Factors Affecting Climate A. Low Latitudes B. High Latitudes C. Arctic Circle D. Antarctic Circle E. Mid Latitudes
Factors Affecting Climate Latitude plays a major role in climate. The farther one gets from the Equator, the cooler the climate. High elevations are generally cooler than the surrounding landscape. Other factors that help determine climate are wind and water currents, recurring phenomena such as El Nino, and large landforms.
World Climate Patterns Geographers divide the world into major climate regions. The major climate regions are tropical, dry, midlatitude, high latitude and highland climates. Each of these can be broken down into smaller categories. Each climate region has its own characteristic natural vegetation. Climate patterns change over time as a result of both natural processes and human activity.
Latitude, Elevation, and Climate
Latitude and elevation affect the angle of the sun’s rays and temperatures on Earth
Low latitudes include the Tropic of Capricorn, the Equator, and the Tropic of Cancer.
The Earth’s polar areas are considered the high latitudes.
Latitude, Elevation, and Climate (cont.)
Between 30 degrees N and 60 degrees N in the Northern Hemisphere, and between 30 degrees S and 60 degrees S in the Southern Hemisphere, are considered the mid latitudes.
The most variable weather is found here.
At all latitudes, elevation influences climate because of the relationship between the elevation of a place and its temperature.
As elevation increases, temperature decreases
The Influence of Elevation on Temperature
Why does thinner air retain less heat?
A. It is more dense
B. It is less dense
Winds and Ocean Currents
Wind and water combine with the effects of the sun to influence Earth’s weather and climate.
Wind blows because of temperature differences on Earth’s surface, with tropical air moving toward the Poles and polar air moving toward the Equator.
Winds and Ocean Currents
Global winds blow in fairly constant patterns called prevailing winds.
The Coriolis effect causes prevailing winds to blow diagonally rather than along strict north-south or east-west directions.
Winds and Ocean Currents
The Horse Latitudes:
When sailors became stranded in the doldrums, they would lighten the load of the ships, including livestock, so that a light breeze could move them.
These areas then became known as the horse latitudes.
Ocean currents are caused by factors such as:
the Earth’s rotation
changes in air pressure
differences in water temperature
The Coriolis effect is observed in ocean currents as well.
Ocean currents affect climate in the coastal lands along which they flow.
Weather and Water Cycle
Wind and water work together to affect weather—driven by temperature, condensation creates precipitation
El Niño can influence climates around the world.
A periodic reversal of the pattern of ocean currents and water
A periodic change in the pattern of ocean currents, water temperatures, and weather in the mid-Pacific region is known as which term?
C. Prevailing Winds
D. El Niño
Which climate would you prefer to live in?
A. Tropical climate
B. Dry climate
C. Midlatitude climate
Geographers divide the Earth into regions that have similar climates.
Each of these divisions has its own characteristic soils and natural vegetation.
Climates are organized into five regions:
Tropical climates—these are found in or near the low latitudes—the Tropics.
More about Climates
Dry climates—there are two types of dry climates—the desert and the steppe—which occur in low latitudes or midlatitudes.
Midlatitude climates—this climate experiences variable weather patterns and season changes that give rise to a variety of natural vegetation.
Temperate climate regions
There are four temperate climate regions
Marine west coast climate
High Latitude Climate Regions
High latitude climates—freezing temperatures are common throughout the year because of the lack of direct sunlight.
Three high altitude climate regions are:
Warm air crosses the ocean and the land picks up water vapor
As the warm air filled with water vapor reaches Utah’s Mountains, climbs to go over mountain. air rises, it cools and cannot hold as much water vapor. Vapor condenses and falls as rain or snow on mountains.
When air reaches the far side of the mountain it has already lost much of its water vapor. The dry side of the mountain is called the rain shadow.
Wind in a region that blows in a fairly constant directional pattern
The resulting diagonal movement, either north or south, of prevailing winds caused by the Earth’s rotation
A frequently windless area near the Equator
Cold or warm stream of seawater that flows in the oceans, generally in a circular pattern
Being in or facing the direction from which the wind is blowing
being in or facing the direction from which the wind is blowing
Being in or facing the direction toward which the wind is blowing
Rain Shadow Effect
Result of a process by which dry areas develop on the leeward sides of mountain ranges
Plant life that grows in a certain area if people have not changed the natural environment
Small area in a desert where water and vegetation are found
Referring to vegetation having cones and needle-shaped leaves, including many evergreens, that keep their foliage throughout the winter
Falling off or shed seasonally or periodically; trees such as oak and maple which lose their leaves in autumn
Forest with both coniferous and deciduous trees
A n inland grassland area
P ermanently frozen layer of soil beneath the surface of the ground
A scientific explanation for an event
Haze caused by the interaction of ultraviolet solar radiation with chemical fumes from automobile exhausts and other pollution sources