|Site types that use this protocol||
Climate is not constant: records over the last two centuries have shown that both long-term trends and short-term perturbations in climate can occur. There is concern that human activities may be inadvertently changing the earth's climate through an enhanced 'greenhouse effect', by continuing emissions of carbon dioxide and other gases which will cause the temperature of the earth's surface to increase. The local impact of these global changes in climate is not yet known. Climatic conditions, particularly temperature and rainfall, probably provide the most important constraint on ecological processes; a knowledge of long-term changes in climate therefore provides the starting point for any analysis of changes in ecosystem structure and dynamics at a site.
The Meteorology protocol consists of two differing approaches: