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Neil DeGrasse Tyson and a chocolate lab explain the difference between weather variance and climate change

The "Cosmos" host uses a dog's unpredictable pull to represent short-term weather changes, while illustrating climate as the steady average of those variances over time.
By Matt Bradwell   |   June 2, 2014 at 5:38 PM
| License Photo

LOS ANGELES, June 2 (UPI) -- The same day the Obama administration announced sweeping reforms to U.S. environmental policy, a video of astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson discussing climate change has gone viral.

Originally aired as part of Fox's revival of the informational-documentary series Cosmos, the video shows Tyson and a dog walking along the beach. Tyson says the dog's perpetual zigging and zagging represents short-term variances in weather, which are often unpredictable, while Tyson's steady path is the long-term climate of the planet that hosts said weather.

"Climate is the long-term average of the weather over a number of years. It's shaped by global forces...such as changes in the sun, the tilt of the Earth's axis, the amount of sunlight the Earth reflects back to space and the concentration of greenhouse gasses in the air."
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