What is abrupt climate
change? Abrupt climate change is the earth's climate system shifting
into a new climate state over a period of years to decades.
The new climate state lasts long enough to distinguish it
from a singular extreme event.
Climate versus weather Weather is the day-to-day changes in the atmosphere
that happen in short-term increments from seconds to minutes
Climate is the synthesis of this short-term weather
information and a description of any variations in weather
at a given place for a specified time frame, like months,
years decades and centuries.
Climate scientists look for trends or cycles of variability
and study them in context of the bigger picture and over the
Does climate change affect
the local weather? We have a limited knowledge at this point. We're still
studying the complicated climate system to find out whether
long-term climate change is affecting local weather.
For example, we have been successful studying and predicting
short-term climate change like El
Nino or La Nina, and know they have measurable impacts
on regional and local weather patterns.
There is not enough evidence to determine whether long-term
climate change increases the frequency or intensity of storms,
hurricanes or tornadoes.
abrupt climate change happen in days? No. Paleoclimatological records show that the most rapid
changes in our climate happen in the span of years or decades,
not days. It is impossible for the global climate to change
within a span of days or even weeks or months.
NOAA Public Affairs
Kent Laborde in NOAA Public Affairs can arrange an
interview with NOAA climate experts.
Additional Training Resources
Circulation: From class schedule (following link), select
first presentation from Friday entitled "PDO, Atmospheric
Change: A webcast by Dr. Kevin Trenberth "The Science
of Global Climate Change and Human Influences"