Climate Patterns

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Transcript Climate Patterns

Climate
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Climate is the long-term pattern of the weather.
Whereas, weather is just what’s happening here, now.
(Rain, sun, snow, cold, hot, etc.)
Climate is determined by multiple factors:
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Latitude
Proximity to large
bodies of water
Ocean currents
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Prevailing winds
Vegetative cover
Elevation
Mountain ranges.
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Temperature and
precipitation patterns are
altered by various natural
events, such as volcanic
Eruptions and El Nino. El
Niño is a warm current
that appears along the
coast of Ecuador and Peru
and lasts only a few weeks
to a month or more. Every
three to seven years, an El
Niño event may last for
many months, having
significant atmospheric
consequences worldwide
(1997/1998).
• Human influences also
affect climate:
• Deforestation
• Urbanization
• Over-production of
greenhouse gases CO2 and
Methane.
A few climate related terms . . .
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Climate Ratio: Ratio
between
precipitation and
evaporation
Climograph: Shows
the average temps
and precipitation
during the year.
Types of climate zones:
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Arid: Hot/Dry or
Cold/Dry
Desert: Dry
Humid: Hot/Wet
Tropical: Warm
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More terms:
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Marine Climate:
Always mild due to
the moderating effect
of water.
Continental Climate:
Seasonal temps vary
widely due to low
atmospheric
moisture.
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Flora: Plant life
Fauna: Animal life
Biome: A region
characterized by unique
climate patterns.
Windward: The side of
a mountain facing into
the prevailing wind.
Leeward: The side of a
mountain facing away
from the prevailing
winds.
And last but not least . . .
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Planetary Wind
Belt: General
direction winds are
coming from
depending on
latitude.
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(ESRT Page 14!!)
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We can use the
climate ratio to
determine climate
type because the
ratio will indicate the
general humidity
conditions for an
area.
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Humid = > 1.2
Arid = < .4
Semi-arid = .4 - .8
Subhumid = .8 – 1.2
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Humidity: Is a
measure of the
amount of water
vapor in the air.
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Latitude has a
tremendous affect on
climate patterns; as
latitude increases
(away from the
equator) temperature
decreases.
Polar Latitudes:
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>60° N or S
Tropical Latitudes:
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Between
23.5°N/23.5°S
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Elevation is also a
factor; As elevation
increases, the
temperature decreases
and precipitation
increases.
Water also has a big
effect on climate. A
large body of water will
moderate the
temperature of a
nearby landmass.
Moisture can also be
carried on the wind
from the water to land.
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Mountains will affect climate because the
windward side of the mountain will be cool and
damp and the leeward side will be warm and dry.
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Windward: Air rises and cools.
Leeward: Air sinks and warms
Planetary winds affect the climate in the mid-latitudes
(like the USA). For example, the west coast has a
marine climate (winds blow from across the water) and
the east coast has a continental climate (winds blow from
across the continent)
 Winds blow from ocean to the West coast & across the
country to the East coast …
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A climograph allows you
to determine whether a
location is in the northern
or southern hemisphere
by the curve ~ warm in
June/July/August and
cold in Dec/Jan/Feb for
the northern hemisphere
and the opposite for the
southern hemisphere.
Climographs of two
locations; one coastal
and one continental,
would show a greater
temperature change in
the continental city and
a more moderate
climate in the coastal
city.
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The 23 ½° tilt of the
Earth affects climate;
if we were at a
greater tilt, the tropics
would extend father
to the north and south
and the polar regions
would extend farther
down, reducing the
temperate climates.
NIGHT
DAY
So ~ to sum things up . . .
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There are many factors that affect climate,
primarily:
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Latitude: Temps cools as we move away from the equator.
Elevation: Higher elevations have cooler climates.
Proximity of water: Water moderates climate and temperature.
Mountain ranges: The side of the mountain (leeward or windward)
effects climate types.
Prevailing winds: Wind from the ocean creates a marine climate;
wind from land creates a continental climate.
Ocean currents: Warm currents warm the climate, cool currents
cool the climate.
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