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Weather: space & time differences. Prof. Grant Bigg, Head, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield. The Climate System. (Naturally varying). The Climate System. (directly anthropogenically varying). The Climate System. Differences (or variability) over different timescales.

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Weather space time differences

Weather: space & time differences

Prof. Grant Bigg, Head, Department of Geography, University of Sheffield

The climate system1

(Naturally varying)

The Climate System

Differences or variability over different timescales
Differences (or variability) over different timescales

  • Millennial

  • Centennial

  • Decadal

  • Interannual

  • Seasonal

  • Daily

  • Hourly

Centennial change
Centennial change

Fig. 6.10 IPCC (2007)

Decadal change
Decadal change

Global surface air temperature

(IPCC Fig. 3.6)

Interannual change
Interannual change

Central England Temperature



Seasonal change
Seasonal change


Central England Temperature 2009-2011


Daily change
Daily change

Central England Temperature 2012


Hourly change
Hourly change

Let’s look at Google Earth’s weather overlays for hourly variation

Then go to spatial scales

  • Stop slide show

  • Go to Google Earth (pre-set to Weather & Terrain only)

  • Expand weather layer

  • Comment on cloud patterns observed over eastern Atlantic

  • Click cloud animation in Temporary Places

  • Turn off weather layer

  • Go over UK if not there introducing spatial scales

  • Turn on weather layer

  • Draw attention to weather data and temperature

  • Zoom in to bring more stations

  • Click on station – note features (and that probably from analysis, not real data)

Sources of data or ideas
Sources of data or ideas ahead) – hence mismatch in patterns

  • Royal Meteorological Society MetLink site (

  • Meteorological Office Weather Observations Website (

Suggestions For Weather Space- Time Differences Questions That Can Be Explored With Student Observations

  • Variation over time at home (hourly, daily or longer)

  • Variation over school catchment at same time (synoptic view)

  • For those with solar panels – how does power generation relate to cloudiness?

Any Questions? That Can Be Explored With Student Observations