What is the Difference Between Weather and Climate?

Published on March 14, 2019

An often asked question, that often receives a complicated answer, is: what is the difference between weather and climate? If you have been looking for a simple climate definition and a simple weather definition  - look no further - as this blog will clear up any confusions you may have regarding these two terms.

The difference between weather and climate can be condensed into a simple sentence: weather is measured over a short period of time, whereas climate is measured over longer periods of time. For both weather and climate the same thing is being measured - the behaviour of the atmosphere - and it involves the evaluation of many variables, such as: temperature, precipitation, humidity, sunshine, and atmospheric pressure.  

Understanding the difference between weather and climate can be extremely beneficial in understand the effects of climate change, and what can be done to reduce the severity of those effects. Recently, homeowners have been taking measures and enacting strategies to help mitigate the effects of climate change, such as improving home airtightness and energy efficiency. A Home Energy Assessment is the homeowner’s map to knowing which methods for increasing their home’s resilience to climate change are the most effective and cost-savvy.


A Concise Yet Descriptive Weather Definition

Weather is the term used to describe how the atmosphere behaves over a very short period of time; it is able to change over minutes, hours, days, or a whole season. A common misconception is that weather only involves measuring a few variables, like rainfall and high pressure systems. However, there are a number of variables that are measured in regards to weather, such as: sunshine, cloud cover, heat waves, snow, blizzards, and many others.

By keeping track of the weather, early alert systems can be used to warn of upcoming weather hazards, with warnings such as: high wind advisories, fog warnings, freezing rain warnings, flood warnings, and many others. This allows a more prepared response to weather events, allowing those in the affected regions to take action accordingly.

On a day-to-day basis, weather affects a home. By improving a home’s energy efficiency, a home can become more resilient to high and low temperature fluctuations, making it more prepared for the dangerous temperature extremes that are expected to come with climate change. Barrier Sciences Group is proud to offer Home Energy Assessments to homeowners in Ontario, helping them work towards a more energy efficient home that is well-prepared for the effects of climate change.



An Easy to Understand Climate Definition

The term climate is used to describe the pattern of average weather in a particular region over a long period of time - often over 30 years. This means that when weather data is gathered over a month or a season (for example), it can be determined if that month or season was unusually dry, wet, hot etc. when compared to the average weather in that region over the last 30 years or more.

If a continuous pattern emerges, such as a region having continually hotter summers every year, it is very suggestive that a change in climate is occuring in that region. By studying climate and climate change, scientists can determine how the weather averages are expected to change in the world, and what weather events the world should be most prepared for.

There is an overwhelming amount of support for reducing greenhouse gas emissions as a way of reducing the effects of climate change, and that efforts to reduce emissions need to be increased. Canada has agreed to contribute their share of yearly greenhouse gas emission reductions, as set out in the Paris Agreement.

Homeowners are able to contribute their share to emission reductions by improving the energy efficiency of their own home. With upcoming complications, such as an energy shortage in Ontario as soon as 2023, and threats of longer winters due to of climate change, Ontario homeowners should continue looking to improve their home’s energy efficiency and work to reduce their carbon footprint sooner rather than later.


What is the Difference Between Weather and Climate: In Conclusion

Nasa outlines an easy way to remember the difference between weather and climate: weather is what you get - such as a rainy day or a snowstorm - whereas climate is what you expect, such as a very hot summer or a long winter. A sound climate definition and weather definition allow scientists to more accurately study atmospheric patterns, helping them more precisely determine how a change in climate is expected to affect the world.

By taking further measures to improve their home’s energy efficiency, Ontario homeowners can not only become more prepared for the effects of climate change, such as hotter summers, higher energy bills, and colder winters, they can also contribute towards Canada’s goal of lowering greenhouse gas emissions.

As an Ontario homeowner, a Home Energy Assessment is the best way for you to become aware of how energy efficient your home is. Included in the assessment is a list of ways that the energy efficiency of your home can be improved, and our Registered Energy Advisors will order the list in terms of which method for improving energy efficiency will net you and your home with the biggest energy and utility bill savings per dollar spent.

This means that you can know the exact method for improving your home’s energy efficiency in the most cost-effective manner, helping you to become better prepared for the effects of climate change with the lowest upfront investment. A Home Energy Assessment is also part of the qualification process for up to $5000 of home renovation rebates that are currently offered to both Union Gas and Enbridge customers - helping to make it even more affordable for you to improve your home’s energy efficiency, and for you to help mitigate the effects of climate change on a global scale through greenhouse gas emission reductions.


The Canada Greener Homes Grant offers home efficiency renovation grants up to $5,000.

Homeowners Canada-wide are eligible for the Canada Greener Homes Grant, announced on May 27, 2021. This new incentive offers up to $5,000 in grants for home efficiency retrofit renovations, plus a $600 reimbursement for pre- and post-work EnerGuide evaluations. Eligible retrofit scopes include home insulation, heating, doors, windows, photovoltaic solar panels, resiliency measures, and thermostats.

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