Weather vs. Climate

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There is a small but important difference between weather and climate. As Mrs. Reinarz’s class learned, weather is the air temperature and precipitation on a daily basis – is it raining, snowing, sunny, cloudy etc. Climate also looks at air temperature and precipitation, but over a much longer time frame. Climate is the long-term pattern of weather, usually over a 30-year span.
Weather changes often, as it’s supposed to – think seasons! Climate, however, is an average and therefore is not supposed to change. That is, if everything is balanced ecologically…

Students have been learning just how much and in how many ways humans have been altering this long-standing ecological balance. So much so, that we can measure and notice our climate changing. Students got a vivid visual of this through our “Earth” volunteer. As human activity causes more and more greenhouse gases to be emitted, “Earth” was wrapped in more and more blankets. Pretty soon, her face was turning red and she was commenting on the extra warmth!

Now, if only we could figure out how to stop the planet from warming up! Don’t fret! The class has been discussing the many ways they, as students, can make a positive impact on the planet, including our ongoing litter-less lunch challenges.