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Unit 2: World Climate Patterns Understanding Climate Zones

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1 Unit 2: World Climate Patterns Understanding Climate Zones
World Geography 3202 Unit 2: World Climate Patterns Understanding Climate Zones

2 World Climates Map found in your textbook on page 75.

3 Earth’s Climatic Regions
The Earth is divided up into a series of climatic regions where different places around the world share a similar climate even though they are on opposite sides of the globe. A climatic region is determined by a set of characteristics. They include things like: temperature range precipitation levels patterns of sun and cloud wind conditions length of seasons the way its seasons vary.

4 Earth’s Climatic Regions
Temperate Mild Winter Temperate Cold Winter Dry Polar Tropical Highland There are 6 separate climate regions and each of these are further broken down into smaller categories.

5 A. Tropical Climates: 2 Sub-regions
Tropical Wet – These regions typically lie on or near the equator. They are very wet and experience heavy rains almost every day. They are not the hottest places on earth because of the constant cloud cover. They do have warm nights and are very humid. They also don’t really have seasons as the weather is basically the same every day. Tropical Wet and Dry – These regions are in the tropics. They experience a “rainy season”; a time of year when there are intense rains and another time when rainfall is only slight. Summers are hot and wet and ‘winters’ are hot and dry.

6 French Guiana: Tropical Wet Cambodia: Tropical Wet and Dry

7 B. Dry Climates: 2 Sub-regions
Arid or Desert – Found in latitudes 10N to 30N and 10S to 30S, mainly on West Coasts of continents and on leeward sides of mountains. Typically have very high day time temperatures and very low nighttime temperatures. They have extremely low amounts of precipitation and therefore rivers cannot form, there is very little vegetation and usually very high winds. Semi-Arid or Steppe – This is a transitional zone between Tropical Wet and Dry and Arid or Desert. These areas have hot day time and cold night time temperatures all year long. These areas are influenced by shifting wind systems so they do receive moderate levels of precipitation in the summer. There is usually enough precipitation to support grasslands in the summer.

8 Saskatchewan, Canada: Semi-Arid or Steppe Libya: Arid or Desert

9 C: Temperate Mild Winter Climates: 3 Sub-regions
Mediterranean – Found mainly in the Mediterranean but also in small west coast areas of California, Chile, South Africa and Australia. The summers are warm to hot, sunny and dry, while winters are mild with moderate precipitation. Temperatures are never cold, and snow rarely falls. Subtropical – Similar to Mediterranean except found on east coasts. It differs from the mediterranean subregion in having hotter summers, cooler winters and more precipitation in summer and winter. Marine West Coast – Similar to Mediterranean, except found at high latitudes. These higher latitudes are influenced by particular ocean currents that moderate winter temperatures. Winter fog and rain are more common than snow. High precipitation in summer and winter.

10 Greece: Mediterranean Florida: Subtropical St. Malo, France: Marine West Coast

11 D: Temperate Cold Winter Climates – 3 Sub-regions
Continental, Warm Summer Continental, Cool Summer Continental climates are found where there are large land masses occupying the middle latitudes. There is a large range between summer and winter temperatures the further inland you go. Summer days are extremely hot in the interiors. Summer temperatures decrease the further north you go. Summer is generally the season of highest precipitation and the amount tends to decrease the further north the location is. Subarctic – The main difference for this sub-region is that winters are very long and extremely cold. Therefore, what snow that does fall in winter stays on the ground through the winter.

12 North Korea: Continental, Warm Summer Latvia: Continental, Cool Summer Newfoundland, Canada: Sub-arctic

13 E: Polar Climates: 2 Sub-regions
Tundra – Found on the northern edge of North America, Europe and Asia and throughout Antarctica. Tundra regions are relatively close to oceans and therefore benefit from their moderating effects. The summers are extremely short and the temperature never rises above 10C. Icecap – Found further inland than Tundra regions, these areas are even colder due to continentality *Regardless of distance from the ocean, both sub-regions have Earth’s coldest, driest and darkest winters, in which the sun may not shine for months at a time.

14 Baffin Island, Canada: Tundra Summit Camp, Greenland Icecap

15 F: Highland Climates These regions are chiefly characterized by the colder conditions caused by high elevation (above 1000m). This is the only feature shared by all Highland regions; otherwise, a Highland location’s climate depends on its latitude, distance from the sea and pressure systems.

16 The Austrian Alps: Highland

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