Climatology and Climate Changes
Climatology is the meteorological study of the climates of the earth, their origin, and their role as elements of the natural environment. Climate is the expected mean and variability of the weather conditions for a particular location, season, and time of day. Climate change involves statistical changes in the distribution of weather over periods of time, which could be decades or millions of years.
What is the climate and weather of New York State?
New York has a humid continental climate. Weather in New York is heavily influenced by two continental air masses: a warm, humid one from the southwest and a cold, dry one from the northwest. A cool, humid airflow from the North Atlantic also has an effect on weather in the state, albeit to a lesser extent than the continental ones. Many continental frontal boundaries move across New York, and storm systems moving north along the coast often affect the southern areas of the state. The winters are long and cold in the Plateau Divisions of the state. In the majority of winter seasons, a temperature of ?13 °F (?25 °C) or lower can be expected in the northern highlands (Northern Plateau) and 5 °F (?15 °C) or colder in the southwestern and east-central highlands (Southern Plateau). The Adirondack region records from 35 to 45 days with below zero temperatures in normal to severe winters. Much of Upstate New York, particularly Western and Central New York, are typically affected by lake-effect snows. This usually results in high yearly snowfall totals in these regions. Winters are also long and cold in both Western and Central New York, though not as cold as the Adirondack region. The New York City metro area in comparison to the rest of the state is milder in the winter. Thanks in part to geography (its proximity to the Atlantic and being shielded to the north and west by hillier terrain), the New York metro area usually sees far less snow than the rest of the state. Lake-effect snow rarely affects the New York metro area, except for its extreme northwestern suburbs. Winters also tend to be noticeably shorter here than the rest of the state.
What is the difference between weather and climate?
WEATHER: Weather is basically the way the atmosphere is behaving, mainly with respect to its effects upon life and human activities. Most people think of weather in terms of temperature, humidity, precipitation, cloudiness, brightness, visibility, wind, and atmospheric pressure, as in high and low pressure. In most places, weather can change from minute-to-minute, hour-to-hour, day-to-day, and season-to-season. CLIMATE: Climate is the description of the long-term pattern of weather in a particular area. Some scientists define climate as the average weather for a particular region and time period, usually taken over 30-years. When scientists talk about climate, they're looking at averages of precipitation, temperature, humidity, sunshine, wind velocity, phenomena such as fog, frost, and hail storms, and other measures of the weather that occur over a long period in a particular place. For example, after looking at rain gauge data, lake and reservoir levels, and satellite data, scientists can tell if during a summer, an area was drier than average. If it continues to be drier than normal over the course of many summers, than it would likely indicate a change in the climate. In the context of climate change: Weather varies all the time, but climate doesn't vary nearly as quickly. The Earth's climate is changing relatively quickly (relative to its usual pace) now due to an enhanced greenhouse effect caused by humans emissions of greenhouse gases, and most locations are experiencing a net warming as a result. This doesn't mean it can't get cold anymore, or even that record cold temperatures will no longer occur. But it does mean that, in most areas, heat waves (or unusual warmth in the winter) will be warmer and cold snaps (or cool periods in summer) will not be as cold. The time scale of climate is not nearly as intuitive as that of weather, so even people who understand this have a tendency to be influenced only by the most recent weather they experience. You can observe this effect by watching the news during both cold snaps and heat waves, which will be either given as evidence for or against the warming of the Earth. In reality, you cannot attribute either to a changing climate due to the small spatial and temporal scale of these events; weather variability will always be of greater magnitude than observed changes in climate.
What are the predicted results of global warming?
