Burrito Climate


In this episode of the Green Ninja show, Dr. Burrito comes to the rescue to explain a common misunderstanding about the differences between weather and climate.

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At the start of the episode, the man is reading a magazine that explains that Earth’s average global temperature is increasing due to climate change. He is very confused as he looks outside because it is cold and rainy. How could the planet be getting hotter if it is cold outside?

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Luckily, Dr. Burrito swoops in to save the day! The doctor explains that there is a difference between weather and climate. Weather is what we describe when we measure atmospheric conditions (temperature, precipitation, humidity, etc.) outside over a short period of time, like a day or a couple weeks. Climate is what we determine when we calculate the average conditions of a location, region, or planet over a long period of time. Usually at least ten years of data is used to measure climate.

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In order to help explain the concept, Dr. Burrito decided to describe a similar scenario using his favorite meal, burritos. Dr. Burrito goes around the restaurant checking the spiciness of each patron’s burrito with his Burrito Meter. In Dr. Burrito’s experiment, burritos represent an individual day while the spiciness represents the weather of that day.

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Dr. Burrito shows that according to a reputable article written by burrito experts, although the burritos being eaten in this restaurant on this particular day are all mild, the worldwide average burrito spiciness has been steadily rising over the past few decades. This means that if you had eaten one hundred burritos (randomly selected from all over the world) ten years ago and then you ate one hundred randomly selected burritos today, you will find that a larger amount of your burritos are spicier today than the burritos you ate ten years ago. By doing this experiment, the burrito experts have determined that the global burrito climate is changing. Over time the average burrito spiciness is rising.

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Earth’s climate works similarly to the burrito climate. It is highly important to check how trustworthy or reputable your source of information is by making sure the people who do the research, write the article, and review the article are experts on the subject. According to many reputable articles like this one by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the global climate is behaving very similarly to Dr. Burrito’s burrito climate. Although some days are cold or rainy, the global average temperature has been steadily increasing over the past one hundred years.

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Some people can get confused or misinformed about complex topics like this. When someone who is not an expert writes or talks about a highly technical subject like global climate change, it is best to consult the experts on the subject for accurate information. Climate scientists from all over the world have been working together for decades at a time to measure the global climate and how it changes over time. It is easy to be skeptical and say that it is cold outside so the Earth must not be warming, but a wise Green Ninja knows that science takes time, measurement, and experimentation. By studying the data published by the climate scientists all over the world, we can learn more about how our planet is changing and what we can do to keep the Earth clean and safe for the future.



Director: Dave Chai

Producer: Maaike Scherff

Editor: Keith Silva

Intro by: Mark Wanninger & Michael Salmassian

Cast: Caelan Bacon, Eugene Cordero, & Kevin Truong

Story by: Emily Little

Film Crew: Mike Cascino, Rikuto Sekiguchi, & Mark Sho

Burrito Eaters: Olivia Asis, Michael Begen, Joshua Cruz, Chelsea Holt, Megan Grace Jacobi, Dustin Meyer, Rikuto Sekiguchi, Johnny Sim, & Elliott Ulrick

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