What Determines Climate

Latitude: The thin lines that run east and west across some maps are lines of latitude Latitude is a measure of how far a place is from the equator. The equator’s latitude is set at zero degrees. Latitude increases as you move north or south from there. The highest latitude is at the North and South Poles. Both are 90 degrees. Climates near the equator are warm and rainy. Between the equator and the poles, the climate is mild or temperate. Near the poles, the climate is cold all year.Latitude does exert a large amount of control over any given area's climate. In fact, latitude is probably the single most important determining factor in climate. While other variables such as weather patterns and elevation have a large impact on any geographical area, latitude affects climate the most. For proof of this one only needs to compare areas of extreme northern or southern latitude, such as the North Pole or South Pole, with places that lie along the equator, such as Colombia or Somalia.  Read more: How Does Latitude Affect Climate?Latitude affects climate in an area because it dictates the intensity and duration of sun exposure. As the Earth orbits the sun it also wobbles slightly on its axis. At times the Northern hemisphere is closer to the sun than the Southern hemisphere and at some times it is further from it. When an area is closer to the sun the days are longer and the sun's rays are stronger. This heats the climate. This is the reason that places experience seasonal variation in temperature. Those locations close to the equator, however, exist in nearly constant state of summer because they always get relatively powerful sunlight and have long day.

Global Winds
:Temperature differences between latitudes cause world winds. These are winds that move air between the equator and poles. Warm air around  the equator rises and moves toward the poles. freezing air around the poles sinks and moves toward the equator.
Global winds are winds that blow all across the entire planet.


Distance From Water: You may have noticed that the water stays cool even on the hottest days.That is because water heats up more slowly than land does. Water cools more slowly, too. Remember that more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface is covered by water. Land and water heat and cool at different rates. These differences affect the air temperature and precipitation nearby. Climates near lakes and oceans are cloudier and rainier than regions farther inland. Summers are cooler. Winters are warmer. Nearness to water reduces temperature extreme. It also increases moisture in the air.Ocean currents are one of the main factors of affecting climate. Others factors are proximity from the equator, distance from the sea, direction of prevailing winds and relief. But,for the most part, ocean currents act as one of the most important factors that influence the climate. And the reason why is because a current is water that travels. With that traveling water comes heat. The best example is the Gulf Stream.

Altitude and Mountains:   http://voicethread.com/share/2556019/If you've ever gone mountain climbing or hiking at high altitude, you know the kind of vegetation you find at high altitude is somewhat different from what you find at low altitude. That's because the climate at higher elevation is different, so a different range of species thrives in the high-altitude environment.

Altitude:The height of a thing above reference level,especially above sea level or above the earth's surface.

Mountain:Is a tall landform that rises to a peak. 
The Earth's plates collide and they form a mountain.



Ocean currents: These currents are a directed flow of a gas or a liquid. Some ocean currents move hot water from the equator to the poles. Others move freezing water from the poles toward the equator. There are also currents that move along lines of latitude. Together, these currents form circular patterns in the oceans.Oceans cover over 70 percent of the Earth's surface and play a huge role in regulating weather and climate according to NOAA's National Ocean Service. Ocean currents flow in complex patterns effected by wind, salinity, temperature, topography and the Earth's rotation according to the NOAA's National Ocean Service.







Dec 19, 2011, 8:08 AM