Our Climate is Changing

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Jan 2015
People used to take the weather and climate for granted -butnot anymore! They are both now studied intensively by scientists and discussed by celebrities and newscasters as they become increasingly important to our own daily lives.
Every place on Earth has a climate. A climate includes factors that remain fairly constant for at least 30 years, such as temperature, humidity, the amount of water present in the air, and rainfall. The region between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn is called the intertropical (or equatorial) region. This is Earth's "waist" where there are no seasons. The weather tends to remain constant throughout the year. When discussing areas in these regions, instead of referring to seasonal weather changes, we might refer to them as having a rainy climate, meaning it rains frequently all year long. The weather in countries above and below the intertropical region are affected by seasons. For example, these climates may be rainy in the winter and dry in the summer. Weather refers to short-term conditions in a particular area that can quickly change, sometimes within minutes. Climate, however, does not normally change at a rapid pace. In fact, it can take years, decades, or even longer before changes in the climate can be felt.