We have discovered that the weather can change very rapidly and also from place to place. However, the overall climate of the Earth also changes, although this generally occurs over a much longer time period.
In the past, these changes have taken place over thousands or millions of years, and have included major events such as the last Ice Age. At this time, approximately 18,000 years ago, the weather was so cold that the polar ice sheets grew to cover one third of the Earth in ice. Temperatures were approximately 3Â°C (5Â°F) cooler than they are now, and the ice was more than 240 metres (790ft) thick.
These long-term changes are natural, and have occurred throughout the history of the Earth. However, it is now feared that much faster changes are taking place as a result of human activity.
Learn more about the weather in the learning room.
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