Class Blog

Factors Affecting Climate

Posted on September 22, 2014 at 8:00 AM

Over the course of the year, we will be examining the reasons why different places on earth have different climates. Today, we analyzed the top two factors:

Latitude (distance from the equator)

The distance from the equator affects the climate of a place. At the poles, energy from the sun reaches the Earth's surface at lower angles and passes through a thicker layer of atmosphere than at the equator. This means the climate is cooler further from the Equator. The poles also experience the greatest difference between summer and winter day lengths: in the summer there is a period when the sun does not set at the poles; conversely the poles also experience a period of total darkness during winter. In contrast, daylength varies little at the equator.


Elevation

Climate can be affected by mountains. Mountains receive more rainfall than low lying areas because as air is forced over the higher ground it cools, causing moist air to condense and fall out as rainfall.

The higher the place is above sea level the colder it will be. This happens because as altitude increases, air becomes thinner and is less able to absorb and retain heat. That is why you may see snow on the top of mountains all year round.


Check out this cool interactive map regarding the world's climates.


Categories: 6th Grade Blog

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