ENVIRONMENTAL SCIENCE PUBLISHED FOR EVERYBODY ROUND THE EARTH
The weather forecast is one of the most popular programmes in radio and television. Sometimes we are not really happy about the information it gives, but we will always watch it again. We would at least like to know if whether we need to use sun cream or take an umbrella and in winter know whether the streets are likely to be slippery. In the 'Basics' section of this topic we explain how weather forms, what high and low pressure zones are, what weatherare, and what the difference between weather and climate is.
Outside of Europe, other phenomena play a more important role in determining the weather than highs, lows and. We will have a look at the global drivers for local weather and explain why it is so different around the world. Before there were climate predictions and forecasters on TV, the topic of weather was no less popular than today. Weather rules have been passed down from one generation to the next. But is there any truth in it?
Changes in our climate are difficult to observe as it is a long term process, which lasts over the span of a lifetime or even generations. An unusually rainy, cool spring or a heat wave in summer does not mean that the climate is changing. What we observe everyday are weather phenomena.
The weather is observed world-wide in a dense network of meteorological stations. If average weather data change over decades we call this a climate change. In this unit we have a look at weather parameters. An important one is the pressure, as the sequence of high and low pressure systems has a strong influence on our weather. We explain how these pressure systems form, howare generated and the type of weather they ususally cause.
Wind power plants, or 'Wind Farms', are, for good reasons, often located close to the sea. When at the seaside we have all felt the seabreeze blowing around our nose and disheveling our hair. But why is the wind at the seaside always so strong? And why there are so often thunderstorms in the mountains on summer afternoons?
Local air circulation and pressure systems define the weather depending on the landscape. However, prevailing wind systems, such as the trade winds over the tropical latitudes, affect the weather over a much larger area. The El Niño effect has an impact on many continents and recurs every few years but irregularly. In this unit we read about air circulation and where and why it occurs on our planet.
Before modernweather forecasting, people whose lives and livelihoods depended on the weather (such as shepherds and fishermen), relied on weather lore to foretell the weather.
These beliefs were passed down from generation to generation and have became part of our different cultures. Lots of weather proverbs are nothing more than familiar rhymes but a few of these sayings do actually have somebasis.