The Right Opinion

The Difference Between Climate and Weather

By Joe Bastardi · Feb. 28, 2013

In every weather debate, it's almost impossible not to see the other guy's opinion. In what is turning out to be Endless Winter, there was a big debate before the season as to whether we would have another non-winter like last year. At we were confident this would not be the case, and in fact would turn much colder. It tried for about 10 days around the holidays, backed off, but since January 21 – which is the midpoint of the 3 month coldest period of the year (December 5-March 5) – the nation has been slipping deeper and deeper into winter, and now we may be facing the coldest March since 1996.

The Ground Hog, who forecasted an early end to winter, is Rodent non grata in many circles, and not because he digs up your back yard.

But I can see the other guy's points and in fact was painfully aware of them at times as winter stopped and started and did invoke memories of last winter for a time. The point is, the crucible of everyday competition makes you acutely aware of forecasts and results. This is HUGELY different from the climate fight, where people who will not forecast, but try to make a living by telling you why something happened after it did, seem to populate the scene. It's very strange to me. Take, for example, the ice caps: One of them, the Southern Hemisphere, is at near record high levels for the time of the year:

The ice cap that should be melting because we are in the warm cycle of the Atlantic, is almost smack dab in the middle:

There is even a chance that the much talked about Island of Greenland may experience record cold temperatures for so late in the winter within the next 10 days.

I present once again the graphic of CO2 vs ocean and air temperatures:

I guess reading that as CO2 is causing warming would get you a D in class.

In the tropical upper atmosphere, no trapping hot spots have shown up. The theory being this would be the tell tale sign that heat would be trapped and our doom was sealed:

Then there is the matter of the busting temperature forecasts from the IPCC:

Yet on we go! No accountability. And by the way, the cooling that has started will continue as the oceans cycle back to where they were at the start of the satellite era, the late 1970s. The solar cycles have some say in it, and in fact there is a lot of concern that my forecast for a simple return to where we were at the start of the warm oceanic cycles in the late 1970s is very conservative. There are people worried that because of the solar cycles similar to the Victorian Era, our temperatures return to that level.

While I can see my rival's point in the weather, I can't see why there is a climate debate, yet alone why we are committing economic suicide as a nation.

There is a big difference between weather and climate. In weather, we make forecasts that are tested DAILY and we certainly can see how the other guy says what he says. In the climate fight, apparently no forecast is ever tested and policy will be implemented even when it's wrong.

In my job, if I am not right enough, people fire me. That's life in the competitive private sector. I pay for my mistakes. With the climate fight, WHEN they are wrong, policy is implemented anyway. And guess who pays?

All of us!

Joe Bastardi is chief forecaster at WeatherBELL Analytics, a meteorological consulting firm.

© Copyright 2013 The Patriot Post


Diane in Tx said:

In the house of the wise are stores of choice food and oil, but a foolish man devours all he has. Proverbs 21:20

Prepare for a famine - hope for a feast.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 9:08 AM

TruthInAction in TX said:

Thanks, Mr. Bastardi.

Your statements make sense to me. Maybe that's a bad thing?

Still, I pass them along to all my "man-made" global warming folks. Keep 'em coming, please!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:22 AM

Nicole in NJ said:

Just Curious, to support or deny anthropogenic global warming, doesnt there need to be a clear distinction between climate and weather? I was always taught that weather is the condition of the atmosphere at any given time, versus climate which is the prevailing conditions over long periods of time. It seems that this article mostly focuses on weather to deny climate change versus touching on any climate based ideas. In fact, the title "The difference between weather and climate" implies that the answer would at least be touched on in the body of the article but yet it seems to discuss mostly politics, there is no valid explanation betwen the differences of weather vs climate (misleading title, perhaps change it?) Additionally, the link to the ice in Antarctica dates only back to the 70's versus the 95% of PEER REVIEWED journals that actually use ice core data to obtain data for hundreds of thousands of years. I like Joe B. a lot as a meteorologist, not as a supposed expert on climatology. nor as a glaciologist.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 10:28 AM

rab in jo,mo replied:

Here we go again, with the ice core sampling data argument. Yep, those WWII aircraft found under the arctic ice really were thousands of years old. If that's the conclusion that the PEER REVIEWED methods arrive at, I'll boldly question the integrity of those "peers" doing the reviewing. Maybe they're in collusion to obtain government grant money, n'est pas?

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 1:46 PM

ArmyofOne in MN replied:

Anybody who claims 'hundreds of thousands of years', has NOTHING to claim in the facts department. The Truth always wins over theory! Who to believe...God or man? hummmmmm...I'll go with God! We are in the year 5773 from creation. Prove me wrong with hard evidence (not theory)!

