Presentation on theme: "Factors Affecting Climate. Latitude How far north or south a place is on Earth can determine what type of climate it has Low latitudes – the area between."— Presentation transcript:
Factors Affecting Climate
Latitude How far north or south a place is on Earth can determine what type of climate it has Low latitudes – the area between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, including the Equator. The low latitudes receive the most direct sunlight year round Warm to hot climate, very tropical
Latitude High Latitudes – the earth’s polar areas Very cold due to a lack of direct sunlight Mid-latitudes – the area in between the high and low latitudes In the summer the mid-latitudes are warm In the winter the mid-latitudes are cold In general, the climate is temperate – not too hot, but not too cold There can be dramatic seasonal weather changes Describe what your closet would look like in each of the three latitude areas?
Elevation Elevation can affect climate in an area As elevation increases the earth’s atmosphere thins Thinner air retains less heat, so temperature drops In general for every 1000 feet of elevation increase, the temperature will drop 3.5 degrees EXAMPLE: Quito, Ecuador has an average temperature that is 32 degrees cooler than other cities nearby
Wind Wind distributes the suns heat around the earth Winds blow in patterns, not at random, called prevailing winds Winds are often named for the direction they blow or from names given during early history when sailing was important Trade winds – the wind that blows in the low latitudes Westerlies – the wind that blows in the mid-latitudes Polar easterlies – the wind that blows diagonally east to west pushing cold air toward the mid-latitudes
Ocean Currents Just like wind, water in the ocean moves in patterns called currents Ocean currents have a tremendous affect on the climate in coastal areas For example, a warm water current flows from the Caribbean Sea toward Europe. That is why places like England typically do not have bitterly cold weather
Landforms Bodies of water, mountains, and other landforms can affect climate Example: Lake Michigan causes very strong wind to come off the lake and hit Chicago Example: The Rain Shadow Effect in California