New Science Photo of the Day: 15

canyon
This winter has been surprisingly mild and dry. Usually, by January we have already had temperatures well below 0°F, and have had rain and several snows. This winter, the temperatures have barely touched the single digits, with daytime temperatures in the 60s. Besides one brief sprinkle, we have not had rain or snow since September.

Is this an example of climate change?


Click here for the answer:

The key here is the difference between weather and climate. Weather is what is happening now. Climate is the average weather over a long period of time, usually
many years or decades. At this point, this example would not be considered an example of climate change, because this winter's weather here has been very different from the past 5 winters we have been here, and from the past climate data for this area. If mild, dry winters continue to happen in this area for enough years, then it would be considered an example of local climate change.