As we have seen above : the climate
system of Earth is composed of three groups of factors.
The engine of this system is the Sun, which is our own
source of energy. These factors cause a flow of air
and oceans and control the process of evaporation and
precipitation, which are part of the water cycle.
Many factors, natural or man-made, determine the Earth's
climate. The climate depends on the redistribution of
energy from the sun according atmospheric and oceanic
currents. Climates depend largely on the latitude, longitude
and altitude. They are also conditioned by the proximity
of wide areas of water such as oceans or inland seas.
Generally speaking, our climate is defined by the complex
interaction of all factors : the sun, earth, sea, air,
ice caps of Earth, wildlife and other life forms. Many
climate phenomenons disrupt the climate. Example : El
Niño or La Niña, the
N.A.O. ... and the position of the Earth in relation
to the Sun, which is very important.
The main factors of climate
Five Factors that Affect Climate
Climates on Earth are classified according to various parameters (humidity, temperature, sunshine, wind speed ...). These parameters vary with geography so the altitude, latitude, oceans around ... what influence climate.
The tropical climate is a climate found between the
Cancer and Capricorn Tropic, therefore, between 25°
South and North latitude. Throughout the year the average
monthly temperature does not drop below 64,4°F (18°C).
There are generally two types of tropical climates :
The humid tropical climate which is characterized
by two seasons :
the wet season with high temperatures and very
heavy rain (monsoon) but with a volume which decreases
as the distance from the equator ;
the dry season with lower temperatures and
precipitation close to zero that lasts much longer
than the distance from the equator (7-10 months).
The equatorial climate is characterized by a single
season with frequent and important rainfall of which
the maxima of intensity occur at the equinoxes (March
and September). Temperatures are warm with an average
of about 80,6°F (27°C). The atmospheric pressure
is still low.
DRY AND ARID CLIMAT
The dry climate is characterized by a high stability
of the atmosphere what makes very low or absent rainfall.
It is found between 10 and 35° North and South latitude.
There are two types of dry climates :
The arid climate characterize desert regions like
the Sahara, the Australian desert, the Arabian Peninsula...
The whole year temperatures are high the day but low
enough at night, with occasional frosts, giving very
large thermic gaps between day and night (between 68
and 86°F (20 and 30°C) see sometimes over 122°F
(50 °C)). The annual rainfall is less than evaporation.
The semi-arid climate or steppe climate is characterized
by a dry season the most of the time and a wet season.
Precipitations are low with an annual average between
250 and 500 mm which are unevenly distributed throughout
The temperate climate is located between 30° and
50° latitude in the northern and southern hemispheres
and is characterized by two seasons, the cold season (winter)
and the hot season (summer).
There are several types of climates :
The oceanic climate characteristic of the western
coasts of continents (North West of the United States,
the British Isles, on the Atlantic coast of France,
around the North Sea and English Channel, on the Atlantic
coast North and West Morocco). The climate is influenced
by the proximity of the oceans which lies west of the
continent what gives cool summers, mild and wet winters.
The humid climate subtroprical or Chinese is characterized
by hot and humid summers and cool winters. This climate
is found on the eastern side of continents between 30°
and 50° latitude (Between East and South-Eastern
United States, from South America, Asia and Australia).
The Mediterranean climate is characterized by hot
and dry summers, mild winters, wet and heavy rains in
spring and autumn. We find the climate around the Mediterranean
Sea, but other regions on Earth have the same climatic
conditions as the coastal areas of California, South
Africa and southern regions of Australia.
The continental climate is located at mid-latitudes
in areas far from shore.
There are two types of continental climate :
The humid continental climate is characterized
by very hot summers and very cold winters. The seasonal
variations in temperature are important, they are measuring
range from 59 to 71,6°F (15 to 22°C) but can
rise to 91,4°F (33°C). More the area is far
from the oceans more that variation in temperature between
summer and winter is important.
The subarctic climate is characterized by mild
summers where temperatures can still exceed 86°F
(30°C) but this season is short and very harsh winters
where temperatures can drop to -40°F (-40°C).
This climate is found between 50° to 70° north
latitude much of Asia and northern North America.
The polar climate is located at high latitudes.
There are two types of polar climate :
ice cap polar climate is characterized by cold
temperatures throughout the year that descend very low
in winter and are still below -40°F (-40°C)
during this season. Winds are strong and regular. In
summer the average temperatures are negative. Rainfall
is low and falling in snow storm. The ground never thaws
and nothing grows there.
The tundra is a climate found at the border of
the ice cap in the northern hemisphere. The winters
are long and cold, with an average temperature of about
-18,4°F (-28°C) and with an often violent wind
(blizzard). Summers are short and cool.
The mountain climate depends on the mountains. Temperatures,
air pressure and air density decrease with altitude (about
32,9°F to 33,8°F (0,5°C to 1°C) every 100m).
Winters are cold and summers are cool and wet. Rainfall
is most important according to altitude.
Different Environments : Tundra,
Polar Regions, Grasslands, Wetlands, Deserts...
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