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Science of Weather: Weather, Climate, Earth Day

Climate and weather patterns have been changing over a period of time… time is the keyword!
We talk about weather and climate all the time. Weather events happen during a short period of time. Weather is what you see outside, like when the forecast calls for rain in the Metro Detroit region for a particular day. Climate is the average of weather conditions in a region over a large period of time.

Richard Rood, Professor of climate science at U of M, talks about climate, " Some people would say the average climate is what you expect, and weather is what you get. But the way I usually try to frame it is the average conditions make up the climate in the way we feel climate is through weather. And the way we feel climate change is through changing weather." You may have heard this type of phrasing during a weather report, "We are expecting warmer than normal temperatures". That's comparing how the weather stacks up that day compared to the climate normal for that time and region. Climate normals are based on 30-year averages, generally, three consecutive decades. The last set of climate normals was released in 2021 based on observing vital information between the years 1991 and 2020.

"Each one of those decades is not only significantly warmer than the previous decade but the last 2 or 3 of those have been warmer than any decade in the last many hundreds several thousands of years. " adds Richard.

Changes in climate describe long-term patterns of weather in a particular area. Richard explains trends in Michigan, "Since climate is not simple and you are talking about one of the applications of extremes, the other thing we are seeing in the summer are very severe thunderstorms and when they happen more urban flooding more flash flooding."

Scientists use tools to predict the earth's behaviors. Here is a list of effective ways to help protect the planet. Reduce, reuse, and recycle. Minimize plastic usage and clean up the environment in your community. Whether you contribute in one or multiple ways, it will all help create a healthier planet.

No matter what day and time it is…we should try our best to make this a clean environment. I'm Meteorologist Kylee Miller.

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