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Myneni L24: Low Latitude Climates Apr-21-07 (1 of 13). Natural Environments: The Atmosphere GE 101 – Spring 2007 Boston University. Further Reading: Chapter 10 of the text book. Outline. - wet tropical climate. - coastal trade wind climate. - wet-dry and monsoon climate.

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slide1

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(1 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Further Reading: Chapter 10 of the text book

Outline

- wet tropical climate

- coastal trade wind climate

- wet-dry and monsoon climate

- dry tropical climate

slide2

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(2 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Continuing,

We want to look at low-latitude climates

Lie between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn (about 23S to 23N)

Tends to be uniformly warm

Principally differentiated by variations in precipitation

Introduction

slide3

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(3 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Introduction

  • The circulation in the region is dominated by the Hadley Cell
    • ITCZ and tropical low-pressures
    • Subtropical Highs
    • Easterly trades
  • Low variability in temperature
    • High temperatures: near equator
    • Low seasonality: near equator
  • High variability in precipitation
    • Humid: ITCZ
    • Desert/Arid: Subtropical high
    • Strong seasonality between the two as the ITCZ shifts north and south
  • Creates 4 main climate regimes
  • Wet Equatorial Regime
  • Coastal Trade-wind Regime
  • Wet-Dry and Monsoon Regime
  • Dry Tropical Regime
slide4

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(4 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Located under the ITCZ from 10N-10S

Two characteristic air masses (warm and moist)

mT

mE

Wet Equatorial Climate-1

ITCZ

slide5

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(5 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Wet Equatorial Climate-2

  • Dominated by uniform temperature and precipitation
  • Precipitation is supplied by tropical convection (>250 cm/yr)
  • High temperature due to proximity to equator
  • Predominant vegetation type is rainforests
slide6

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(6 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Located along narrow belts on the coasts (5-25N)

Persistent precipitation supplied by orographic lifting as easterlies flow over the coasts

In addition these regions are strongly influenced by the presence of tropical cyclones

Coastal Trade Wind Climate-1

Trade Winds

slide7

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(7 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Coastal Trade Wind Climate-2

  • Precipitation influenced by trade-winds
  • Temperature is persistently warm, although there is summer seasonality due to changes in insolation
  • Also note that there is a break in the precipitation due to the southerly movement of the subtropical high
  • Predominant vegetation type is also rainforests
slide8
Located between equatorial and subtropics

5° to 20° N and S in Africa and the Americas, and at 10° to 30° N in Asia

Strongly influenced by the movement of the ITCZ

Summer: ITCZ moves north and the weather is dominated by convective precipitation and mT, mE air masses

Winter: ITCZ moves south and the weather is dominated by the sub-tropical high, cT air

Technically, ‘wet-dry’ region is in the continental interior while ‘monsoon’ region is closer to the coasts

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(8 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Wet-Dry and Monsoon Climates-1

L

H

H

L

slide9
Temperature is persistently warm, although there is summer seasonality due to changes in insolation

Note the strong seasonality in precipitation

Wet-dry region dominated by precipitation associated with the ITCZ

Monsoon region dominated by precipitation associated with winds coming off the ocean (hence the relation to coastal wind regime)

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(9 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Wet-Dry and Monsoon Climates-2

slide10

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(10 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Wet-Dry and Monsoon Climates-3

Dominant vegetation type is savanna, open grassland

slide11
Located poleward of the wet-dry region (15-25N)

Strongly influenced by the subtropical high

Associated with the descending limb of the Hadley circulation

Produces clear sky, warm stable air

Two subtypes

Western litteral - west coasts of Africa and S. America where cold-air reinforces the atmospheric stability -> very dry

Semi-Arid - transition between dry tropical and wet-dry tropics

Very short rainy season which sometimes doesn’t come for years

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(11 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Dry Tropical Climate-1

slide12

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(12 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Dry Tropical Climate-2

  • Moderate range in temperature due to changes in declination
  • Persistently low precipitation
  • Dominant vegetation type is shrubland
slide13
Overall there is a fairly simple set of controls

Temperature is controlled by distance from equator

Generally warm everywhere

Higher seasonality as one moves away from the equator

Precipitation is dominated by 4 factors

ITCZ - wet equatorial regime

Sub-tropical high - Dry tropical regime

Easterly trade winds - trade wind regime

Seasonal shift in ITCZ - wet-dry and monsoon regime

Could also define by variability in precipitation

Low variability - wet equatorial and trade-wind regime

Moderate variability - wet-dry and monsoon regime

High variability - dry tropical regime

Myneni

L24: Low Latitude Climates

Apr-21-07

(13 of 13)

Natural Environments: The Atmosphere

GE 101 – Spring 2007

Boston University

Summary