The types of climate that exist on Earth vary depending on how the atmospheric elements are combined , giving rise to warm, temperate or polar climates. Climate is the factor that mainly affects the fauna and vegetation of a place.
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What is climate?
The difference between climate and weather is that, when we talk about climate, we refer to the permanent characteristics of the weather elements in a given area. Time, on the other hand, refers to the temperature and weather elements at a given time.
Thus, for example, we can say that today in a certain area of the world there is a continental climate and the weather is rainy, and tomorrow it may be sunny, although the climate will continue to be continental.
The climate is considered as the result of a series of elements that exchange their qualities under the regency of solar energy.
Among the elements that condition the climate of a place, are the latitude, that is, thedistance between the place in question and the equator , and the altitude with respect to sea level. Other factors are the distance from the sea and the relief. The type of climate affects the vegetation and fauna of a place.
The 9 types of climate and the regions where they are found
Depending on how altitude, latitude, relief and distance from the sea are combined, we will distinguish between three large groups , within which several more specific subgroups are contemplated.
This is the most widespread and accepted classification of climate types.
climates The climates grouped under this group have as a coincidence the great influence of the sun, whose rays affect the atmosphere perpendicularlygenerating more heat . It abounds in grasslands, savannahs and jungles.
They are areas affected by hurricanes and heavy rains, and with a minimum annual temperature variation (it usually exceeds 20 degrees on average).
1. Equatorial climate
It is also known as humid tropical climate and is marked by high temperatures that exceed 27 degrees on average. It is found in areas with a low latitude (that is, they are close to the equator), the best known being central Africa and the Amazon rainforest.
In these places are the most abundant rivers, the Congo River and the Amazon River, and it is not by chance, because in the areas with an equatorial climate there are abundant rains of more than 2,500millimeters per year on average, being able to reach 6000 millimeters in humid areas.
San Juan in Costa Rica, Salvador de Bahia and Kuala Lumpur are some of the best known places with this type of climate.
2. Tropical climate
Bogota, Rio de Janeiro, Caracas, Miami, Santo Domingo, Manila and Jakarta are some of the cities with a tropical climate. It is found in areas up to 23 degrees north and south latitude , and is characterized by high temperatures and abrupt diurnal thermal variations: it is very hot during the day and very cold at night.
They are humid areas and where temperatures do not usually drop below 0 degrees: they never produce frost. In addition, in these areas the old cold of one hemisphere meets the warm of the other, causing the intertropical convergence zone, with intense and continuous rains throughout the year as a consequence.
This climate results in the formation of tropical forests and savannahs, depending on the aridity or humidity of the place.
3. Subtropical climate
It is located in areas between 20 and 35 degrees latitude and is usually marked by moderate temperatures within the group of warm climates. Los Angeles, Madrid, Casablanca. Athens, Cairo, Buenos Aires, Asuncion, San Paulo, New Delhi or Lima are some of the best known locations of this climate.
The average annual temperature does not fall below 18 degrees and the minimum does not fall below 6. However, there are two subgroups depending on the humidity or aridity of the places.
In places on the eastern face of the continents warm sea currents predominate, while those on the western face are influenced by cold currents . The eastern territories are part of the humid subtropical climate, while the western ones are part of the arid subtropical climate.
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Average annual temperatures around 18 degrees and average rainfall not exceeding 2,000 millimeters per year characterize the type of temperate climate. Some characteristics assimilate it a lot to the subtropical climate.
climate The Mediterranean climate takes its name from the Mediterranean Sea, since it is in that area where it extends , although it is also found in other parts of the world such as Santiago de Chile and Cape Town.
The climate is characterized by cold and humid winters and hot and dry summers, with moderate rainfall .that only in some places exceeds 1,000 millimeters per year. The closer they get to the poles, the milder and rainier the climate, with oceanic influence. The closer to Ecuador, the more warmth and desert influence.
It usually produces forests of perennial trees (the leaves do not change according to the season) and a great wealth of vegetation. The climate also favors the extension of irrigated agriculture that produces large amounts of fruit and vegetables.
5. Chinese climate
In cities like Shanghai, Tokyo, Buenos Aires, Atlanta, Orlando, Sidney and Hong Kong there is a type of climate called Chinese. It is characterized by mild winters and humid summers.combined with heavy rainfall. Winters become warmer and drier as the place moves away from the coast.
Winters can be very harsh, easily producing heavy frosts and snowfalls. The rains are constant, even in the dry seasons, and can produce monsoon phenomena . That is why the landscape of these places are usually rich in vegetation.
6. Oceanic Climate
It is located in places near the ocean that results in a climate of high temperatures and abundant rainfall . The annual thermal oscillation is small, with cold winters and mild summers, but little change between them.
It has a presence in oceanic locations in Europe such asAtlantic cities of Portugal, Spain and France (Bilbao, La Coruna, Oviedo, Santander, Porto) and northwestern European countries (Dublin, Amsterdam, Bergen) as well as cities in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, New Zealand, Peru, Ecuador, Colombia , Canada and the United States.
The average temperature does not exceed 22 degrees in the warmest month, nor does it drop below -3 in the coldest month. The vegetation is abundant and varied , with many deciduous forests and large areas of pasture.
7. Continental climate
The most characteristic feature of the continental climate are the sudden changes in temperature between winter and summer. In the winter there are frosts and radical drops in temperature, and summers are often harsh. On the other hand, in this climate rainfall is infrequent.
It takes place in the northern hemisphere in places with average altitude levels , for example Chicago, New York, Moscow, Kabul, Beijing, Seoul, Bucharest and Warsaw. In addition, the continental climate can be applied to extensive deserts such as the Sahara, where the sea does not temper the climate and sudden thermal oscillations occur.
Typical of places with a continental climate are the taigas, boreal forests, grasslands, fir and pine forests, and steppes.
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climates Cold climates affect areas where there is no implantation of man and animal and plant life can hardly reproduce. Its most extreme case, the polar , becomes incompatible with any form of life beyond some lichens and mosses.
There are two types of cold climates: polar and montane. | Image by: Lucas Clara / Unsplash.
climate The polar climate is a cold climate whose temperatures are usually always below 0 degrees. In addition, it has intense winds and it is a dry type climate, with no humidity. This climate is an obstacle for any form of life , so it usually lacks abundant fauna and flora.
It is located in the Arctic and Antarctica, and on top of exceptional mountain ranges. The coldest temperatures are recorded in Antarctica, being below negative 70 degrees . Warm temperatures do not usually exceed 0 degrees.
Unlike the rest of the places in the world, in the polar climate regions there are not 4 seasons but two: a very intense and prolonged winter, and a short summer that barely exceeds 0 degrees.
9. High mountain climate
Above 2,000 meters of altitude, high mountain climates are considered, characterized by long, cold winters and short, mild summers.. Rainfall is conspicuous by its absence, and the thermal oscillations between seasons are very low.
In the case of the high mountain climate, the altitude influences, regardless of the latitude of the area in which it is located, so that we can find this climate in Spain (Pyrenees, Betica mountain range, Cantabrian mountain range), in America, in the Andes and in the Mexican highlands.
The high mountain climate usually gives rise to vegetation classified in clseries, something like a division of different plant strata based on the different altitudes of the mountain. Thus, we find (from higher to lower): lichens and mosses, conifers, thickets, hardwoods, and pines and oaks.
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