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 4:43 PM

Alex in NJ replied:

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:32 AM

HP in Kalispell, MT said:

First the important work of the underfunded NIH, now you can't consider weather to deny climate change. Finally we have some intelligent thought to guide this grizzled group of deniers. Thanks for the enlightenment, Nicole.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 12:58 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

I see no intelligece in anyone who embraces climate change. It has throroughly been exposed as a hoax to all who recognize fact from fiction.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:07 PM

nicole in NJ said:

I obviously clicked on this article and visited this site because I am interested in learning. I just want to know where it has been disproven? For us to post on a comments section of an internet site that 99% of scientists are wrong needs backing up. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence" (Carl Sagan) To claim that ALL of these scientists are wrong is quite extraordinary. Just trying to find evidence to not believe these journals.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 2:37 PM

Torp44 in Ione, Wa. replied:

No, Nicole, what is "extraordinary" is that the world was once deemed to be flat by over 99% of the world's experts. It took only ONE to prove that it isn't.
The evidence you seek is available, if you are willing to examine results not slanted by those with dollar-eyed green agendas.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 4:23 PM

wjm in Colorado replied:

Where in the wide wide world of sports do you get a 99% number of imeciles that support some kind of climate hoax. There are a handful of enviro whackos who are paid to further this hoax. There numbers have beed proven a fraud, they have put instruments on Greenland in the SUMMER as proof that ice melts when it gets warmer, then called it climate change. They have been exposed by experts who can see the BS they are shoveling. Get a clue Nicole.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:34 PM

Donald H in San Marino, CA replied:

Nicole, here is some evidence that you are seeking: Just go to There you will find evidence of some 31,487 American Scientists (e.g. Dr. Edward Teller's signature is shown as a sample signatory), along with all the names, qualifications, etc of the rest, and growing list. The petition states there is no convincing evidence that human release of carbon dioxide, methane or other greenhouse gases is causing or will in the foreseeable future cause catastrophic heating of the Earth's atmosphere and disruption of the Earth's climate. When Dr. Arthur Robinson held a news conference announcing it, news coverage was almost nil. And these are just Americans, let alone the rest of the world. and the list has grown. One of Dr Robinson's own very detailed and extensively referenced study is "Environmental Effects of Increased Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide", journal published in 2007 ,

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 7:47 PM

Alex in NJ replied:


Try this for a start:

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 6:30 AM

Chris Beal @NJSnowFan in New Jersey said:

Great post again Joe,
I tweetet to you about the large cracks that opened up 5 to 8 days after the Russian Meteorite Exploded over Russia on the Alaska/Canada side of the Artic Ocean. I do know when driving a vehicle on the ice you create a wave under the ice. I just want to know if the large cracks that opened up COULD be because of a shock wave that made it to the artic ice cap on the Russian side then pushed down on the ice and created a wave that traveled under the ice untill it hit the land Mass near Alaska and Canada first year ice. I just don't want them to blame cracks on GW if the shock wave caused them. Thanks.

Thursday, February 28, 2013 at 5:40 PM

Alan R. in St Cloud said:

Globally CO2 is currently 395-PPM. Of that only 12-PPM is Man-Made.Can someone PLEASE explain how 12 Molecules of Man-Made CO2 out of a Million Molecules, causes the Atmosphere to trap heat? I'm at a loss for words to understand or believe that alone will cause the Atmosphere to heat up another 10-15c by the end of the Century.Based upon my own on-line research, Infrared which is heat, bounces off the CO2 Molecule back into Space...The Absolute fallacy of believing that 12 Man Made C02 Molecules is enough to cause the other Million Molecules to heat up by 10-15C by the end of the Century, is Pure Insanity.

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 4:31 PM

JC Smith in Georgia replied:

"Of that only 12-PPM is Man-Made"

Why don't you go ahead and post the peer reviewed research paper (link) so that we can take a look at the research work that came up with the 12 PPM. I would LOVE to read the original research work.


Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 6:32 PM

Craig Cook in Crawfordsville said:

Sharon Sebastion just wrote on editorial on Obama's Green Money Scheme Exposed. It's all about the money, but only for an elite few.

Friday, March 1, 2013 at 7:40 PM

Bruce R in medford said:

The science is settled!

Saturday, March 2, 2013 at 3:42 PM

JC Smith in Georgia said:

Weather vs climate. A good topic of discussion. Joe has now missed ANOTHER "weather forecast" for the winter of 2012/2013 in the US. He had forecast a "brutal winter" for the US. That did NOT come even close to happening. The number of new record highs to new record lows for the 3 months ending February 28th was more than 3 to 1.

And on the note of climate, I see there is yet another study (those darn scientists....they keep on doing science):

Saturday, March 9, 2013 at 11:39 AM

Met. Mike Scott in North Carolina replied:

And another study done with a preconceived notion.. And by the way, it was brutal for some.

Wednesday, April 3, 2013 at 2:07 PM

Mike Scott in NC said:

The bane of real forecasters and Meteorologists are those who quibble about politics but can't see the AGW politics. Mainly because they have little or no appreciation of weather and how it is part of climate.

Thursday, March 14, 2013 at 3:31 PM

Mr Sustainable in Maine said:

Bastardi confuses short term weather with long term climate like most people who choose to remain ignorant of how science is conducted. Cherry picking data to support an erroneous opinion is NOT science, learn the FACTS.

Here is a well researched study about anthropogenic global warming's scientific consensus in 11,944 peer reviewed papers:

Also, here's a study funded by the (infamous conservatives and climate change deniers) Koch brothers that finds 2.5°F warming of land occurred since the 1970s is man-made:
Koch-Funded Study Finds 2.5°F Warming Of Land Since 1750 Is Manmade: via @thinkprogress

Monday, July 8, 2013 at 11:17 AM

Mike in Washington, Mich said:

Joe, thank you for your excellent analysis. I teach Creation Science at an evangelical preacher's school, here in Michigan. I am very skeptical of the environ'mental'ists claims. I find your articles through the Patriot Post and appreciate the depth of science behind your work. In the future, may I copy portions of your articles to be used while I teach Creation Science? I have a whole section on the religion of environmentalism and how it is destroying our country. I would appreciate it very much. Thank you, Mike

Friday, January 10, 2014 at 8:04 PM