Weather And Climate Are Not The Same

Weather And Climate Are Not The Same

Clarification between weather and climate can support awareness for climate change

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The difference between weather and climate is the measurement of time we associate with them; weather is related to short-term changes in the atmosphere while climate is the average weather over a long period of time. You could also think of the difference between the two as, "weather is your mood, climate is your personality."

Weather is the balancing of the atmosphere. We associate weather with sunshine, rain, cloud cover, winds, hail, snow, sleet, freezing rain, flooding, blizzards, ice storms, thunderstorms, steady rains from a cold front or warm front, excessive heat, heat waves and more.

Then climate is the way of describing weather patterns over a long period of time. Climate is a way for scientists to visualize the average weather over periods of ten or fifty years. Studying climate is important because it affects many people around the world. Many types of ecosystems could be altered permanently due to rising global temperatures which will affect plants, humans and other animals. "Rising global temperatures are expected to raise sea levels, and change precipitation and other local climate conditions. Changing regional climate could alter forests, crop yields, and water supplies."

Climate change does make the weather more severe, such as hurricanes, flooding, and droughts: the amount of water vapor that the atmosphere can hold increases with temperature. Just because colder months still happen, does not mean that global warming is not presently happening. Though just because there are a few more warm days in November does not completely prove there is global warming either.

This is not to say that climate change is not real because global warming is in fact happening. The planet has been experiencing more severe weather patterns and loss of ice at the poles due to an overall higher average temperature that is only increasing. Greenhouse gas emissions are trapping heat in the earth's atmosphere causing this detrimental rise in temperatures.

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The Effects Of Rising Temperatures

New studies reveal how rising temperatures effect the mind and body.
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“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing uncompetitive.” Though this Donald Trump quote does not perfectly describe the troubles with climate change, it does draw attention to the dangers that rising temperatures bring. Rising temperatures are beginning to affect everyone in the world in more ways than one, making this a very hot topic. Rising temperatures have an extreme effect on people, in ways that we did not even know possible until just recently. One of the most well known effects of rising temperatures is the melting of ice in the Arctic, which opens up new trade routes, but poses bigger problems for the world; in new studies, it’s been shown that not only do rising temperatures have effects on the climate, but they also have powerful effects on the mind and body.

Over the past 10 years, temperatures have been steadily rising all across the world, and new records are being set every year. The rise in temperatures has caused several droughts and wildfires in the United States. Not only are we entering wildfire season for the west, these rising temperatures are also causing trees and nature to die. But no one is so effected as the Arctic at this time. Ice caps and glaciers are melting, so much so that the Arctic is even becoming a cruiseable vacation destination, something scientists never thought possible. According to studies, the Arctic is warming at twice the rate of the rest of the world. Walt Meier of NASA relates the melting of the ice to like going from “a big ice cube to crushed ice.” And, some oceanographers are even predicting completely ice-free Arctic summers during our lifetime. Not only does this have a huge effect on the Arctic, this is also going to have strong effects on the weather patterns in the United States.

The effects of rising temperatures go farther than just the climate; new studies have found that they also have strong effects on the mind and body. Jisung Park, a Ph.D student at Harvard conducted a study of 4.6 million students in New York. Students who took the exam on a 90 degree day had a 12 percent higher rate of failing than those who took the same exam on a 72 degree day. Park also found a correlation between a large number of hot days and a decrease in learning. According to The New York Times, the average Indian endures about 33 days a year with temperatures higher than 90 degrees. This number is expected to increase by as many as 100 days by the year 2100. Not only do these increase in temperature effect studies and minds, heat also affects our bodies in more ways than one. According to Olivier Deschenes, just a single day above 90 degrees in America increases the monthly mortality rate by one percent. In addition to all of this, an increase in temperatures also decreases work productivity, and shows us increases in violence.

So, not only is ice melting in the Arctic and affecting weather patterns in the United States, but these rising temperatures are also affecting the everyday life of people everywhere. Climate change and specifically these rising temperatures are having huge impacts on the world, in some relatively newfound ways.

Cover Image Credit: www.independent.co.uk

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The Expense Of Hurricanes Should Not Be A Burden For Everyone

Imagine if the state of Florida stepped in and stopped the rebuilding and development of these areas that are prone to devastation, may cause the possibility of lowering homeowners' insurance for the rest of the citizens in Florida.

