Source: twitter.com/AGW_Prof February 19th.
Original Quote by Scott Mandia:
"Weather is what you see outside your window. Climate is what a global satellite "sees" when looking down."
Professor Scott Mandia provides a good reminder of the difference between weather and climate. The definition of weather is the description of atmospheric conditions at a specific place at a specific point in time. Climate refers to the average weather statistics over periods of at least 30 years.
Even more, in a personal 'tweet', Prof. Mandia wanted me to add, "although even a satellite pic is not 30yr so not really climate."
In the winter 2013-14, with polar vortexes reaching into the Eastern half of the United States, many people remarked, 'there is no global warming.'
However, a February 20, 2014 article on Climatecentral.org noted that globally "Last month was the fourth-warmest January since record keeping began in 1880." Even more, while the eastern half of US seemed very cold, Siberia had temperatures running as much 9°F below the long-term average. France, Spain, Austria, and Switzerland all recorded one of their top 5 warmest Januarys on record. China had its second-warmest January recorded while much of southern Africa experienced record warmth. A heat wave also vaulted Australia to its 12th-warmest January since 1910.
Alaska had such unseasonably warm weather in January that it prompted this USA Today January 23rd story, Sick of the cold? Head for Alaska.
All of this reminds us that cold weather outside your window does not mean you can reject global warming.
The rapid decline of summer Arctic sea ice over the past 35 years from 1979 to today is one key indicator of climate change. According to Wunderground.com, August 26, 2012 set the new Arctic sea ice record minimum extent. This was "3.41 million square kilometers is approximately a 50% reduction in the area of Arctic covered by sea ice, compared to the average from 1979 - 2000."
You can look at the Arctic image included with this post to show the stark decrease of this ice from 1979 to 2012.
Climatecentral.org posted this article on February 21, 2014 that where you can Watch 27 Years of 'Old' Arctic Ice Melt Away in Seconds.
All this evidence reminds us that while you may see only cold weather outside your window, global satellites can 'see' evidence of climate change.
Image Source: EPA.gov