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Part 6. Current, Past, and Future Climates

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Presentation on theme: "Part 6. Current, Past, and Future Climates"— Presentation transcript:

1 Part 6. Current, Past, and Future Climates
Chapter 15 Earth’s Climates

2 Introduction Climate is the long-term statistical properties of the atmosphere for an area Climate classifications are based on properties such as temperature, precipitation, air mass types, and water budget characteristics

3 The Koeppen climate classification system
Most widely used classification scheme Based on natural vegetation types as indicators of average weather


5 Koeppen Classifications

6 Tropical Climates Warm annual temperatures and minimal seasonal temperature variation Differentiated on precipitation variations Tropical Wet (Af) Even precipitation through year High humidity Temperatures Highs = low 30°s C (80°s F) Lows = low 20°s C (70°s F)

7 Af climographs Monsoonal effects seen in the precipitation trends throughout the year

8 Monsoonal (Am) Near tropical coastal areas Monthly precipitation variations are significant, with very high annual totals Small annual temperature variations

9 (strong monsoonal precipitation)
Am climographs (strong monsoonal precipitation)

10 Tropical Wet and Dry (Aw)
Poleward tropical margins Distinct temperature and precipitation seasonality Low sun dry period Unreliable precipitation Sahel region Savanna vegetation

11 Aw climographs

12 Dry Climates 30% of Earth’s land surface Defined by water balance
Potential evapotranspiration > precipitation Subtropical Deserts (BWh) Largest deserts Western sides of continents Areas with atmospheric subsidence High diurnal temperature ranges (low dew points/humidity)

13 BWh climographs

14 High precipitation variability of BWh regions
Southern California site; 1983 and 1992 were El Nino years

15 Subtropical Steppe (BSh)
High aridity High precipitation and temperature variability Large temperature ranges Extreme summer temperatures Summer precipitation

16 BSh climographs

17 Mid-Latitude Deserts (BWk)
Extreme continentality and/or rain shadows Asia and the Western U.S. Very high temperature ranges Summer temperatures – very hot Nighttime and winter temperatures - very cool Higher humidity and precipitation

18 BWk climographs

19 Mid-Latitude Steppe (BSk)
A transition zone Higher annual average precipitation than true desert

20 BSk climographs

21 Mild Mid-Latitude Climates
Eastern continental areas Varying precipitation regimes Mild winter temperatures Summer temperatures may be high

22 Mediterranean (Csa, Csb)
Distinct summer dry period Subtropical high interactions Winter precipitation is variable Mild winter temperatures Mild to hot summers

23 Csa, Csb climographs

24 Humid Subtropical (Cfa, Cwa)
Eastern continental areas of the lower mid-latitudes High heat and moisture Abundant and even monthly precipitation Weather influenced by subtropical highs Mild winters Hot summers

25 Cfa, Cwa climographs

26 Marine West Coast (Cfb, Cfc)
Poleward of Csb Cold ocean current influence Often has fog and/or low cloud cover Mild and even annual temperatures High frequency of rain days

27 Cfb, Cfc climographs

28 Severe Mid-latitude Climate
Very cold winters Large continental areas Evenly distributed annual precipitation Humid Continental (Dfa, Dfb, Dwa, Dwb) Eastern continents - 40o-55o N Warm to hot summers Cold winters Even and abundant annual precipitation

29 Dfa, Dfb, Dwa, Dwb climographs

30 Subarctic (Dfc, Dfd, Dwc, Dwd)
Poleward of humid continental climates Coniferous boreal forest (taiga) Warm, short summers Low annual precipitation (summer maximum)

31 Dfc, Dfd, Dwc, Dwd climographs

32 Polar Climates Very high latitudes Very cold Tundra (ET)
Tundra vegetation Harsh winters Mild summers of long days Permafrost region

33 ET climographs

34 Ice Cap (EF) Constant ice cover Greenland and Antarctica Warmest monthly temperatures < 0oC Katabatic winds Low precipitation

35 EF climographs

36 Highland Climates (H) Governed solely by topography Vertical zonation
Highly variable local climates

37 End of Chapter 15 Understanding Weather and Climate 4th Edition Edward Aguado and James E. Burt

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