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Factors That Affect Climate

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Presentation on theme: "Factors That Affect Climate"— Presentation transcript:

1 Factors That Affect Climate

2 Objectives To Know Explain the difference between weather and climate.
Describe the factors that affect the climate of a region.

3 What is Climate? The Average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time and is determined by two main factors, temperature and precipitation. Think of a couple locations that have different climates? Why do these two locations have such different climates?

4 What Affects Weather and Climate?
There are FIVE Factors: 1. Ocean Currents 2. Air Masses 3. Latitude 4. Proximity to Water 5. Elevation

5 #1 Ocean Currents The world’s oceans are constantly in motion. Tides move the water up and down while currents move the water from place to place. Gulf Stream: Ocean current from the south. It brings warm temperatures to the south-eastern waters of the Atlantic provinces. Labrador Current: Flowing from the north. It brings cold water to much of the Atlantic coast. When warm, humid air blows from the south over colder waters, fog is formed.

6 Warm Currents: warmer climate Cold Currents: cooler climate
How do ocean currents affect climate? Warm Currents: warmer climate Cold Currents: cooler climate

7 #2 Air Masses Large volumes of air with similar temperatures and moisture conditions. They affect the climate because they take on the temperature and humidity characteristics of an area. It moves as a result of changing pressure conditions. It’s leading edge is called a Front. Continental Arctic: This cold mass comes from Northern Canada and feels cold and dry. Maritime Tropical: air that comes from the Caribbean and feels warm and moist. Maritime Polar: air that comes from the Atlantic and feels cool and moist.

8 #3 Latitude One of the most important influences on climate is latitude. How far north or south of the equator a region is influences how warm or cold it will be. The amount of heat energy (radiation) that the earth receives depends on the angle of the sun’s rays. Because the earth’s surface is round, sunshine is more intense at the lower latitudes. Because the earth is tilted on its axis, sunshine also varies with the seasons. During the summer, the sun’s rays are closer, and therefore are also more intense!

9 As latitude ________, the average annual temperature _________.
How does latitude affect climate? As latitude ________, the average annual temperature _________. increases decreases Temperature 0° Latitude °

10 How does this happen? Solar Energy
Latitude ultimately determines the amount of solar energy a place receives. The equator receives more direct sunlight year round. As you move up in latitude the amount of direct sunlight will decrease.

11 Closeness to Large Bodies of Water

12 #4 Proximity to Water Sunshine heats the land and water at different rates. Areas close to large bodies of water stay cooler in the summer, and warmer in the winter than inland areas. This greatly influences the climate of communities that are close to the ocean.


14 Water __________ the temperature. _______ summers. _______ winters.
How does closeness to a large body of water affect climate? Water __________ the temperature. _______ summers. _______ winters. moderates Cooler Warmer Cities A & B are located at the same latitude. City B is closer to a large body of water. Its temperature line is flatter (moderated).

15 Continental and Maritime Climate
Continental Climate: Usually found in the interior of large land masses. They are usually a long distance from large bodies of water. These areas experience hot summers and cold winters. The result is a large temp. range. Examples: Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, parts of Ontario, parts of Quebec.

16 Continental and Maritime Climate
Usually found along the coastal areas near the ocean. They experience a cool summer and a relatively warm/mild winter. Examples: P.E.I., Nova Scotia, Newfoundland, New Brunswick, parts of Quebec.

17 # 5 Elevation (The Orographic Effect)
As height increases, temperatures decrease. This is because the air is much thinner at higher altitudes. For every 1000FT, the air temperature drops by 1 degree! One of the THREE types of condensation is orographic rainfall. This occurs when warm, humid air cools as it rises over a high elevation (ex: A mountain) As air strikes, it is lifted and cooled. Windward slopes of mountains tend to be rainy, while the leeward side is dry. (Ex: West coast of BC)

18 Windward Side: ___________ Leeward Side: _____________
How does the Orographic Effect affect climate? Windward Side: ___________ Leeward Side: _____________ cool, moist warm, dry

19 Orographic Effect

20 Elevation

21 As elevation _________, the average annual temperature __________.
How does elevation affect climate? As elevation _________, the average annual temperature __________. increases decreases Temperature Elevation

22 What is a biome? A BIOME is the largest geographic biotic unit, a major community of plants and animals with similar life forms and environmental conditions. A biome is a large geographic area containing similar plants and animals. This map shows the locations of some of the major biomes of the world. Each biome can have distinguishing characteristics based on local factors. For example, within the desert biome, there may be hot, cold, and coastal deserts, each with slightly different climates. It is possible to divide the biomes into smaller units that we call biotic communities, ecosystems, or habitats.

23 How are biomes formed? Biomes are distributed across the Earth based primarily on climate. Therefore, in areas that are far apart, you will sometimes find similar plants and animals because the climate is similar. Climate is a major factor in forming biomes because it is a major factor in controlling which living organisms survive. Most plants that live in cold climates have developed similar adaptations to the cold, and those adaptations are significantly different from the ones required to survive in warm climates. As a result, areas with similar climates (on a global scale) have similar biotic communities and are therefore considered the same biome. Climates change as we move north or south from the equator. As a rule, temperatures drop the farther you get from the equator. Therefore, many biomes are distributed along very distinct lines of latitude. For example, deserts are typically found around 30 degrees North or South latitude. However, climate can also be affected by elevation. Thus, biomes that are typically found closer to the poles may also be found on mountains located near the equator.

24 How many biomes are there?
Although there is some disagreement among scientists on how to divide up the Earth’s biomes, most can agree on the following eight: Tropical Rainforest Tropical Savanna Desert Chaparral Grassland Temperate Deciduous Forest Temperate Boreal Forest Tundra …However, there is some disagreement among scientists about how many biomes there should be. Some argue that there are as few as five and others that there are as many as thirteen or more. For our purposes, we will focus only on the terrestrial (land) biomes. If we included aquatic, there would be even more. The eight biomes represented here are pretty standard, but they are relatively generic. It is possible to divide these into smaller biomes. For example, we could break the tundra into arctic tundra and alpine tundra.

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