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Climate and Weather. SOL WG.2a. Climate. Climate is the condition of the atmosphere over a long period of time. Think!. What is the difference between a desert and a tropical rainforest? What is the difference between Antarctica and a desert?.

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  • Climate is the condition of the atmosphere over a long period of time.
  • What is the difference between a desert and a tropical rainforest?
  • What is the difference between Antarctica and a desert?

If you said temperature and rainfall (precipitation)

you are right!

  • Three characteristics of climate are:
  • Temperature
  • Precipitation
  • Seasons
  • Why do some places get more or less rain?
  • Why are some places hot and some places cold?
  • Why do some places have seasons that are equal in length and some places don’t?
  • Four factors or elements that affect climate are:
  • Latitude
  • Wind Currents
  • Proximity to Water
  • Elevation
wind currents
Wind Currents
  • Wind and ocean currents distribute the sun’s heat through convection, the transfer of heat in the atmosphere through upward motion of the air.
proximity to water
Proximity to Water
  • Areas near the ocean have a milder winter and a cooler summer.
  • Ocean currents are like rivers in the ocean. Warm water flows away from the equator and cold water flows toward the equator.
proximity to water9
Proximity to Water
  • Some important ocean currents are:
  • The North Atlantic Drift - This ocean current warms Western Europe.
  • The East Australian Current
  • Elevation influences temperature. As you go up in elevation the temperature becomes colder because the atmosphere is thinner. Areas with very high elevations can have vegetation similar to the arctic.
climate zones
Climate Zones
  • Climate zones are classified by temperature and precipitation.
climate zones13
Climate Zones
  • Low Latitudes - Tropical Wet and Tropical Wet and Dry.
  • Middle Latitudes - Mediterranean, Humid Subtropical, Humid Continental, Marine West Coast.
  • High Latitudes - Subarctic, Tundra, Icecap
  • Varies - Semiarid, Arid, Highland
  • Deserts are based on precipitation. There are hot and cold deserts. Some hot deserts are: The Sahara, The Namib, The Atacama, and The Gobi.
tropical grasslands
Tropical Grasslands
  • Savanna - Africa
  • Llanos - Colombia and Venezuela
  • Cerrados - Brazil
temperate grasslands
Temperate Grasslands
  • Prairie - The United States and Canada
  • Pampas - Argentina
  • Steppe - Central Asia
cold grasslands
Cold Grasslands
  • Tundra - The Tundra is a flat treeless plain located in the far north on the coast of Alaska, Canada, and Russia. The Tundra has short grasses, a few shrubs, mosses, and some flowers. Underneath the tundra there is permafrost, permanently frozen subsoil.
  • Forests near the equator have more broadleaf trees and the leaves are larger because the area receives more sunlight.
  • Forests in the high latitudes have more coniferous trees because they grow better with less sunlight.
  • Rainforests are found in tropical wet climate zones in the low latitudes. What countries do you think have rainforests?

A. Brazil - Amazon Rainforest

B. Congo

C. Indonesia

D. Most of Central America

  • The Taiga is a large coniferous forest that covers most of Siberia.
middle latitude forests
Middle Latitude Forests
  • Middle latitude forests have a mix of coniferous trees and deciduous trees. Deciduous trees are broadleaf trees that lose their leaves in the winter time.