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Weather vs. climate? Check your underwear drawer Featured

"Climate is percentage of long underwear vs. shorts in your closest. Weather is deciding to wear long underwear or shorts today."

source:  Inspired by my friend, John Morris, Interpretive Specialist, National Park Service, Alaska Regional Office. 

notes:   Weather is defined as the conditions that happen right now or day to day. It is a snapshot of conditions happening on a location on the planet for a moment. Climate is the average weather or regular variations in weather in a region over a period of about thirty years. As Mark Twain once said, "Climate is what you expect. Weather is what you get." Weather is a still image, climate is a movie.

Whether Alaska is having having a record blizzard today or heat wave is irrelevant. The key question: Has the average temperature changed in Alaska over the past 30 years or longer? The answer that scientists keep coming back to the average temperature in Alaska and locally across the planet keeps rising. That does not mean that Alaska will never have snow if global warming is happening or St. Louis will always be sunny in Winter. In some cases (keep in mind that climate is extremely complicated) it means that warmer temperatures holds more moisture and it may even increase snow levels in certain areas.

Average higher temperatures due to climate change makes it more likely that we will experience great floods like what Missouri and Mississippi had in 2011, as well as the scorching drought and heat wave in Texas. Putting more carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is basically, as Eric Pooley, Vice President of Environmental Defense Fund, likes to say, "putting the weather on steriods" with more extreme heat waves and floods.

3 votes

Bite Details

Submitted by
Brian Ettling
Com (3)

February 5, 2012

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Nice and simple explanation of weather vs climate. Short and simple is good!
byJohn Russell

February 5, 2012

1 of 1 people found this review helpful
This is an excellent bite. Incisive yet very funny. I'll be using it!



February 7, 2012

By "shorts" I gather you mean "under shorts" (i.e. as in underwear or briefs) as in the photo, right?
Or did you mean "shorts" as in "Bermuda shorts?"

As a Midwesterner married to a New Yorker, I've discovered there are some disconcerting regional (and I can only imagine the international!) differences in terminology pertaining to undergarments. . .

And while on this topic, don't forget this classic:

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