Weather and climate – two terms not to be confused or equated. One changes every day and the other is currently in a problematic change. What is what and which influences the other? Weather and climate in the overview.
The weather and climate are on everyone's lips, not least thanks to the increasing protests that have set climate protection as their goal. We are all feeling the effects of climate change. Not only in the desert regions of the world, but also in the northern hemisphere the weather is getting warmer and drier. The consequences are fatal. Here the focus is on what the weather and climate are and what each of us can do to help stop the threat of global warming.
What is climate, what is weather?
When we talk about weather, we mean the meteorological phenomena that make up our everyday lives. Weather is the daily "materialization" of the climate, if you like. It doesn't matter whether we talk about "nice" or "bad" weather, sunshine, storms or winter cold.
Climate – that is the term used to describe long-term meteorological development. Observed over years, decades or even centuries, trends become apparent. One speaks of "climate" when one takes a closer look at periods of more than 30 years. In addition to historical ice ages and warm periods, climate deterioration can be observed for a limited time, for example due to extreme volcanic eruptions. Scientists use the historical data to make forecasts for future developments.
How does the climate affect us, and is it actually changing?
The effects of weather and climate affect life on all continents of our planet. Only a relatively balanced distribution of sun and rain, heat and cold, can ensure optimal living conditions for animals, plants and humans. The climate gives us our daily weather and thus also the opportunity to inhabit and shape our environment. That the weather changes at short notice is completely normal and even necessary. However, the climate should be relatively stable in the longer term. After all, how well we settle down in our natural environment depends on this.
Unfortunately, data from recent decades indicate that the earth is becoming increasingly warm. Since 1997, NASA measurements have recorded the ten warmest years ever – at least during the past millennium. The steady, creeping warming is of course also changing the weather. What initially seems attractive for northern Europeans – more heat, more sun – has fatal consequences. Hot, dry summers result in poor harvests, soils dry up to a depth of several meters, and lack of precipitation means that even in the cooler months of the year the dams no longer fill up sufficiently. Glacial ice melts and is not newly formed. Weather phenomena such as hurricanes, which are actually something we associate with the tropics, are increasingly occurring in previously "temperate" regions.
Heat and drought have terrible consequences
Summers are getting warmer and drier, winters are getting milder. Bad consequences of the drought: forest fires are becoming more frequent. The slightest negligence leads to the loss of millions of hectares of forest – 2018 was one of the worst years in recent history. And what we should all bear in mind is that this is just the beginning. Climate change has arrived long ago, it will continue to accompany us, and it is high time it was at least drastically mitigated.
What is causing global warming and what can we do about it?
The main causes of climate change are emissions such as CO2 and methane gas. Of course, the main causes of pollutant emissions are industries, but also mass livestock farming, which causes enormous biogas emissions. However, we are all helping to ensure that this is the case – and we can all do something to improve it.
Our CO2 footprint is made up of many different components. The consumption of articles that have been produced using CO2 contributes to this, as does the frequent consumption of meat, especially products from mass livestock farming. Cruise ships and air travel also put the climate under pressure!
The deforestation of forests, which convert CO2 into oxygen, additionally accelerates the warming of the planet – especially in the "green lungs" of our world, such as in Southeast Asia and the Amazon Basin. In addition to the threat posed by climate change, the animals, plants and humans living there have to accept the loss of their habitat.
Anyone can join in!
Everyone can take part in climate protection – we at NIKIN donate for every product sold a tree which will be planted by our partner OneTreePlanted. The work of organisations such as OneTreePlanted helps the earth's forests to recover.
That's good, but of course it's not enough. Everyone can and should participate. Eyes open in everyday life, more conscious handling of one's own consumption habits and demands, that does a lot! If everyone takes part, climate protection happens immediately!