What Causes Climate? Climate – The average, year-after-year conditions of temperature, precipitation, winds, and clouds in an area. Microclimate- climate of a small, specific place within a larger area
Microclimate Examples • Shade under a tree • A hole in a log where mushrooms grow
What Causes Climate? - Vocabulary • Tropical Zone – The area near the equator, between about 23.5° north latitude and 23.5° south latitude. • Polar Zone – The areas near both poles, from about 66.5° to 90° north and 66.5° to 90° south latitudes. • Temperate Zone – The area between the tropical and polar zones, from about 23.5° to 66.5° north and 23.5° to 66.5° south latitudes.
What Causes Climate? – Main Ideas • The climate of a region is determined by its temperature and precipitation. • The main factors that influence temperature are • Latitude • Altitude • distance from large bodies of water • ocean currents.
Climate Regions – Main Ideas • Climates are classified according to temperature and precipitation. • There are five main climate regions: • tropical rainy • dry • temperate marine • temperate continental • polar
Long-Term Changes in the Climate • Ice Age • Cold time periods in Earth’s history, during which glaciers covered large parts of the surface.
Long-Term Changes in the Climate – Main Ideas • During each ice age, huge sheets of ice covered much of Earth’s surface. • Possible explanations for major climate changes include: • movement of continents • Position of the Earth and Sun • changes in the sun’s energy output.