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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
Every year, when it’s a particularly chilly day, some people can be heard mumbling “Whatever happened to global warming?”
Weather is not the same as climate. One is short-term fluctuations, the other long-term trends. Denialists fail to acknowledge the long term.
And it’s more than just higher temperatures. It’s more severe tornadoes, forest fires, flooding, droughts, and heat waves. What scientists are concerned about is climate change.
Climate change denialists miss the big picture. They look at the trees, but fail to see the forest. Speaking of which, many terms related to weather and climate are used metaphorically in the English language. This week we’ll see five of them.
Stay warm, or cool, as the need may be. But better to listen to coolheaded scientists than to politicians full of hot air.
1. A device for determining atmospheric pressure in predicting weather.
2. Something used as a gauge or as an indicator of change.
3. A standard for measuring something.
From Greek baro- (pressure) + -meter (measure). Earliest documented use: 1666.
“Since the Vietnam War, the US military has shied away from body counts as a barometer of success, but Lt. General Sean MacFarland, the commander of the US-led coalition in Iraq, estimated in August that forty-five thousand fighters had been ‘taken off the battlefield’ in the Islamic State.”
Robin Wright; After the Islamic State; The New Yorker; Dec 12, 2016.
“If history is a barometer, this will get much stormier and play out over quite a while.”
Dan K. Thomasson; Watergate Portends More Troubles; Daily Record (Wooster, Ohio); May 24, 2017.
See more usage examples of barometer in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Words ought to be a little wild, for they are the assault of thoughts on the unthinking. -John Maynard Keynes, economist (5 Jun 1883-1946)