force per unit area.

Types of rainfall

There are three chief types of rainfall – convectional rainfall, frontal rainfall and alleviation rainfall.

1. Convectional rainfall may happen in Britain in the summer, after a long hot twenty-four hours, but is most normally found in topographic points with heater climes.

The land or H2O in lakes or seas is warmed by the Sun, throughout the twenty-four hours.

The air above the land becomes heated.

This makes the air less dense, so it rises.

As the air rises it cools.

Cool air can non keep as much H2O vapor as heater air, when the air becomes excessively cold for the sum of H2O it holds condensation occurs. The point where this occurs is called the dew point.

These beads of condensation signifier into clouds, bit by bit going tall electrical storm clouds, called thundercloud.

When these clouds become excessively large, incorporating excessively much H2O gravitation forces them to let go of the H2O in a immense cloudburst.

2. Frontal rainfall is more common in the UK than convectional rainfall.

Frontal rainfall gets its name because it occurs when two air multitudes of warm and cold air meet, doing a forepart.

When they meet, the less heavy, light warm air is forced to lift above the denser, heavier cold air.

As the warm air is forced upwards it cools.

When air rises above the dew point, when it can no longer keep all its H2O, the H2O starts to distill and organize clouds.

Precipitation falls over a broad country.

3. Relief rainfall or orographic rainfall is common in the West of Norway.

The prevailing winds blow moist air from the Atlantic Ocean and North Sea to the West of Norway onshore.

As the air hits higher land, such as the hills and mountains in Vestlandet and the north-west of Norway, the air is forced to lift.

When air rises above the dew point, it can no longer keep all its H2O, which starts to distill and organize clouds.

This type of “ rainfall ” is called alleviation because it is affected by the prevarication ; or “ orographic ” because it is affected by mountains.

Cloud types

Clouds signifier because air cools as it rises and when it cools, the sum of H2O vapour it can keep reduces. When it reaches its dew point, the H2O vapor held within the air condenses, into droplets. These droplets group together as clouds.

There are many different types of cloud. Clouds are given different names, depending on their tallness, size and form. The chief footings used to depict clouds are as follows:

Cirrus – wispy shaped

Cumulus – heaped or piled up

Stratus – in beds

Nimbus – contains rain

Cirro – high cloud

Alto – medium-level cloud

High-level clouds start at above 5000m. Overcast at this degree normally contain ice, instead than H2O. The chief clouds here are:

cirrhus ( white, wisplike clouds ) ,

cirrocumulus ( separate, white, heaped clouds, that look little because they are so high )

cirrostratus ( white, wisplike clouds that you can see the Sun rather clearly through ) .

Medium-level clouds start at between 2,000m and 5,000m above the Earth. Clouds at this degree normally contain ice and H2O droplets. The chief clouds here are:

altostratus ( medium-to-high degree, white-grey, thin beds of cloud through which the Sun can be faintly seen )

altocumulus ( aggregation of white, heaped clouds )

nimbostratus ( low-medium degree, dark, thick, feature-less clouds, that threatens rain or snow ) .

Low-level clouds start below 2,000m above the Earth. Clouds at this degree are normally merely transporting H2O. The chief clouds here are:

stratocumulus ( low, white and gray clouds, that are thick at underside, heaped on top )

stratus ( extended low-level cover of dull, Grey sky, that blocks out the Sun, but does n’t needfully intend rain )

cumulus ( large depression, white, downy, heaped )

thundercloud ( get downing low these clouds will widen really high, sometime conveying electrical storms, frequently rain or snow ) .

Atmospheric force per unit area and air current

Atmospheric force per unit area ( or air force per unit area ) is the weight of air resting on the Earth ‘s surface. Pressure is shown on a conditions map, frequently called a synoptic map, with lines called isobars.

Low force per unit area occurs when air becomes warmer. The air molecules expand, become lighter and it rises. The force per unit area Numberss on the isobars will be diminishing as it approaches the low force per unit area zone.

High force per unit area occurs when air becomes colder. The air molecules contract, become denser, heavier and drop towards the Earth. The force per unit area Numberss on the isobars will be increasing as it approaches the high force per unit area zone.

What is air current?

Wind is the motion of air multitudes from high force per unit area countries ( highs ) to low force per unit area countries ( depressions ) . The consequence of this motion of air is to rebalance the force per unit area in the ambiance.

Part of a synoptic chart, demoing isobars and weave way

Note that:

the greater the difference between the high and the low force per unit area, the greater the air current velocity will be, and

the closer together the isobars are on the conditions map, the stronger the air currents will be.

