Climate and Weather: Let me put it simply

If you ever plan to irritate me, bring up this subject. For too long I’ve had people coming to me saying ‘look at the weather, what ever happened to climate change?’ People seem to think climate change is a load of tosh because of the weather on a specific day. What are you on about you crazy people?

The fact is we all know the difference. I sat down to watch the news this morning and it finally struck me as to how we all know the difference. A term used repeatedly over the last few years…economic climate. There it is. The economic climate isn’t what’s happening right now, its what has been happening over the last few years and what will continue into the next few. So why oh why do we get so confused over climate change? Perhaps one of you could tell me.

So here it is, pure and simple.

Climate – A long term trend of weather averaged over a statistically signifacnt period of time

Weather – Look out of your window. That’s the weather!

This video, whilst highly amusing, also does a great job at putting the point across.

Airborne Atmospheric Research

My boss came up into the control tower the other day and said to me ‘The METMAN is coming in for a month at the end of February, we should be able to get fam flights’.

This got me extremely excited, in fact I am yet to calm down! First though, let me explain to you what ‘The METMAN’ is. The METMAN is an airplane. It’s a BAe 146 that is owned by BAe Systems and operated by Directflight. It is a result of a collaboration between the Met Office and the Natural Environment Research Council and it is established as part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Sciences.

What does this mean? Basically it’s an atmospheric research aircraft. It has lots of scientific equipment stuck to different parts of it, it goes flying, takes lots of measurements, and then scientists have loads of fun trying to make sense of it all.

The METMAN

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Megacryometeors!

I’m an aviation met observer and have been fascinated with the weather for a while. Our atmosphere, our thin blue line, is truly amazing.

I can’t quite remember when I first came across these megacryometeors but the name instantly caught me, just for its sheer cool soundingness. I set out to find what they were. As it turns out, no one really knows. We know what they are. As the name suggests, they are giant ice balls that fall from the skies, but we don’t know anything about how they form and why they exist.

Suspected megacryometeor

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