The United Nations Inter-Governmental Panel for Climate Change (IPCC), 2007: Summary for Policymakers suggests that: Continued greenhouse gas emissions at or above current rates would cause further warming and induce many changes in the global climate system during the 21st century, with warming expected to be greatest over land and at most high northern latitudes, Snow cover is projected to contract. Widespread increases in thaw depth are projected over most permafrost regions. Sea ice is projected to shrink in both the Arctic and Antarctic under all SRES scenarios. In some projections, arctic late-summer sea ice disappears almost entirely by the latter part of the 21st century. It is very likely that hot extremes, heat waves and heavy precipitation events will continue to become more frequent It is likely that future tropical cyclones (typhoons and hurricanes) will become more intense, Extra tropical storm tracks are projected to move poleward, with consequent changes in wind, precipitation and temperature patterns, Increases in the amount of precipitation are very likely in high latitudes, while decreases are likely in most subtropical land regions Contraction of the Greenland Ice Sheet is projected to continue to contribute to sea level rise after 2100, whilst the vulnerability of the Antarctic ice sheet could increase to warming, increasing future sea level rise. Increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations will lead to increasing acidification of the ocean. A: The most direct effect of climate change on humans might be the impacts of hotter temperatures themselves. Extremely high temperatures increase the number of people who die on a given day for many reasons: people with heart problems are vulnerable because one's cardiovascular system must work harder to keep the body cool during hot weather, heat exhaustion, and some respiratory problems increase. A: Average temperatures have climbed 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit (0.8 degree Celsius) around the world since 1880, much of this in recent decades, according to NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies. The rate of warming is increasing. The 20th century's last two decades were the hottest in 400 years and possibly the warmest for several millennia, according to a number of climate studies. And the United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) reports that 11 of the past 12 years are among the dozen warmest since 1850. The Arctic is feeling the effects the most. Average temperatures in Alaska, western Canada, and eastern Russia have risen at twice the global average, according to the multinational Arctic Climate Impact Assessment report compiled between 2000 and 2004. Arctic ice is rapidly disappearing, and the region may have its first completely ice-free summer by 2040 or earlier. Polar bears and indigenous cultures are already suffering from the sea-ice loss. Glaciers and mountain snows are rapidly melting-for example, Montana's Glacier National Park now has only 27 glaciers, versus 150 in 1910. In the Northern Hemisphere, thaws also come a week earlier in spring and freezes begin a week later. Coral reefs, which are highly sensitive to small changes in water temperature, suffered the worst bleaching-or die-off in response to stress-ever recorded in 1998, with some areas seeing bleach rates of 70 percent. Experts expect these sorts of events to increase in frequency and intensity in the next 50 years as sea temperatures rise. An upsurge in the amount of extreme weather events, such as wildfires, heat waves, and strong tropical storms, is also attributed in part to climate change by some experts. A: Polar ice caps melting: The ice caps melting is a four-pronged danger. Beach erosion, low countries flooded, economic cost of repair and prevention. Economic consequences: Most of the effects of anthropogenic global warming won't be good. And these effects spell one thing for the countries of the world: economic consequences. Hurricanes cause billions of dollars in damage, diseases cost money to treat, changes in agricultural practices to continue to provide food will be expensive and control and conflicts exacerbate all of these. Increased probability and intensity of droughts and heat waves: Although some areas of Earth will become wetter due to global warming, other areas will suffer serious droughts and heat waves. Africa will receive the worst of it, with more severe droughts also expected in Europe, with millions at risk of starvation. Warmer waters and more hurricanes: As the temperature of oceans rises, so will the probability of more frequent and stronger hurricanes. We saw in this in 2004 and 2005. Spread of disease: As northern countries warm, disease carrying insects migrate north, bringing disease to humans and agriculture. A: More heat means more energy. More energy could mean a total meltdown of the icecaps on the poles. That in turn would not be so good because sea water levels would raise. It would mean big problems for countries like Netherlands and part of Denmark. Many coastal cities could/would be flooded. New Orleans, New York, and of course other seafront cities as well all over the world. The extra amount of energy all over the world due to a warmer climate could make thunderstorms more ferocious. Today's Twisters could turn into super-twisters. The warmer climate will kill off a lot of plants, insect and animal life all over the world, both in the sea and above. Coral reefs will be destroyed. The effect of rising seawater temperature can today be seen many places where seaweed dies off at a rapid rate. When seaweed dies it leaves the small fish without protection. The whole balance of nature is to a certain degree changing. A: It is difficult to predict the future, but in 2001 the IPPC issued a Report: Climate Change 2001: Working Group II: Impacts, Adaptation and Vulnerability (See the link below). Here are some of the suggested impacts: Climate change will have impacts on human health: weather-related mortality, infectious diseases and air-quality respiratory diseases. Climate change will affect crop yields and irrigation demands. Climate change will affect the composition and geographic areas of forests as well as product health and productivity. Water Resources will be affected: water supply, quality and competition for water. Coastal areas and islands will be affected through beach erosion, flooding of coastal lands and economic costs to protect local communities. Species and Natural areas will be impacted through habitat loss and species loss, and also the Polar ice caps and snow cover and the disappearance of glaciers which often sustain rivers. "Climate-stressed" areas will lead to habitat loss, and species, animal and