[Under Construction]



What is Climate:


    1.    Define Climate.

    2.    Describe the factors that influence climate.

Key Terms:

    climate        climate controls



Climate is defined as the average in weather in an area over a long period of time.  The types of information included on the description of the climate include:

type and amount of precipitation

type and amount of vegetation

average and seasonal temperatures

average and seasonal wind

insolation intensity and duration 

Although some areas may have similar yearly averages, the extremes of weather need to be taken into account when describing climate.

        Example: Valdiva, Chili and Bejing, China have the same yearly average temperature but differ in the temperature extremes

Valdiva -     7o - 16oC

Bejing -     -4oC - 26oC

The climate of a location is affected by a set of conditions known as climate controls.  

  factor Temperature Precipitation
Latitude affects the amount of insolation makes temperatures cooler at the poles and warmer toward the equator affects the air masses /more precipitation at the equator than at the poles
Elevation the amount of air molecules decrease with altitude areas are colder at higher altitudes generally less rain at higher altitude
Proximity to Water areas near large bodies are affected by saturated air masses and local winds smaller temperature ranges near large bodies of water is more likely as saturated air masses move on land
Ocean Currents the temperature of the currents affects the nearby coasts warm currents warm nearby coasts affects the air masses that form over them
Proximity to Mountains creates rain shadow deserts leeward may have greater temperature fluctuations the windward side will usually have greater precipitation
Prevailing Winds responsible for moving the air masses  temperature is affected by the origin of the air masses precipitation is affected by the origin of the air masses
Vegetation affects the evapotranspiration index affects how much insolation reaches the ground & how quickly the ground heats up and cools releases water vapor into the atmosphere through transpiration

The amount of solar radiation sets up the major climate zones.

0o to 23.5o tropics zone

23.5o - 66.5o temperate zone - USA

66.5o & up polar zone

Climate Map

(www.nationalgeographic.com/.../ popup/images/climate_map.gif)

(capp.water.usgs.gov/gwa/ ch_b/gif/b003.gif)







Last modified: January 29, 2004