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Create and Innovate with Tinker Tank Makerspace

During the third week of May, it is National Week of Making where we honor makers and their innovations. We wanted to highlight our own makerspace, Tinker Tank and its renewal this July! Hear from our Tinker Tank Supervisor Caitlin McQuinn on the exhibit, what...

Become a Community Scientist

PacSci is all about inspiring curious minds from all backgrounds to engage with science. In honor of this commitment, we are looking forward to participating in Global Citizen Science Month. This celebration takes place every year during the month of April and focuses...

Weather or Climate?

Feb 19, 2020

Seattle weather

Something we hear a lot about these days is global warming or climate change. We also hear a lot about our weather. Both are certainly important, but what’s the difference between weather and climate?

“Weather is what we’re experiencing today or today and tomorrow,” says Jeff Renner, retired chief meteorologist at KING TV. “If we were to try to understand what climate is, we’re in the month of February right now, so climate is what we tend to get in February.”

This seasoned meteorologist has spent decades studying our local weather and climate. Normally, he says, climate looks back at least 30 years. To illustrate, he gives a great and very Seattle example of what he means by this.

“We know Russell Wilson is an extremely talented quarterback. We would would describe him as having a very high pass completion ratio, and that because of this he wins most of his games. He may have an off game, though. In this analogy, that off game could be understood as the weather in contrast to the overall climate, or tendency of Wilson’s performance.”

So we know the difference between the weather and climate. But these days there’s another big factor in all of this: politics. Climate change has really become a political debate as much as a scientific one. However, Renner states that politics should not matter matter because climate change is well documented and that the majority of climate scientists agree on the issue. The science is clear. What isn’t clear, he says, is what do we do about it. That’s a debatable topic with a variety of different approaches. He says we just need to agree that there is a problem.

“I’m a father. I think anybody who has children, grandchildren or even friends has to want the best for them just like our parents wanted for us,” Renner says. “This is a generational issue and I think that’s really a key to motivating change on this.”

To learn more about a current, critical issue facing humans, we invite you to join us for Curiosity Expo: Climate Changeon February 28–March 1, 2020. Jeff Renner is presenting about the difference between climate and weather on Saturday, February 29, and the entire 3-day event is full of great information for all ages. Dive into this pressing topic through hands-on activities, live science shows, special planetarium shows, and much more.

Check out the embedded podcast below as well as the online resources then make plans to join us for three days of timely, important information to help us all make better decisions about this most important issue.

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