man will have to adapt or move in order to survive. The following quote illustrates how much we rely on our ecosystems for goods and services: "Forests and woodlands provide many goods and services that society values, including food, marketable timber and non-wood products (fuel, fiber, construction material), medicines, biodiversity, regulation of biogeochemical cycles, soil and water conservation (e.g., erosion prevention), carbon reservoirs, recreation, research opportunities, and spiritual and cultural values." The report goes on to say that changes in climate are likely to affect all of these, especially the socio-economic systems. Moderately warmer weather and increased CO2 in the atmosphere may help some crop growth (up 30% in the case of rice, soy and wheat), but with increased temperatures the grain yield drops 10% for every 1 degree C rise above 26C. Agricultural areas may suffer erosion from increased wind and water from short term changes in weather. The growth of agricultural pests (weeds, insects and pathogens) under climate change is being studied with varying results. For example, higher temperatures increase the severity of rice leaf blast epidemics in cool subtropical zones, but in warm humid subtropics higher temperatures lower the severity of the epidemics. Farm animals are affected by warmer temperatures, influencing their performances in growth, milk and wool production, reproduction, health and well-being. Increased temperatures may lead to increased demand for water from agriculture and wildlife, including farm livestock. It may also lead to reduced water availability. Adaption costs for agriculture, including retraining farmers for new practices, as well as the provision of new irrigation may be considerable. The impacts of climate change are likely to be more severe in poorer parts of the world, where people are less able to adapt to change. The cost of basic food will rise, especially with temperature rises of more than 2.5 degrees Celsius, as agriculture will not be able to absorb increased costs. "Africa is projected to experience marked reductions in yield, decreases in production, and increases in the risk of hunger as a result of climate change." 25% of the world's mammals and 12% of the world's birds are at significant risk of global extinction. This extinction may be caused by several factors, including habitat loss, introduction of exotic species, pollution and biochemical poisonings and severe climate events. Frogs and other amphibians may be especially susceptible to climate change as their moist and permeable skin and eggs as well as their use of several habitats to exist make them vulnerable. Cold winters will no longer kill the eggs of the boreal forest insect pests. Studies in Britain suggest that 10% of all Nature reserves could be lost in a few decades. The effect of increased concentrations of CO2 on decomposition, plant productivity, and carbon storage could be just as damaging as the effects from climate change. A: Potential Impacts: The sea levels may rise. Technically this may be caused by melting ice from the polar ice caps or an increase in sea height as the less dense fresh water is less compressed. Low lying land like many Pacific Islands and Miami will be under water. Serious climate changes may result from diverted ocean currents. As an example, the Gulf Stream keeps Europe warm. If the Stream is not running Europe may be much cooler and drier. Crops may not grow. Ecology changes on the land could include species of animals and plants extending their range to the polar regions. Local flora and fauna may become extinct. A good example is the spread of Africanized bees and Fire Ants. Sea life may also be impacted both through the introduction of competitive species presently kept in other areas by water temperature changes, and by failure to adapt to less saline water. Human society may be disrupted if changes in rainfall and temperature cause crop failure. Famine refugees may require significant humanitarian attention by the "lucky" nations. Some of the predictions being made about global warming include a constant rise in sea level as time goes. The ice in the polar regions will keep on melting due to rise in global temperature.
Does climate and vegetation vary with latitude only?
How is climate change affecting Antarctica?
Antarctica is the coldest place on our planet, far colder than the Arctic, so changes from global warming will be slower to happen and difficult to measure. However, there are changes happening. Ice is melting at the edges and snow is building up in the centre! Warmer air means more moisture in the atmosphere, and this is falling as snow on the centre of the continent. This snow doesn't melt, but builds up as ice. Approximately 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice melts in Antarctica every year (NASA's Grace satellite). East Antarctica is a high, cold, desert plateau. Satellite data show a little mass loss at the edges, but this is counterbalanced by a buildup of snow in the centre. Not much is happening in East Antarctica. West Antarctica is a series of islands covered with ice, with most of the ice resting on the floor of the ocean (1.7 km or more than 1 mile below sea level in places). The 'grounding line' is where the front of the glacier touches the sea bed. These grounding lines are retreating, which means that the glaciers are losing mass. When this happens, when the underwater part of the glacier melts, the top becomes an ice shelf. An ice shelf is very vulnerable to a warming ocean and the Antarctic ice shelves have been collapsing. In 2002 the Larsen-B ice shelf (the size of Rhode Island) collapsed and was caught on satellite cameras. The 12,000-year-old ice shelf crumbled in three weeks. After the collapse, the glaciers behind the ice shelf sped up their movement into the ocean. NASA's satellite measurements show that Antarctica has been losing more than 100 cubic kilometers (24 cubic miles) of ice each year since 2002. The rate of melting is also speeding up.
What are the average conditions of temperature and precipitation within a particular region over time called?
Asked in Climatology and Climate Changes
What is semi arid climate?
quote from wikipedia. "A semi-arid climate or steppe climate describes climatic regions that receive precipitation below potential evapotranspiration, but not extremely so. A more precise definition is given by the K?ppen climate classification that treats steppe climates (BSk and BSh) as intermediates between desert climates (BW) and humid climates in ecological characteristics and agricultural potential. Semi-arid climates tend to support short or scrubby vegetation, with semi-arid areas usually being dominated by either grasses or shrubs."
