Meteorology & Climatology
Both meteorology and climatology entail the study of atmospheric weather conditions and their effects on human life. The difference between the two has to do with the time scope that each encompasses. A meteorologist studies the weather over a few days and makes predictions of how the weather will be over 7 to 10 days (Tadaki, Salmond & Heron, 2014). Meteorology is done with the mass media in mind to keep people posted regarding how the atmospheric conditions will be over a short time. Climatology, on the other hand, entails the historical study and predictions of the atmospheric conditions for months, years and even decades. The timespan covered by meteorology makes it hard to use it in making long-term predictions. The time covered is too short to establish patterns in the weather of a place. Meteorology makes the weather patterns appear erratic, but that is not the case for climatology.
When dealing with climate change, it is advisable to consider the opinion of the climatologists as opposed to that of meteorologists. Climatologists often work for higher education institutions and research firms that are dedicated in the long-term study of atmospheric conditions (Thornes & Randalls, 2014). Because of the thoroughness required in their work, the climatologist is required to have at least a doctorate. They have higher credibility in making claims regarding climate change compared to the meteorologists who mostly work for television stations as weather forecasters. Climatology offers a deeper insight into the weather patterns of various places in the planet and the same cannot be claimed for meteorology. Climatologists raised the alarm regarding the effects of slight increase in the atmospheric temperature caused by the greenhouse gases.
There is a consensus among the climatologists regarding the long-term effects of global warming and climate change. They have warned about the possible increase in precipitation and also elongated periods of droughts in the areas that are primarily arid. The warmer atmospheric temperature is melting the polar ice caps leading to raised ocean levels. Erratic and intense weather conditions have been predicted, and these are seen in form of tornadoes and sea storms that are occurring at an increased frequency in the equatorial regions (Tadaki, Salmond & Heron, 2014). However, there is less agreement among meteorologists regarding global warming and climate change. While some meteorologists agree with the climatologists that there is a general rise in atmospheric temperature, others oppose that assertion.
The reason for lack of consensus in meteorology regarding global warming and climate change could be due to the narrowed scope of time they use to study weather. Meteorology is also restricted in terms of the geographical location covered by its study and observations. Using a limited scope of time and geographical coverage makes it hard for meteorologist to notice and acknowledge the subtle changes in weather patterns and temperature shifts on a global scale (Brown, Ellis & Bleakney, 2016). The meteorology specialists also receive lesser education compared to the climatologists. The work of the meteorologist is not as strategic as that of the climatologists. This leaves the climatologists better equipped to deal with climate change issues and the possible solutions.
Meteorology and climatology study the atmospheric weather conditions. However, meteorology is limited in the time and geographical scope covered. Climatology is best placed to advise on issues to do with climate change because it gives a clearer picture of the changes and catastrophe that climate change is capable of causing.
Brown, V. M., Ellis, K. N., & Bleakney, S. A. (2016). Tennessee tornado climate: A comparison of three cities. Southeastern Geographer, 56(1), 118-133.
Tadaki, M., Salmond, J., & Heron, R. L. (2014). Applied climatology: Doing the relational work of climate. Progress in Physical Geography, 38(4), 392-413.
Thornes, J. E., & Randalls, S. (2014). Applied meteorology and climatology. Progress in Physical Geography, 38(4), 389-391.