Neil deGrasse Tyson breaks down the differences between weather and climate change. COSMOS: A SPACETIME ODYSSEY AIRS MONDAYS at 9P.

Comment by Tom Margolis on May 30, 2014 at 3:57pm

Weather is like the path of a single smoke particle above a campfire: reacting in the short-term to small-scale factors, such as the behavior of neighboring particles and tiny differences in micro-temperature and pressure.  Climate is like the path of the entire column of smoke: reacting in the long-term to large-scale forces like the prevailing wind and large-scale pressure gradient.

It's much harder to predict the path of a single smoke particle over a few seconds than to predict the path of the entire smoke column over many minutes.  This is why we have trouble predicting the weather for two Tuesdays from now, but can model large-scale climate changes over decades.

Comment by Teri G on May 31, 2014 at 12:06pm

That's a brilliant way to describe it to people who don't understand it. Very easy to understand!

Comment by Tom Margolis on May 31, 2014 at 12:40pm

Thanks, Teri.  Pass it on!


You need to be a member of Think Atheist to add comments!

Join Think Atheist


In Defense of ‘Islamophobia’

Started by Brian Daurelle in Society. Last reply by Erock68la 1 hour ago. 201 Replies

Ear-piercing a baby

Started by Simon Mathews in Atheist Parenting. Last reply by Ed 3 hours ago. 1 Reply

Torture Report release today

Started by Unseen in Ethics & Morals. Last reply by Virgil 3 hours ago. 114 Replies

Why do we tolerate this?

Started by Belle Rose in Crime and Punishment. Last reply by Ron Humphrey 4 hours ago. 20 Replies

My Grandpa died last week

Started by Physeter in Small Talk. Last reply by Simon Mathews 8 hours ago. 6 Replies

Blog Posts

Pabst Blue Ribbon to the rescue!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 9:33pm 0 Comments

Finally, a cool billboard in Arkansas!

Posted by Ed on December 15, 2014 at 8:21am 2 Comments

Atheist Sites

Services we love!

We are in love with our Amazon

Book Store!

Gadget Nerd? Check out Giz Gad!

Advertise with

In need a of a professional web site? Check out the good folks at Clear Space Media

© 2014   Created by umar.

Badges  |  Report an Issue  |  Terms of Service