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Regional climates Variety of different scales of climatic investigations

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Regional climates Variety of different scales of climatic investigations macroclimate - largest area of study, area extends for 4 x 10 8 m 2 , up to 6000 m vertically (continental in scale) mesoclimate - 10 3 m 2 up to 4 x 10 8 m 2 in area (sub continental in scale)

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Presentation Transcript
slide1

Regional climates

  • Variety of different scales of climatic investigations
    • macroclimate- largest area of study, area extends for 4 x 108 m2, up to 6000 m vertically
        • (continental in scale)
    • mesoclimate- 103 m2 up to 4 x 108 m2 in area
        • (sub continental in scale)
    • Local climate - a group of microclimates that characterize a specific region; 103 to 108 m2 in size
    • Microclimate - the smallest category 1 to 104 m2 in area
      • An individual field or park
slide3

Climate classification: What, Why and How?

What:Organize regions with similar climates

Why:Understand what causes the climate to be what it is and when to worry about departures

How:Look at moisture, temperature, evaporation, transpiration, vegetation, altitude, latitude, etc. and decide on some value that sets the boundary (threshold)- commonly related to plants

slide4

Köppen climate classification scheme

  • Uses Monthly mean temps, monthly mean precipitation, and annual mean temps to establish major climatic zones
    • designated with capital letters
  • Widely used but frequently criticized
    • no agreement between plants and climate
    • variability in the factors that set boundary
  • = climate classification changes constantly
slide5

Köppen Climate table

Key characteristic for

sub categorization

Class

Class name

Subcategory

Subcategory name

No dry season

A

Tropical humid

Af

Tropical wet

Short dry season; heavy

monsoonal rains in other

months

Am

Tropical monsoonal

Winter dry season

Aw

Tropical savanna

Low-latitude desert

B

Dry

BWh

Subtropical desert

Low-latitude dry

BSh

Subtropical steppe

Mid-latitude desert

BWk

Mid-latitude desert

Mid-latitude dry

BSk

Mid-latitude steppe

Mild with dry, hot summer

C

Mild Mid-Latitude

Csa

Mediterranean

Mild with dry, warm

summer

Csb

Mediterranean

Mild with no dry season,

hot summer

Cfa

Humid subtropical

Mild with dry winter, hot

summer

Cwa

Humid subtropical

Mild with no dry season,

warm summer

Cfb

Marine west coast

Mild with no dry season,

cool summer

Cfc

Marine west coast

slide6

Humid with severe

Severe

Mid-Latitude

Humid

continental

winter, no dry

season, hot summer

D

Dfa

Humid with severe

winter, no dry

Humid

continental

season, warm

summer

Dfb

Humid with severe,

Humid

continental

dry winter, hot

summer

Dwa

Humid with severe,

Humid

continental

dry winter, warm

summer

Dwb

Severe winter, no

dry season, cool

summer

Dfc

Subarctic

Severe, very cold

winter, no dry

season, cool summer

Dfd

Subarctic

Severe, dry winter,

cool summer

Dwc

Subarctic

Severe, very cold

and dry winter, cool

summer

Dwd

Subarctic

Polar tundra, no true

summer

E

Polar

ET

Tundra

Perennial ice

EF

Ice Cap

H

Highland

slide7

Climate zones of the world

Divided into alphabetic categories

A, B, C, D, E, H zones

slide8

KÖPPEN Climate classification

Tropical climates designated with a capital “A”

Based in part on vegetation zones that are sensitive to moisture and temperature

slide9

Tropical (A) Climates -

All tropical climates are warm

the subdivisions are based on differences in rain

Tropical Rainforest (Af) Climates located

0-15° N/S Lat.

Diurnal temperature range is greater than the

difference between the warmest and coolest months

(annual range).

