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Could we control our climate?
Could we control our climate?

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2.2 Climate is more than just weather

There is one final aspect to add. While weather is the state of the atmosphere, climate is concerned with the entire Earth system.

We must also consider the other parts of the planet that affect, or are affected by, the atmosphere such as the oceans, glaciers and the ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica (we call this the cryosphere), and of course life in the oceans and on land. Along with the atmosphere, these parts together make up the Earth system (Figure 5).

A simple diagram of the Earth system, showing the interactions of the atmosphere, biosphere (living things), hydrosphere (liquid water), cryosphere (frozen water) and land surface. These realms are illustrated respectively with images of a blue sky with clouds, a forest, the sea, snow on mountains and a crop. Red arrows are drawn to show that each realm interacts with each of the others.
Figure 5 A simple diagram of the Earth system, showing the interactions of the atmosphere, biosphere (living things), hydrosphere (liquid water), cryosphere (frozen water) and land surface.

So it is important to bear in mind that climate is concerned not just with weather but the entire Earth system.