Weather, Climate, Forecasting and Climate Change

This chapter describes how the weather is the present or momentary state of the atmosphere. Its time scales, ranging from hours to days and weeks, are dominated by changes in the atmosphere. It is strongly influenced by the interactions between surface water and the lower atmosphere. However, signals from this specific interaction, over time scales during which the weather changes are carried mainly by the winds. In some cases winds are generated by the interaction of the ocean and the atmosphere. These winds blow at low heights over the sea surface. Not surprisingly, they also generate a motion in the sea and this is due to the effect of friction. Due to the rotation of the earth, the motion that has been generated will have a component towards the south and north respectively, on the northern and southern hemispheres. Furthermore, due to the effect of the earth’s rotation, winds parallel to the coast will give rise to a motion with an offshore component in the sea’s surface layer. Water driven offshore must be replaced by a return flow that occurs in subsurface layers. This water, rich in nutrients for biological production, rises towards the surface layer close to the coast and this is called coastal upwelling. The next section of the chapter describes the difference between weather and climate. Weather is what is experienced here and now or what may be felt tomorrow or the next couple days. Climate, on the other hand, is what is felt when seasons vary. Climate shapes how we live; it determines our food production and survival. Scientifically expressed, climate is the summation of the summation of the weather or the synthesis of the weather over a sufficiently long period so that the statistical characteristics can be determined. The effects of weather forecasting and climate change are also described.

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  • Corporate Authors:

    Global Environment Facility

    1818 H Street, NW
    Washington, DC  United States  20433
  • Authors:
    • Kullenberg, Gunnar
  • Publication Date: 2008-1


  • English

Media Info

  • Media Type: Print
  • Features: Figures; Maps; References;
  • Pagination: pp 95-130
  • Monograph Title: Securing the Oceans. Essays on Ocean Governance. Global and Regional Perspectives

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01142498
  • Record Type: Publication
  • ISBN: 9789718120224
  • Files: TRIS
  • Created Date: Oct 26 2009 4:10PM