Views and debates on climate change policy
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THE QUESTION

Weather vs. Climate

If we're so worried about global warming why has it been so cold here in the U.S., in Europe and other parts of the globe? What do weather statistics say has happened during the past 50 years? And how does weather differ from climate (is there a difference)?

Posted by Washington Post Editor on January 13, 2010 6:00 AM
FROM THE PANEL

What happened to global cooling?

I thought I should provide an update of my initial posting on this question based on comments and new developments.Here is a great new video addressing the issue of the recent cold snap. Climate change deniers have in recent years...

Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on January 19, 2010 8:51 AM

Look beyond preconceptions

What we are experiencing this winter is weather. The weather on any given day or during any given season doesn't tell a lot about our climate. But, weather over time is our climate and if a pattern persists over time, it can be indicative of a change in climate.

Posted by William O'Keefe, on January 13, 2010 3:06 PM

Climate change, not change in the weather

Simply stated, weather is what we experience from one day to the next; climate is what we would normally expect. Both vary. Last Thursday the high temperature in Denver was a bone-chilling 14 F, but this Tuesday Denver approached a shirtsleeve-wearing 60 F.

Posted by Donald F. Boesch, on January 13, 2010 9:10 AM

The weather belongs on the evening news

How can a warming world experience such weather? Therein lies the issue -- short term weather phenomena is not the same as long term climate change.

Posted by David Hone, on January 13, 2010 8:34 AM

Short term vs. long term

I don't think anyone would believe that weather and climate are the same thing anymore than that one's mood and personality are equal. We all have moods that don't accurately describe our overall personality.

Posted by Rick Edmund, on January 13, 2010 8:15 AM

Cold spell doesn't undercut climate crisis -- but other things do

Turnabout is fair play for activists who insist that a single event like the current cold snap doesn't disprove global warming. They're right that it doesn't, but neither does a summer heat wave prove it -- yet this has not stopped proponents of doom from hyping each one.

Posted by Ben Lieberman, on January 13, 2010 8:10 AM

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