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The 2019 hurricane season starts in less than two months and I am wondering with the devastation that these storms cause on the shores of our country, when do we decide enough is enough and not allow victims to return and rebuild.

The official season for hurricanes is June 1st through November 30th. However, I want to focus primarily on the Florida coastal waters and the effects hurricanes have had on the state. Hurricane Michael depleted over and above the funds allocated for last year's storm season and it looks like Florida will start this season at a loss once again.

After Hurricane Andrew, the Florida Legislature created the Florida Hurricane Catastrophe Fund (FHCF). "The FHCF acts as a state-administered reinsurance program and is mandatory for residential property insurers writing covered policies in Florida. As of June 2018, this fund has a loss of ($1,279,762.00). The amount posted for hurricane losses is $2.5 billion. This loss was recorded well in advance of Hurricane Michael, hitting the panhandle in October 2018 with an estimated cost of damages of $25 billion.

Citizens Property Insurance Corporation was also established after Hurricane Andrew. It was created to provide coverage for home-owners that can't obtain insurance elsewhere. It is a not-for-profit insurer and is considered a last resort for homeowners. As the price of new homes increases so does the rate of homeowner insurance and many homeowners from the Keys to the Panhandle have seen their rates increase annually by 10% since 2010. This begs the question, why would anyone want to keep paying higher homeowners insurance year after year? With a higher percentage of Florida citizens in the retirement age, it seems that owning a home is more of a burden in areas that are prone to hurricanes.

When Hurricane Maria devasted Puerto Rico, it left the entire island in need of massive infrastructure rebuilding. Not only the political implications of the lack of funding for the island, but the images of destruction and personal suffering was heart-wrenching. Some are of the belief there is an economic benefit from a hurricane. After the initial blow to retail, fast food, and hospitals, there is a regrowth that puts many people back to work, if only for a temporary period and another hurricane does not come to make its way to that area for the next seven to ten years.

Yet, according to https://www.gfdl.noaa.gov/global-warming-and-hurricanes/, their models project that Atlantic hurricanes and tropical storms are substantially reduced in number, but have higher rainfall rates, particularly near the storm center, as well as potential higher intensity. This can be true for winter storms as well. Many of us have been caught in an airport or up in a northern state in the winter months and have difficulty returning to the sunshine state because of a storm that has pounded inches of snow along its path like a hurricane from the frozen tundra.

No one should be allowed to build a home in a floodplain or a flood zone. For that matter, areas that have been prone to wildfires, or fault lines. If every state looked at the areas that have been continuously destroyed by mother nature, and calculated the cost incurred to rebuild, decided to stop the bleeding and zone those areas as hazards, uninhabitable, or just government property, they will save billions of dollars for other much-needed services.

Imagine if the state of Florida stepped in and stopped the rebuilding and development of these areas that are prone to devastation, may cause the possibility of lowering homeowners' insurance for the rest of the citizens in Florida. The basic questions are, should Florida allow citizens to rebuild once their homes have been destroyed by a tropical storm? Think of it as an automobile, if the house is totaled the insurance company replaces the home. Just not in the same location.

The government has a duty to protect its citizens, and by that definition are in their rights to tell homeowners and developers the devastated area is no longer available for rebuilding. At what cost both financially and in human lives do the citizens of Florida allow the coastlines to be developed or rebuilt? If the developers and homeowners can rebuild the rest of the taxpayers and homeowners should not have to pay the increase in insurance rates or a hurricane relief tax.

The taxpayers of Florida don't want to pay a hurricane tax, they don't have a choice. Their elected officials side with the developers and the large money donor homeowners. Maybe the beach that has that $2 million home isn't meant to be there. Of course, there is a great view and the ocean or gulf coast is at your feet, as the shoreline slowly covers your property. Yet the erosion isn't going to happen in the next few years so why worry?

I can't understand why a person wants to own a home that no insurance company will insure. If these million-dollar homes on beaches meant for sunbathing, surfing, fishing, and Florida wildlife, are forever a part of Florida, maybe these homeowners need to be self-insured. Be solely responsible for the environment they own. Yet, the state of Florida has created legislation to help these people and can't figure out how to make affordable housing for the rest of the state.

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