The National Academy of Sciences has a nice, short video that explains trend and variation by showing a man walking his dog.
Many of us mistakenly confuse short term variation with trend. Some of the media, for example during the presidential race would overreact to one particular day of polling that may have shown one candidate suddenly making a big jump (variation) in his numbers. Obviously, something like this makes "news", but it usually does not tell the story (trend).
Trend is equally important when it comes to climate change and we need to avoid focusing too much on variation.
In the video below, the owner is taking his dog for a walk. The owner is clearly headed in a particular direction (trend) while the dog takes several short turns (variations) but eventually gets to the same point as the owner.
Video courtesy of YouTube.
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