Earth s climates
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Earth ’ s Climates. Review of last lecture. The developmental stages and vertical structure of middle latitude cyclones (boundary between northern cold air and southern warm air, upper level low to the west of surface low)

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Earth ’ s Climates

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Earth s climates

Earth’s Climates


Earth s climates

Review of last lecture

  • The developmental stages and vertical structure of middle latitude cyclones (boundary between northern cold air and southern warm air, upper level low to the west of surface low)

  • How upper level longwaves and shortwaves may enhance cyclonic development at the surface (upper level low to the west of surface low)

  • The three regions of cyclogenesis and typical tracks

  • Lake effect

  • Anticyclones, heat waves and droughts

  • Climate change: move the tracks of the midlatitude cyclones towards the poles


Climate and controlling factors

Climate and Controlling Factors

  • Climate is the long-term statistical properties of the atmosphere for an area.

  • Climate analysis for an area includes many variables.

  • Climate classifications are based on properties such as temperature, precipitation, air mass types, and seasonal variations in water balance for an area.


The koeppen system

The Koeppen System

  • The Koeppen climate classification system is based on natural vegetation types as indicators of average temperature and precipitation.

  • divides climates into five main groups, each having several types and subtypes.

  • Each particular climate type is represented by a 2 to 4 letter symbol


The koeppen system 5 main groups

The Koeppen System: 5 main groups

  • A — Tropical. Climates in which the average temperature for all months is greater than 18°C (64°F). Almost entirely confined to the region between the equator and the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

  • B — Dry. Potential evaporation exceeds precipitation.

  • C — Mild Midlatitude. The coldest month of the year has an average temperature higher than –3°C (27°F) but below 18°C (64°F). Summers can be hot.

  • D — Severe Midlatitude. Winters have at least occasional snow cover, with the coldest month having a mean temperature below –3°C (27°F). Summers are typically mild.

  • E — Polar. All months have mean temperatures below 10°C (50°F).


The koeppen system 5 main groups1

The Koeppen System: 5 main groups


The koeppen system subgroups

The Koeppen System: Subgroups


Video from pole to pole

Video: From pole to pole


Tropical climates

Tropical Climates

  • Warm annual temperatures and with little temperature

  • variation.

  • Distinguished by precipitation variations.


Earth s climates

Tropical Wet (Af) (rainforest)

Even precipitation

Tropical Monsoonal (Am)

significant change of precipitation

Tropical Wet and Dry (Aw)

(Savanna)

Boundary with dry climate


Dry climates

Dry Climates

  • Dry climates occur in areas where potential evapotranspiration is greater than precipitation.

  • 30% of Earth’s land surface is classified as a dry climate.

  • Semideserts are transitional zones that separate the true deserts from adjacent climates.

  • They are also called steppe climates, with reference to the associated vegetation type consisting of short grasses.

  • The two-tiered system of categorization yields four types of dry climates: subtropical desert, subtropical steppe, midlatitude desert, and midlatitude steppe.


Earth s climates

Subtropical Deserts (BWh)

Largest deserts with atmospheric subsidence and high pressure.

Subtropical Steppe (BSh) High precipitation and temperature variability.


Earth s climates

Midlatitude Deserts (BWk)

Higher humidity and precipitation than subtropical deserts

Midlatitude Steppe (BSk) Higher annual average precipitation than deserts


Mild midlatitude climates

Mild Midlatitude Climates

  • The mild midlatitude climates are located in parts of the latitude range between 30° and 60° in either hemisphere.

  • Varying precipitation systems with mild winter temperatures. Summer temperatures may be high.

  • This climate group is subdivided into three climates. The mediterranean, humid subtropical, and the marine west coast climates.


Earth s climates

Mediterranean (Csa, Csb) Distinct dry summer due to subtropical high, mild winter

Humid Subtropical (Cfa, Cwa) Eastern continental areas. Long hot and muggy summers

Marine West Coast (Cfb, Cfc) Cold ocean current mild summers and winters. Fogs, low clouds, drizzles


Severe midlatitude climates

Severe Midlatitude Climates

  • Very cold winters.

  • Large continental areas.

  • Evenly distributed annual precipitation.


Earth s climates

Subarctic (Dfc, Dfd, Dwc, Dwd) boreal forest . Warm, short summers and extremely cold winters

Humid Continental (Dfa, Dfb, Dwa, Dwb) Eastern continents of 40°N–55°N. Abundant annual precipitation.


Polar climates

Polar Climates

  • Very high latitudes.

  • Very cold.


Earth s climates

Tundra (ET)

Permafrost(permanently frozen layer below the surface)

Ice Cap (EF)

Constant ice cover. Greenland and Antarctica.


Highland climates h

Highland Climates (H)

  • Governed solely by topography, not geographic location.

  • Vertical zonation


Summary the koeppen system

Summary: The Koeppen System

  • A—Tropical. Climates in which the average temperature for all months is greater than 18°C (64°F). Almost entirely confined to the region between the equator and the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn.

  • B—Dry. Potential evaporation exceeds precipitation.

  • C—Mild Midlatitude. The coldest month of the year has an average temperature higher than –3°C (27°F) but below 18°C (64°F). Summers can be hot.

  • D—Severe Midlatitude. Winters have at least occasional snow cover, with the coldest month having a mean temperature below –3°C (27°F). Summers are typically mild.

  • E—Polar. All months have mean temperatures below 10°C (50°F).


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