Thursday, February 1, 2018

Climate Science: Learn to read charts

Climate science or "climatology" is the scientific study of climate, scientifically defined as weather conditions averaged over a period of time.

Climate predictions are based on averages over time periods. Consider this chart.

Annual Average Precipitation

  • The region is the continental United States. 
  • The data considered is precipitation which includes rain, sleet and snow.
  • The time period is 1979-1995.

Using this chart, climatologists can compare and contrast the precipitation averages from different time periods. This helps them to see trends and to anticipate future climate events and weather changes.

Surface Sea Temperature

Another factor that is measured is sea surface temperature. This has a big influence on weather. Consider this chart.

  • The chart shows the surface temps of the waters that are the warmest (nearest the Equator).
  • The data considered is the surface temperature of the water.
  • The time period is 1982-1995.

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