What is the Difference between Weather and Climate? - Grade 5 Science
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Weather and Climate

Concept: Meaning of Weather and Climate

Weather:

  • The weather of a place indicates its daily atmospheric conditions.
  • The weather of a place changes based on several factors.
  • These changes can be as frequent as minutes or as gradual as weeks.
  • The factors that determine a place's weather are called elements of weather. These are—
    1. Temperature
    2. Humidity
    3. Atmospheric pressure
    4. Precipitation
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Elements of weather:

  1. Temperature:
  2. It is a physical quantity that determines the hotness and coldness of an object or place.

    • The temperature of a place depends on the heat received from the sun.
    • Nights are generally cooler than days because the sun’s heat directly reaches the earth’s surface during the day.
    • Temperature also varies based on the pollution and amount of gases in an area. Areas with a high level of pollution generally have higher temperatures than those with a lower level of pollution.
    • The maximum level of temperature recorded for a particular day is called the maximum temperature for the day. Similarly, the minimum temperature recorded for a day is called the minimum temperature.
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    • A thermometer is used to measure the temperature. It can be of two types—
      1. Clinical thermometer: Used for measuring the body temperature of a living organism.
      2. Laboratory thermometer: Used to measure the temperature of anything except the body temperature of living beings, like the temperature of an object, a mixture, or a place.
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  3. Humidity:
  4. The amount of water vapour present in the air is called humidity.

    • Humidity is measured by a hygrometer.
    • Air is drier when the humidity is low and vice versa. Can you imagine which place would be more humid, a desert or a coastal area?
    • Places near the coastal areas are humid because of the high rate of evaporation due to the sun’s heat, leading to a high amount of water vapour in the air.
    • The places away from coastal areas generally experience humidity during the rainy season.
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  5. Wind:
    • Moving air is called wind.

    • The wind is created as a result of uneven heating of land and water.
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    • Land heats faster than water.
    • The speed of wind is measured using an anemometer.
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  6. Atmospheric pressure:
  7. The pressure exerted by air per unit area is called atmospheric pressure.

    • It is measured using a barometer.
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  8. Precipitation:
  9. The falling of water in the liquid or frozen form from the atmosphere to the earth’s surface is called precipitation.

    • It can be in the form of sleet, rain, hailstorm, or snowfall.
    • Precipitation, usually rainfall, is measured by a rain gauge.
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Weather forecasting:

The technique of predicting the weather conditions in advance is called weather forecasting. A weather report gives the following pieces of information—

  • Information on temperature, wind speed, humidity, and rainfall for 24-48 hours.
  • Timings of sunrise and sunset.
  • Timings of moonrise and moonset.
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Symbols used in a weather report:

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Hot Frigid temperature Thunderstorm Snow
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Sunrise Windy Heavy showers Cloudy
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Scattered snow Sunset Drizzle Clear
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Partly cloudy Hailstorm Hurricane Moonrise

Climate:

  • It is the variation of weather conditions that prevail in an area for a long time.
  • The climate of a place shows average atmospheric conditions over a long duration.
  • The climate varies from place to place.
  • Climate is similar to the weather, the only difference being the time duration.

Factors affecting the climate of a place:

  1. Distance from the equator:
    • An imaginary line that divides the earth into two halves, the northern and southern hemispheres is called the equator.
    • The places near the equator are hot as the equator receives the sun’s direct rays.
    • The areas which lie away from the equator are comparatively cooler.
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  2. Altitude—Height from the sea level:
    • The temperature of a place decreases with an increase in altitude.
    • It is the reason why the hill stations are cooler than the plains.
  3. Altitude—Height from the sea level:
    • The places near the seas and oceans have moderate climates throughout the year.
    • The areas far away from the coast experience extreme winters and summers.
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  4. Distance from the mountains:
    • Places lying in the mountains receive frequent rainfall which impacts the climate of those regions.

New Words

Moderate: Neither too hot nor too cold.

Sleet: A type of precipitation which is a mixture of rain and snow.

Hailstorm:A type of precipitation that is a mixture of rain and hailstones (ice pellets).


Did You Know?

  • The coldest temperature ever recorded on earth was -82.9°C.
  • In Antarctica, sometimes snowfall is so heavy that one can’t see objects at a very short distance.
  • Some species of frogs start making noise before it starts raining.
  • The weather and climate are responsible for migration in both animals and birds.
  • The wettest place on earth is Mawsynram in Meghalaya.
  • The windiest place on earth is Chicago.
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