Climate and weather: The predictability of climate

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    Professor Iain Stewart explains the differences between weather forecasts and climate predictions. Climate is the long-term average of weather conditions and responds to factors such as seasonal variations in sunlight, fluctuations in the Sun’s output, volcanic eruptions or changing concentrations of greenhouse gases. Unlike weather, which is impossible to predict more than a few weeks in advance, the more slowly varying nature of climate makes it possible to predict some climate trends months, years, even decades into the future.