What’s the real difference?

Weather refers to the conditions of the atmosphere over a short period of time and generally changes on a daily basis. The atmospheric variables measured to describe the weather include precipitation, temperature, pressure and relative humidity among others. On Earth, most weather phenomena occur in the lowest layer of the planet’s atmosphere, called the troposphere.

Climate refers to the weather of a specific region averaged over a long period of time, typically 30 years. For equatorial, tropical regions and subtropical regions, there is an intra-annual shift in conditions resulting in two seasons distinguished mainly by rainfall amounts. However, for the extratropical, mid-latitude, sub-polar and polar regions, this intra-annual shift results in four seasons distinguished by both temperature and rainfall.

Climate variability refers to the way climate parameters such as rainfall and temperature differ from the average. Climate variability occurs on various time-scales, such as seasonal, interannual, decadal and multi-decadal and occur due to natural and sometimes periodic changes in the circulation of the air and ocean, sea surface temperature, volcanic eruptions and solar fluctuations.

Climate change occurs due to deviations from the long-term average patterns. This includes changes in  global temperature, precipitation, wind and others which occur over several decades or longer. Natural causes include volcanic eruptions, ocean currents, changes in the Earth’s orbit, solar variations, slow changes in greenhouse gas concentrations and internal variability. Anthropogenic changes involve rapid increases in greenhouse gas concentrations.

Free eBook: The Good Guide to Getting Educated About Climate Change
This free eBook gives you information from the causes of the greenhouse effect and global warming to the effects of climate change and possible solutions.
Preparing for a Warmer, Drier yet more Flooded Caribbean
Global Warming means that the average temperature of the earth is increasing but Climate Change means that the local and regional scales, are being impacted differently. Some areas will experience wetter conditions, others drier, some colder, others warmer. The intensity to which we will experience these impacts is also highly dependent on the level of global warming. So while there is still a level of uncertainty as to which outcome will become a reality…what we do know is that it is very likely that Small Island Developing States (SIDS), despite contributing less to global warming, will be among those most adversely affected. This infographic by the UNFCCC gives a sneak peek of different levels of future warming and the likely outcomes not only on the climate but on ecosystems and biodiversity.
Myths 01
Global Warming isn't Real
Global warming is causing the Earth’s average surface temperature to increase. This is not only making heatwaves and droughts more likely but it’s also causing changes to our natural climate systems and natural climate variability. These changes are making extreme weather events more likely and more severe. For example, hurricanes and storms are becoming more intense, moving slower and taking longer to die down.

Myth 03
Current Climate Change is Natural
Over the course of the Earth’s 4.5-billion-year history, the climate has changed alot. However, the rapid warming we’re seeing now can’t be explained by natural cycles of warming and cooling. The kind of changes that would normally happen over hundreds of thousands of years are happening in decades. Global temperatures are now at their highest since records began. In fact, 17 of the 18 warmest years on record have all taken place since 2001. This much faster warming corresponds with levels of carbon-dioxide in the atmosphere, which have been increasing since the industrial revolution. So, when people talk about climate change today, they mean anthropogenic climate change. 
Climate Change is a Future Issue
This is no longer an excuse not to act on climate change and push the burden onto future generations. The world’s leading climate scientists warned we only have 10 years to limit global warming to a maximum of 1.5ºC and avoid catastrophic and unprecedented climate change.  We’re already seeing the devastating effects of climate change on global food supplies, increasing migration, conflict, disease and global instability, and this will only get worse if we don’t act now. Man-made climate change is the biggest environmental crisis of our time. It threatens the future of the planet that we depend on for our survival and we’re the last generation that can do something about it.
Global Weather Today
Meteoearth Interactive Weather Globe
Interested in viewing the weather all around the globe? Check out this novel tool which displays different climate variables: temperature, precipitation, cloud cover, wind, pressure and even the development of tropical disturbances around the globe and how they change on a temporal and spatial scale.
Our Possible Climate Futures
IPCC WGI Interactive Atlas
Interested in global and regional climate change projections? Check out this novel tool for flexible spatial and temporal analyses of much of the observed and projected climate change information underpinning the Working Group I contribution to the Sixth Assessment Report, including regional synthesis for Climatic Impact-Drivers (CIDs).