Climate Patterns

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Transcript Climate Patterns

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:
Proximity to large
bodies of water
Ocean currents
Prevailing winds
Vegetative cover
Mountain ranges.
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
• Human influences also
affect climate:
• Deforestation
• Urbanization
• Over-production of
greenhouse gases CO2 and
A few climate related terms . . .
Climate Ratio: Ratio
precipitation and
Climograph: Shows
the average temps
and precipitation
during the year.
Types of climate zones:
Arid: Hot/Dry or
Desert: Dry
Humid: Hot/Wet
Tropical: Warm
More terms:
Marine Climate:
Always mild due to
the moderating effect
of water.
Continental Climate:
Seasonal temps vary
widely due to low
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
And last but not least . . .
Planetary Wind
Belt: General
direction winds are
coming from
depending on
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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
Humid = > 1.2
Arid = < .4
Semi-arid = .4 - .8
Subhumid = .8 – 1.2
Humidity: Is a
measure of the
amount of water
vapor in the air.
Latitude has a
tremendous affect on
climate patterns; as
latitude increases
(away from the
equator) temperature
Polar Latitudes:
>60° N or S
Tropical Latitudes:
Elevation is also a
factor; As elevation
increases, the
temperature decreases
and precipitation
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.
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.
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 …
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
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.
So ~ to sum things up . . .
There are many factors that affect climate,
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.