A few inquiries into the weather office this past week have centered on the question, "Has the hot weather this week been caused by climate change?" When answering this question, the most important thing is to make clear the difference between weather and climate. Weather is changeable. It always has been and it always will be. We have spells of weather warmer, colder, wetter and drier than whatever we consider normal or average. Therefore, our recent heat wave was not caused by climate change. Instead, climate change is the way things like heat waves change in frequency and intensity over decades and centuries.

Our climate has been warming for several decades, and the sophisticated climate models of today tell us this will increase in the coming decades. Common sense tells us reacting to these changes will become increasingly expensive and harmful for society. However, this is not something most people separate from the naturally variably daily weather.

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