Climate: Factors that Affect Climate

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Climate:
Factors that Affect Climate
Page 631
Climate
The average weather conditions
for an area over
a long period of time
Weather
The conditions of the atmosphere
at a particular time:
temperature, humidity, wind,
precipitation
May vary day to day
Temperature




Climates are chiefly described by using
average temperature and precipitation
Averaging done by taking the high and low
temps of the day and averaging them
Monthly average is the average of all the daily
averages
Yearly average is average of all monthly
averages
Yearly temperature range

The difference between the highest and
lowest monthly averages

Areas that have similar average
temperatures may have very different
temperature ranges
Precipitation




Is is also described using average monthly
and yearly averages
As with temperature they can not adequately
describe a climate
The months that have the largest amounts of
precip are important for determining climate
Extremes as well as averages must be
considered
Factors that affect
temp and precip are:
Latitude
 Heat absorption and release
 Topography

Latitude


Different latitudes
receive different
amounts of solar
energy
Solar E determines
temp and wind
patterns which
influence the temp
and precip
What is our
latitude and longitude?


Winfield is 37.27°N
96.96°W
? How does latitude
affect our climate?
Solar Energy


The higher the
latitude the smaller
the angle at which
the sun’s rays hit
Earth
Due to 23.5 tilt on
axis and revolution
around the sun
Global Wind Patterns




Winds affect
many weather
conditions
Precipitation
Temperature
Cloud cover
Regions that have different wind
belts have different climates


Low pressure--air
rises, cools and lots
of rain
High pressure—air
sinks little raindeserts
Heat Absorption and Release
Latitude and cloud cover affect the amt
of solar E an area receives
 However different areas absorb and
release heat differently



Land heats up and cools off faster
Water heats up and cools off slower
Specific Heat
The amount of energy necessary to
raise the temperature of 1g of water 1
C
 Water has a higher specific heat than
land so it can also release more energy
than land
 The energy warms the air and affects
climate

Reading/Application Check
Why does the gulf stream have more affect on
England than on the US?
El Nino-Southern Oscillation



A cycle of changing
wind and water current
patterns in the Pacific
Ocean
Every 3-10 years the
warm water phase
causes the surface
water temps along the
west coast of South
America to rise
Can change global
weather patterns
Seasonal Winds

Includes the
monsoons
Topography

The surface of the
land influences
climate

Elevation produces
distinct temperature
change
Rain Shadows


When a moving
mass of air
approaches a
mountain is it raised
up over the range
When it rises, it
cools and if it is
moist, rain falls on
the windward side of
the mountain
Climate Zones
Pg 637
Earth has
3 major climate zones
 Tropical
 Middle
latitude
(Temperate)
 Polar
Tropical Climates


High temperatures
in the equatorial
regions
Three types of
tropical climates:



Tropical rain forest
Tropical desert
Savanna
Tropical Rain Forest



Humid and warm
Dense vegetation
Rainfall of 200cm/yr
Tropical desert

Less than 25 cm /yr
of rainfall little or no
vegetation N Africa
and SW Asia
Savanna






Open grasslands that
have drought resistant
trees and shrubs
Very wet summers and
very dry winters
S America
SE Asia
Africa
N Australia
Middle Latitude-temperate


23.5-66 degrees
Many biomes
Polar Regions




Three types of polar climates
Subartic climate
Tundra climate
Polar icecap climate
Sub arctic climate


Has the largest temperature range
as much as 63 degrees
Tundra climate

smaller range of temps but average
temp is colder
Polar icecap climate

Most of the land surface and much of
the ocean are covered in thick sheets of
ice

Average temps never rise above
freezing
Local climates

The climate of a small area is called a
microclimate
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