Wind and temperature

The topographic point where the air mass is coming from will find whether it brings heater or colder temperatures. In Britain the prevailing air current comes off the ocean from the south West. In winter this will convey warmer temperatures, as the sea cools down slower than the land. In summer it will convey ice chest temperatures for the same ground.

Winds can besides do the temperature feel cooler than it truly is. This is called the wind-chill factor. Higher air currents will take the heater air around a human ( for illustration ) more rapidly, so the organic structure will chill more rapidly than usual.


Fronts occur where two different air multitudes meet.

1. Warm foreparts exist when warm air is lifting over a mass of cold air. As the air lifts into parts of lower force per unit area ; it expands, cools and condenses the H2O vapor as broad, level sheets of cloud.

Warm foreparts are shown on synoptic charts by a solid line with hemicycles indicating towards the colder air and in the way of motion. On colored conditions maps, a warm forepart is drawn with a solid ruddy line with ruddy hemicycles.

2. Cold foreparts are normally associated with depressions. A cold forepart is the passage zone where a cold air mass is replacing the heater air mass. The cold air is following the warm air, and is bit by bit traveling underneath the heater air. As the warm air is pushed upwards it will rain to a great extent. Often more rain will fall in a few proceedingss as the cold forepart base on ballss than during the whole transition of a warm forepart. As the cold forepart base on ballss, the clouds axial rotation by and you may detect that the air temperature is ice chest.

Cold foreparts are shown on synoptic ( conditions ) charts by a solid line with trigons along the forepart indicating towards the heater air and in the way of motion. On colored conditions maps, a cold forepart is drawn with a solid bluish line with bluish trigons.

3. Occluded foreparts occur at the point where a cold forepart takes over a warm forepart or frailty versa. If a cold forepart undercuts a warm forepart it is known as a cold occlusion, if the cold forepart rises over the warm forepart it is called a warm occlusion. All occluded foreparts conveying mutable conditions conditions.

On a synoptic chart occluded foreparts are represented by semi-circles and trigons positioned following to each other, the trigons in blue, the hemicycles in ruddy, or both are violet ( blending both ruddy and bluish colorss together ) .

Global conditions forms

At a planetary degree, there are forms of air current and force per unit area. There are immense sets of high and low force per unit area around the Earth. These sets run parallel with the equator. There is a low force per unit area set over the equator ( at 0A° latitude ) and two more low force per unit area bands one surrounding the cold part around the Arctic ( at a latitude of 60A° North ) and another surrounding the Antarctic ( at a latitude of 60A° South ) . In between there are two high force per unit area sets, one in each hemisphere found around a latitude of 30A°North and 30A°South, to the North of the Tropic of Cancer and to the South of Tropic of Capricorn.

Air is invariably traveling from high force per unit area countries to low force per unit area countries. This motion of air green goodss predominating air currents, called trade air currents as they used to assist merchandising ships sail around the universe. The air currents are strongest in between the zones of high and low force per unit area, and are weak and mutable around the sets themselves. Sailors call the deficiency winds around the equator the stagnation.

The trade air currents are besides influenced by the motion of the Earth. This means that alternatively of traveling due north or due Souths, they are blown somewhat off class. In the northern hemisphere air currents are blown to the right. In the southern hemisphere they are blown to the left. This is why the prevailing air current in the UK comes from the south West.

These predominating air currents besides influence the waies that the great currents move in the oceans. The life shows the chief countries of high and low force per unit area on the Earth, and air currents blowing ( somewhat off class ) from high to low force per unit area sets.

Atmospheric circulation

At the country around the equator the conditions is ever really hot, doing hot air to lift, taking with it evaporated H2O as H2O vapor. This lifting air causes the low force per unit area set around the equator – and is the engine of planetary air current forms:

As the warm air rises, it cools until it hits the dew point, when it releases the H2O vapor, making clouds and tropical rain. The low force per unit area suctions in cool air from either side of the equator.

As this air is warmed, it excessively rises. As it does so it pushes the ice chest, drier air ( much of its H2O has now been lost as rain ) above it off to the North and South of the equator.

This dry air heading north sinks back to the land to the North of the Tropic of Cancer, while the dry air heading south sinks to anchor South of the Tropic of Capricorn. This droping air helps to make high force per unit area zones.

The sinking, dry air contributes to a much drier clime to the North and South of the Torrid Zones – making the desert and Savannah biomes typical of this zone.

These go arounding currents of air – along the surface of the Earth from the high force per unit area zone to the equator, so up into the ambiance, so horizontally through the ambiance, and eventually back down to the land in the high force per unit area zone – are called Hadley cells.