The shape of the land and its closeness to water vary from place to place. Some features of local topography (shape of land features) can affect climate. These include large bodies of water, height of the land above sea level, and large forms such as mountains. Water heats and cools more slowly than land. The climates of land areas that are near large bodies of water are affected by this difference in heating and cooling. Therefore, land near a large body of water will generally have milder summer and winter temperatures than similar areas of land that are not near large bodies of water.