Climate is weather that is averaged over time
Conditions that are recorded then averaged
3.) air pressure
5.) days of sunshine
What Factors Affect the
Topographic features (Mountains,
Bodies of Water, Cities)
Global wind patterns
What Factors Affect the
Meteorologist use 3
zones) to look at
Which zone do we live
Extends from the poles
(north and south) to 66 1/2˚
Solar energy hits the poles at
Polar ice reflects the sun’s
Due to this the poles are
Located between 23 1/2˚
North, and 23 1/2˚ South
Sun shines almost directly
Receives large amounts of
This zones is always hot
except in higher elevations.
Located between the polar and
tropical zones (North and South)
Temperatures are moderate
The continental U.S. is located
What are Topographic
Features that effect
Large bodies of water
Large Bodies of Water
Land heats up faster than water
Land along the coasts are usually warmer
in the winter (water keeps it warmer longer)
Breezes from the water also cause costal
land to be warmer in winter and cooler in
Coastal land also experience more
precipitation and increased moisture in the
At the same latitude the climate is colder in
the mountains than at sea level.
The air is less dense up in the mountains
and therefore absorb less solar energy.
Large cities affect local climate
Solar radiation is absorbed by streets,
parking lots, and buildings
They heat up and radiate heat into the
What are the Climate Types?
There are 6 main climate types
Wladimir Koppen 1918 German
climatologist developed a classification
Koppen Climate Classification System
classification is based on temperature and
Divided the climates into 6 groups
Some are divided into sub-groups
6.) High elevation
Climate Classification System
Climatologist – a person who studies
climates, and uses a system to classify all
the worlds climates.
Climate Type Determines Vegetation
the climate –
determine what type
of plants grow there.
Pine trees are not
found in desert
regions and cactus
are not found
growing outside in
All organisms have
that allow them to
survive in their
Is a structure or behavior feature that
helps an organism survive in its
These may include an animal having thick
fur for the cold, or we build houses
(structure) for shelter from the harsh
Many mammals such as bears and rodents
go through a period of inactivity in the
This is known as hibernation
Their bodies needs (eating) are reduced to
survive the winter season.
Our bodies is always trying to maintain a
certain temperature (98.6 degrees).
How does our body regulate its
Sweating helps us keep our bodies
Sweat evaporates off the skin, which
allows the body to cool.
We have seasonal changes.
Seasons are short term periods of climate
change, caused by regular variation in
daylight, temperature and weather patterns.
Variations are due to the amount of solar
radiation an area receives.
Endless Days and Nights
the North and South Poles experience 6
months of 24 hour daylight and 24 hours of
As you move closer to the equator the
days and nights balance out.
The equator has 12 hour days and 12
Other Climate Changes
El Nino – is a climate event that starts in
the Pacific Ocean and sets off changes in the
These use to occur every 3 to 7 years, now
we experience this more often.
Scientists are beginning to link the more
frequent occurrences to global warming
Trends in Climate
the Earth’s climate remains fairly constant.
We do experience changes in temperatures
and moisture from year to year.
Scientists are beginning to see a warming
trend in the Earth’s climate.
Many see this as evidence of global
However, the Earth has seen some major
Explaining Major Climate Changes
Earth plate movement
Greenhouse effect (global warming)
Meteorites or Volcanic activity caused
great amount of dust and ash in the
atmosphere, blocking out the sun’s radiation
This caused the Earth to cool down.
The movement of the plates affect the oceans and
continents affect the transfer of heat on the surface.
This in turn changes wind and precipitation patterns