Climate Change in the Northland

By KBJR News 1

May 19, 2011 Updated May 19, 2011 at 8:19 AM CDT

Climate change has been in headlines for more than a decade, but many don't understand the difference between climate and meteorology.
Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson helps clear up the misunderstanding.

So you're in a thunderstorm. Lightning, wind and rain all around you. How did this storm develop?
What conditions came together to make this storm happen?
The answer lies in the interplay between climate and meteorology.

"Weather is what you see day to day. Climate is the long term trends, the long term averages", said Jesse Schomberg. Minnesota Sea Grant, UMD.

An average comes from 30 years of data. Something that occurs in Meteorology happens within days.

When the climate changes, as it has for millions of years, it changes the meteorology of an area.
Warmer temperatures could mean more storms, or longer droughts.

What scientists like Lucinda Johnson, are trying to figure out is if humans are changing the long term averages that will, in turn, change our weather.

"Climate is a physical process but it involves a lot of different components. The atmosphere, land, interaction. There are any number of ways human beings can influence climate", said Lucinda Johnson. Center of Water and Environment Director, NRRI and UMD.

Johnson says emission of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gasses influence climate change on a day to day basis. She says whatever is contributing to climate change we all have to be ready for whatever the future brings us.
Meteorologist Jeff Edmondson, Northland's Newscenter.