Climate is the average weather over many years. For example, in Kansas
The basic climate zones of the world are shown on the map to the right.
- Tropical zones - areas where it is warm year-round; closest to Equator
- Temperate or Moderate Zones - seasonal areas
- Polar zones - coldest areas; farthest from Equator
There are four main influences on climate.
~ Location or Latitude - the closer a region is to the Equator the warmer it is. The farther away the colder it is. See map above.
~ Wind and Water - these can affect how the air temperature feels and water can act as a insulator to warm or cool land.
~ Ocean currents - can affect climate, like the Gulf Stream (North Atlantic Current) brings warm air and water to Europe.
~ Elevation - the higher it is, the colder it is. That is why a mountain near the Equator can be snowcapped.