Letter: Clear that Warner has clouded view

WITH reference to Gerald Warner's article (Insight, 26 December). He rubbishes the notion that "weather is not climate", comparing it to George Orwell's Newspeak assertion that "War is peace". However as most geography teachers would be able to tell him, weather is in fact not climate.

Weather is the day-to-day conditions we experience. Climate is the pattern of these day-to-day conditions over the course of a year (or longer).

Our climate is divided into four seasons; the months making up 'summer' are on average higher in temperature than the months making up 'winter', and in winter there is normally more precipitation than in summer. This doesn't mean that the weather on one day in summer won't be rain. One day in March might experience temperatures of 12 degrees C, but that doesn't mean you're in summer, because on average that month the temperature is a lot cooler.

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A better analogy than his for this would be "a yard is not a mile".

If you add up all the yards, you get the mile. If you add up the day-to-day weather and look at the patterns, you get the climate.

Scotland is, in fact, one very small part of a very large world, and the climates (and weather) experienced in the different parts of the world vary greatly.

If a few small parts of the world start to experience colder weather, but larger areas begin to get warmer, then on average the world is warming. It does not seem like a very sound evidence base to say whether the climate of the entire world is warming or cooling based on a few weeks of weather in one very small part of the world.

Cate Lyon, Edinburgh