Is it climate or weather?
One of the challenges researchers face when communicating climate science is the distinction between climate and weather. The public and the media are often quick to conflate the two, resulting in confusion or worse, misinformation. Last year we covered the drought in the Horn of Africa, and highlighted the problems with attributing a single weather event to climate change.
The distinction between weather and climate is also important when communicating with farmers about the changes they can expect and plan for. In our work on Adaptation through Managing Climate Risk, we've been training farmers to read seasonal climate forecasts, to help them plan for longer term changes (as compared to weather forecasts which only predict a few days ahead).
This short video from the Norwegian TV program Siffer helps illustrate the difference between weather and climate simply and clearly.
The video was featured in a recent New York Times blog Can Better Communication of Climate Science Cut Climate Risks? by Andrew Revkin