What is climate?

What is climate?

The climate image of the Earth is shaped by numerous processes in the atmosphere. However, its final shape is also influenced by processes in the lithosphere (rocks), hydrosphere (waters), cryosphere (ice) and biosphere.

Climate is the characteristic course of weather conditions for a given area, established on the basis of long-term observations. It is the result of the interaction of solar radiation, atmospheric circulation, water circulation and geographical factors. The term “climate” always refers to long intervals of time. When characterizing it, the results of measurements and meteorological observations for a period of several decades in climate research (the shortest – 30 years) are used.

The term “climate” should not be confused with “weather,” which refers to the temporary state of the atmosphere in a given area. It is defined by temperature, humidity, cloudiness of the sky, precipitation, atmospheric pressure and wind.

Climate change

The climate is influenced by the chemical composition of the atmosphere and the proportion of greenhouse gases in it. Economic growth, population explosion and increasing urbanization are putting increasing human pressure on the environment. As a result of human activity, the concentration of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere has increased from the mid-1800s to the present day by several to tens of percent, depending on the gas. This entails an increase in global temperatures, which amplifies such phenomena as:

  • An increase in the frequency of extreme climatic events such as droughts, floods, downpours and others in some regions of the world;
  • Progressive desertification processes in the temperate zone;
    Increasing water levels in the world ocean;
  • Melting of glaciers, Arctic ice and the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets

Already, the annual damage from extreme weather events is estimated according to the IPCC at 100 billion. $ per year, which may increase in the coming years to 150 bn. $ per year.

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