Glossary of Weather and Climate Terms

Changes in processes, practices and structures to reduce potential damages or to benefit from opportunities associated with climate change. Communities need to implement actions that respond to current and future climate change impacts.
Carbon Footprint
A carbon footprint is the total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions caused directly and indirectly by an individual, organization, event or product.
The "average" weather conditions for an area over a long period of time (for example, the average high temperature for today's date).
Environmental Justice
Efforts that improve the environment in disadvantaged communities, such as minority and low-income neighborhoods. The Climate Act requires that New York State invest 35-40 percent in climate change efforts directed to disadvantaged communities.
Health Equity
The attainment of the highest level of health for all people. Achieving health equity requires valuing everyone equally and focusing efforts to address avoidable inequalities and injustices that affect health and health care.
Infrastructure refers to the basic equipment, utilities, productive enterprises, installations, institutions, and services essential for the development, operation, and growth of an organization, city, or nation. For example, roads; schools; electric, gas, and water utilities; transportation; communication; and legal systems would be all considered as infrastructure.
Action to limit climate change by reducing emissions of greenhouse gases or removing those gases from the atmosphere.
The ability to absorb climate effects while keeping the same basic structure and ways of functioning, the capacity for self-organization, and the capacity to adapt to stress and change.
Sustainable means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
Vector-borne diseases
Vector-borne diseases are infections transmitted indirectly by a live carrier, such as mosquitos, fleas, or ticks.
Weather is local and temporary. Weather happens at a particular time and place. Rain, snow, wind, hurricanes, tornadoes--these are all weather events.