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Geoscience Communication An interactive open-access journal of the European Geosciences Union
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https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2018-11
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/gc-2018-11
© Author(s) 2018. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Research article 13 Jul 2018

Research article | 13 Jul 2018

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. A revision of the manuscript is under review for the journal Geoscience Communication (GC).

What even is Climate?

Oliver Bothe Oliver Bothe
  • Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht, Institute of Coastal Research, Max-Planck-Strasse 1, 21502, Geesthacht, Germany

Abstract. Although the concept of climate is easy to understand, there is not any uncontroversial definition of it. Most definitions fall back to the simple formulation that climate is the statistics of weather. Recent attempts at a definition called versions of this saying vague. Climate is policy-relevant, and discussions on climate and climate change benefit from clarity on the topic. Beyond the policy relevance a definition should also be valid for scientific purposes and for individual views. It has to account for a general concept and individual instances of climate. Here, I try to highlight why the flexibility and the immediacy of the colloquial definition fit the topic. This defence shifts the lack of a clear definition towards the term weather and the time-scales separating weather and climate.

Oliver Bothe
Interactive discussion
Status: final response (author comments only)
Status: final response (author comments only)
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
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Oliver Bothe
Oliver Bothe
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Short summary
Everybody experiences weather and has, likely, a grasp on the notion of different climates. There are discussions on how to define climate, since climate is a policy-relevant topic. Here, I try to clarify why the saying Climate is what you expect, weather is what you get is an appropriate definition that, however, depends on the definition of what may be seen as weather.
Everybody experiences weather and has, likely, a grasp on the notion of different climates....
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