Climate regions study guide KEY

Test Dates: February 2 (Open Ended)
February 3 (Scantron)
Climate Regions (Biomes) Test Study Guide -KEY
1) Define and give examples for:
a) Evaporation- When liquid water turns to water vapor as it is heated.
b) Precipitation- Any form of water that falls to the earth from the clouds. Rain and snow.
c) Condensation- When water molecules in a vapor come together to form liquid water.
d) Transpiration- The loss of water vapor from trees and plants; adds water to the water
e) Steppe- Found in the dry climate regions in the semiarid zones. Called grasslands or
f) Windward- The side of a mountain that is located near the ocean and receives a lot
of precipitation.
g) Leeward- The side of a mountain that is farther inland, it gets very little precipitation.
2) Explain why the 23.5° tilt of the Earth is important. As the earth moves in its orbit around
the sun, the North Pole is always pointing north. Because of the tilt of the earth’s axis, the
northern hemisphere points toward the sun during the summer solstice and it points
further away from the sun during the winter solstice. Without the tilt, there would be no
3) Explain how greenhouse gasses affect temperature. The increase of greenhouse gases
is causing temperatures to rise more quickly than ever before by keeping the heat close
to the earth.
Provide characteristics “specific” to the following Climate Regions:
4) Tropical Rainy:
a) Location: near the equator
b) Zones: “Tropical wet” and “tropical wet and dry”
c) Precipitation: Tropical wet has highest of all zones as they are called rainforests
d)Temperature: 18º C or above
e) Compare and Contrast Zones: Tropical wet has one season: wet, while tropical rainy
has 2 seasons; wet and dry. They are both located in the Earth’s tropical latitude zone.
f) Seasons: Tropical wet has one season-wet, tropical wet and dry has two seasons; wet
and dry.
g)Vegetation: tropical rainy; rich in biodiversity of plant life. Tropical wet and dry is a
grassland region that is being converted to plant crops such as corn.
5) Temperate Marine:
a) Locations: On the coasts of continents between 23.5º and 66.5º latitudes, and that
have just 2 seasons.
b) Zones: Marine West Coast, Humid Subtropical, Mediterranean
c) Describe which is the warmest zone and why: The humid subtropical zone is the
warmest because it is found along the edges of the tropics.
d) Describe the climate and what causes these conditions: : Air masses moving over the
ocean, bring a lot of moisture to the lands of this region.
e) Seasons: All have two seasons; Cool winters and warm summers.
6) Dry:
a) Zones: Arid and semi-arid
b) Location: The semi-arid zone is located on the outer edges of the arid regions. They
are called steppes. The arid zones are located far from water, in rain shadows or
places where evaporation is greater than precipitation.
c) Connection to Rain Shadows: The mountain ranges have caused the area on the
windward side of a mountain to drop its precipitation. The area on the leeward side
becomes dry and desert like.
d) Temperature: Hottest temperatures of all regions, nighttime temperatures cooler than
daytime temperatures.
e) Describe the effects of cloud cover: Few clouds= cooler nighttime temperatures,
while many clouds= warmer nighttime temperatures as the rising warm air masses get
trapped between the clouds and the land surfaces.
f) Animal survival traits: Estivation and being nocturnal-coming out at night when the
sun goes down.
7) Temperate Continental:
a) Location: Only found in the northern hemisphere
b) Vegetation: mixed forests, farmland
c) What factors influences climate: oceans, prevailing winds, and air masses
d) Describe how prevailing winds move across the United States. They move from west
to east at about 500 miles a day.
e) Identify the humidity and temperature for each of the 4 air masses below:
Air Mass
Maritime tropical
Continental tropical
Maritime polar
Continental polar
f)Describe where to maritime tropical air masses come from in the United State They
come from over the oceans. In the United States, the Gulf of Mexico is one such source
g) Describe what has happened to most of the United States prairies. They have been
converted to farmland due to their rich soils and flat open spaces.
8) Polar Climate:
a) Characteristics: coldest climate region
b) Zones: ice cap and tundra
c) Locations: Greenland and Antarctica; near the poles
d) Soil characteristics: : Top few inches thaw out in summer.
The remaining soil has permafrost; soil is frozen all year.
e) Vegetation: lichen and few low growing plants, no trees
f) Explain why there is little precipitation: cold air holds little moisture as the air
molecules are tightly packed together.
g) Describe how the Polar Climate affects climates across the globe: the water from the
polar regions flows toward the equator, therefore the waters from this region flow
around the world
9) Highlands:
a) Location: On tops of high mountains and in areas of high elevation.
b) Vegetation: Vegetation above the tree line has mosses, lichens and low growing
plants. Below the tree line there are coniferous forests.
c) Temperature: As altitude increases, temperatures go down; the higher up you go, the
colder it gets.
d) Explain how air masses effect precipitation: Precipitation increases when areas
carrying moisture pass over highland areas because as they rise in altitude, they lose
their moisture.
e) Explain how glaciers affect sea level: When glaciers melt on the land and the water
runs into the oceans, the added water increases the level of the ocean’s waters.
When icebergs melt in water, they add little to the level of ocean water as their
volumes were already present in the water to begin with.
f) Explain how altitude affects to temperature: As altitude increases, temperatures fall.