Every month has precipitation and no month is

deficient in rainfall. This high amount of

rainfall keeps the soil moisture at capacity. EVT

occurs at potential rate

slide10

Am- Tropical monsoonal climate

Diurnal temperature range is greater than the

difference between the warmest and coolest months (annual range).

seasonal precipitation surplus and deficit

Distinctive dry and wet season related to wind reversal

Aw- Tropical savanna climate

Diurnal temperature range is greater than the

difference between the warmest and coolest months (annual range).

precipitation deficit much of the year

Distinctive dry and wet season

slide11

B climates - semi-arid to arid

Several sub categories

slide12

All B-climates have less than 30” of annual precipitation

BW climates are arid (less than 10”) and can be divided further based on latitude (temperature)

BWh- low latitude hot and dry

BWk- mid latitude cool and dry

BWh is a function of Hadley cell circulation; occur between 18 and 32° N-S Latitude

slide13

BS climates are semi-arid (more than 10” but less than 30” of rain) and can be divided further based on latitude (temps)

BSh- low latitude hot and dry

BSk- mid latitude cool and dry

A gradational change from A climates on either side of the B climates

slide14

C climates- Mesothermal temperate

Warm summers (<10°C); Mild Winters (between -3 to 18°C)

Annual moisture distribution determines subcategories

slide15

C-subcategories

Cf = moisture evenly distributed throughout the year

Cw = 10x the amount of moisture in the summer as compared to the driest winter month

Cs = 3x as much moisture in the winter as compared to the driest summer month; at least 1 month with less than 3 cm of precipitation

slide16

Csa= called Mediterranean climate

    • western edge of mid-latitude continents
  • Cfa= called a Humid subtropical climate
    • Southeastern edge of mid latitude continents
  • Cfb= called Marine west coast
    • Western edge of continents at higher latitudes
slide17

D climates- Severe Mid-latitude

All have severe winters; short summers that range form hot in the south to cool to the north

slide21

Trewartha climate classification scheme- a modified version of the Köppen system.

Attempts to redefine the broad climatic groups in such a way as to be closer to vegetational zoning.

Group A- this is the tropical climate group, defined as places which do not receive annual winter frosts (in maritime regions this corresponds closely to the Köppen boundary). Climates with no more than 2 dry months are classified Ar , while others are classified Aw . There is no specific monsoon climate identifier.

Group B- this is identical to the Köppen scheme.

Group C- in the Trewartha scheme this category includes subtropical climates only (8 or more months above 10 °C). The identifiers are the same as the first two letters of the Köppen identifier - the Mediterranean climate is denoted Cs and the humid subtropical climate, Cf or Cw .

slide22

Trewartha Climate scheme (Continued)

Group D- this group represents temperate climates. Continental climates are represented as Dca (Köppen Dfa, Dwa, Dsa ) and Dcb (Köppen Dfb ,Dwb ,Dsb ). Maritime temperate climates (Köppen Cfb ,Cwb ,Csb ,Cfc ) are denoted Do in the Trewartha classification. The dividing point between maritime and continental climates is 0 °C in the coldest month, rather than the usual Köppen value of -3 °C.

Group E- this group is undivided and contains the continental subarctic climates (Köppen Dfc ,Dwc ,Dfd )

Group F- this is the polar climate group, split into Ft (Köppen ET ) and Fi (Köppen EF ).

Group H- Highland climates - in which altitude is the most important factor determining climate.

slide23

Other climate classification schemes

  • Thornthwaite-based his scheme on moisture effectiveness and temperature efficiency
    • mathematical relationships easy to identify from available meteorological data
    • Also uses info on season when rain or snow falls
slide24

Genetic classification

Identifies the “Why” of climates first and uses that information to establish each climatic zone

-which air mass dominates

slide28

Vegetation

  • Closely linked to climate
  • Often used as PROXY data for lack of climate data
  • 5 distinct veggie zones
    • Forests = trees; many different types of forests
      • e.g., hardwood, conifer, rainforest
    • Deserts = discontinuous veggies; scrub brush; cactus, etc.
    • Grasslands = grasses
    • Taiga = cold; climate evergreen conifer forests
    • Tundra = cold; grasses sedges mosses and lichens
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