Climate What is “climate”? Long term behavior of an environmental system influenced by the atmosphere, hydrosphere, solid earth, biosphere, and cryosphere (cryo = ice). What does this have to do with weather? Climate allows us to predict weather in an area What is temperature range? The difference between the hottest and lowest temps http://people.cas.sc.edu/carbone/modules/mods4car/ccontrol/index.html Factors Affecting Climate 1. LATITUDE- single greatest cause of temp. diff. Temp. Range Temp Ave. High Latitude >66.5 Mid Lat 23.5-66.5 Large range Mid range Low averages Med. Ave Low Lat. 23.5 Low range High averages 2. LAND vs. WATER land heats up and cools down faster and more intensely high range water is slower small range 3. GEOGRAPHIC POSITION - compare 2 cities w/ same latitude (prevailing winds) windward- ocean to land smaller TEMP RANGE leeward- land to ocean larger TEMP RANGE rain shadow desert 4. ELEVATION Temp average is higher for low alt Low & high altitude have same range (if all else is equal) 5. OCEAN CURRENTS poleward moving currents (Gulf Stream) bring warm water equator bound currents (Peruvian Current)cold 6. PRESSURE & WIND BELTS equatorial low (ITCZ), subtropical highs, subpolar low, polar high These do not form perfect “belts” but a pattern can be seen.