What months are considered to be winter?
The actual period of winter in the northern hemisphere is 21 December through 21 March. In the southern hemisphere, winter is from 21 June through 21 September, while the northern hemisphere is experiencing summer. Generally speaking, most people in the northern hemisphere think of winter as being in December, January and February while in the southern hemisphere, many people consider winter to be in June, July and August. In fact in Australia (at least) winter officially begins on 1st June and ends on 31st August.
Asked in Climatology and Climate Changes
How do climate and geography affect vegetation?
What factors determine climate?
The factors are:- 1. Distance from the sea 2. Ocean currents 3. Direction of prevailing winds 4. Relief 5. Proximity to the equator 6. The El Nino phenomenon 7. Recently it has accepted that Human activity is also affecting climate. 8. Location or... 1. Latitude - Distance north or south of equator 2. Altitude - Distance above or below sea level 3. Global Winds - What winds are blowing/where they're coming from/warm or cold 4. Ocean currents - What currents are coming in/where from 5. Topography - Distance from mountains (how close they are) 6. Distance From Water - How close the area is to and ocean or lake (any body of water) These are the main most important 6. latitude, prevailing winds, mountains, large bodies of water, and ocean currents. Precipitation, latitude, trapping of heat, winds and ocean currents, shape and elevations of land masses. (Prentice Hall Biology) A: latitude ocean currents wind elevation relief near water A: The factors that determine climate are latitude, distance from water, elevation, and ocean currents A: it is sun, location, water, wind, and mountains. Lattitude The factors that determine climate are temperature, precipitation, altitude, location, latitude, tilt of the axis, surface currents, winds, and elevation. The latitude, the transportation of heat by winds and ocean currents Latitude, Altitude, Mountain Barriers, Ocean Currents, Land-Water Relationship, and Prevailing Winds. five factors that determine climate is elevation, latitude, weather, ,and biome
Asked in Seasons, Climatology and Climate Changes
What countries experience the four seasons?
By some definitions, all countries experience four seasons. The variation in the weather and temperature depends, largely, on the latitude of the country. However, we tend to say that most tropical countries experience only two seasons: wet and dry. This is because temperature varies very little throughout the year, whereas the position of the inter-tropical convergence zone causes one or more distinct wet seasons. This is far more important to these people than slight changes in temperature because the timing of the rain is so important for agriculture.
Asked in Seasons, Climatology and Climate Changes
What countries experience 4 seasons?
A lot of countries experience 4 seasons. All of them are situated away from the Equator, above the Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn. Some examples are the Countries on the Northern America, mainly USA and Canada, most or all of the European countries. Some countries in Asia experience 4 seasons too, such as China, Korea (North and South), Japan. Australia and New Zealand experience 4 seasons too, but their cycle is different from the countries located on the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth. When the countries in the Northern Hemisphere experience summer, they will experience winter and vice versa.
How do animals protect themselves against climate?
Commonly, a mammal will change it's fur when the climate temperature changes. Reptiles will either sit under the sun or hide under rocks to gather warmth depending on what their climate is like. If it is cold, the reptile (e.g snake) will sit on a dark object and soak up the sun's rays. If the weather is hot, the reptile will sit under a log or rock to cool its body down.
Why is the Antarctica a unique environment?
The Antarctic environment is unique on the planet. It is not only the coldest, driest, windiest, highest and most uninhabited continent on earth, but it is also home to some of the most amazing animals. It is exactly this fascinating environment that allows these creatures to thrive. Without this fragile environment the entire food chain from plankton and krill to whales would be affected.
What will probably happen over the next 100 years due to global climate change?
The InterGovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)'s 4th Assessment Report (2007) projects that we will probably reach 4°C warming above pre-industrial age levels by 2100. We will pass the 'danger limit' of 2°C warming by 2050. Sea levels are also predicted to rise at an accelerated rate. Observed sea levels are actually tracking at the upper range of the IPCC projections of 3 mm per year. When accelerating ice loss from Greenland and Antarctica are factored in to the projections, the estimated sea level rise by 2100 is between 75 cm to 2 meters. Answer (pessimistic) Within the next 100 years a significant portion of ice near the Arctic Circle will melt, particularly Greenland Ice, contributing to seal level rise eventually reaching as high as 20 feet. This means that many coastal areas will flood. The US National Research Council estimates sea level rise will only be 2 to 7 feet by 2100, implying most of the Greenland ice will not have melted by the end of this century. Most scientists are convinced the data is sufficiently robust to conclude the present warming trend will continue or accelerate without substantial modifications in human practices and behavior. The IPCC notes that the 3.3 mm/year measured rate of sea level rise is much faster than originally predicted.