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Understanding the various World Climate Types

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Published: Mon, 5 Dec 2016

Scientists used the word “Climate” to describe the precipitation and temperature of an area for a long period of time. They have defined the factors that have a great effect on temperature. These factors include latitude, wind, elevation, as well as the effect of the nearby ocean currents. The scientists pointed out that the factors which contribute primarily to precipitation are the prevailing winds and mountain ranges. As for the earth’s major climate zone, the scientists have divided the earth into three main regions: polar, temperature and tropical zone. In this study, we will discuss all that matters in details in addition to other matters which are related to the climate. (Ruddiman, et.al; (2005)

1- Factors affecting climate

1.1 Elevation: it is clear that the higher you go, the colder it gets. When oxygen becomes less in the air, it affects vegetation. The oxygen exists in the rain shadow of mountains leads to relief rain ( in the matter of fact the monsoons occurred when air goes up to passes over the Himalayas, carrying a lot of water. When it goes up, it cools and so can’t carry the water, therefore it rains).

1.2 Latitude, location: the further you are from the equator, the colder it is. This because the sun rays coming on the earth are less and, therefore, they have less warming effect because the angle of the planet becomes near water resulting in altering the high specific heat capacity comparing to land. This means that water has the ability to absorb a lot of energy without showing a very big change in the temperature. The reverse is also true. Therefore the islands and areas which are surrounded by water have fewer variations in the temperature degree over the course of the year (including day and night, than continental places. (William F. Ruddiman (2005)

1.3 Wind: in the matter of fact, wind leads to reducing the ability of a place to support life. This because it removes away all the soil as well as what is needed to start life. At the coast, for example ,life only begins on the strand line because that keeps providing a little shelter against the wind , therefore the plants become capable to grow and they, in turn, lead to trapping the debris to become a bigger wind shelter etc. however, without the wind shelter, it would have just blown away.

1.4 Oceans: the oceans have a great effect on the climate. The Indian Ocean, for example, represents a signature of climate change over the past years. It has showed the temperatures the climate near Australia. By measuring and analyzing the climate, it is clear that there are changes in features of the ocean that cannot be explained by natural variability.

“These changes on the ocean climate are almost related to changes in the heat structure of the atmosphere and this affected the temperature of water by raising it in the Indian Ocean of around two degrees Celsius.

There are many other factors such as atmosphere (thickness, composition), shape of land, ozone, and natural disaster such volcanoes, earthquakes, floods, etc.

2.0 Earths’ major climate zone

1. Polar

o It is a known fact that the polar climate zone goes from North and South Poles to 60 degrees latitude. The annually average temperatures stand below freezing, or 32 degrees Fahrenheit. There are some famous polar zones which include Alaska’s and Canada’s northern coasts as well as the southernmost tip of South America, in which the snow melts during the warmest periods of the year. Many areas have layers of ice or glaciers. They get up to 10 inches of precipitation yearly, this, in turn; result in making the area very dry.

2.2 Temperate

o It is a known fact that the temperate zone is situated between the arctic or Polar Regions and the tropics, ranging from nearly 23.5 degrees to 66.5 degrees latitude, north and south of the equator. The areas which are very far from the equator may have snow during the winter season. The rains fall throughout the year closer to the equator. Yearly, the average temperatures range from 41 to 68 degrees Fahrenheit. Inland deserts are also included in temperate zone includes, such as the Gobi Desert in Central Asia and the Great Sandy Desert in Australia. (Edwards, et.al; (2001)

2.3 Tropical Zones

o Tropical zones, in the matter of fact, tend to cover the area ranging from the Tropic of Capricorn, situated at 23.5 degrees south latitude, up to the Tropic of Cancer, situated at 23.5 degrees north latitude. The Tropical zones include high temperatures as well as humidity levels. Throughout the year, the temperature degree remains above 64 Fahrenheit. Throughout the day, temperature degree sometimes exceeds 95 Fahrenheit. It is known that the tropical climates have sub-tropical zones including rainforests, semi-arid zones and savannas. These climates have high levels of humidity as a result of the air convection and vertical uplift.

Climate Changes

In the matter of fact, the climate changes all over the world. Actually, we have new changes in the climate throughout the world. No one, all over the world, can deny this fact. Those changes may have a great effect on life throughout the world in general and on the Arabic area in particular. In fact, the problem of climate change has a relationship with the problems of the water or rivers resources and human health; therefore, these changes may have a negative effect on the economy of various countries throughout the world. Rising of temperature may lead to the destruction of many beaches; the matter may result in causing harm to the animals in the oceans.

World Climate Type

The Köppen Climate Classification System is the system which is used throughout the world to classify the various types of climates in the world. The categories of this system are based on the annual and monthly averages of temperature as well as precipitation. The Köppen system has identintified five major types of climate , each one of these types is distinguished by a capital letter.

A – Tropical Moist Climates: it a known fact that this type of climate has average temperatures exceeding 18° Celsius all months.

B – Dry Climates: it is well known that this type of climate has deficient precipitation nearly throughout the year.

C – Moist Mid-latitude Climates: this type of has Mild Winters.

D – Moist Mid-Latitude Climates: this type of climate has Cold Winters.

E – Polar Climates: this kind of climate has extremely cold winters and summers

(Ruddiman, et.al; (2005)

There are also 8 biomes. It is known that they represent the tropical forest, dessert, temperate grassland, savannah, temperate forest, coniferous (pine) forest, chaparral and tundra. There are some people who may count High Mountain and arctic as two extra biomes, however they they’re not really biomes because they don’t have almost n plant life,

How the oceans influence the climate

It is a well known fact that the oceans have a great influence on the climate over long as well as short time-scales. On the longest time-scale of geologic time, the location and shape of the continents leads to specify the oceans’ circulation patterns. As continental plates drift at nearly 5 cm per year and mountain ranges rise by nearly 1 mm, it takes usually many years for new land formations in order to change the oceans. In the matter of fact, the patterns of ocean circulation can also change rapidly, leading to climate fluctuations and variations on a human time-scale. Records of regional, in particular, and global, in general, climate indicates periods continuing from years to centuries during which the climate was systematically different from earlier and later periods. Most of the scientists believe that this behavior has a relationship with the changes in the way that the oceans store and transport heat, though the precise causes of these changes are not always clear. (D. Qin, et.al; 2007)

The scientists assured that there is a strong link between the oceans and the atmosphere indicating that they together form the most dynamic component of the climate system.

The temperature and circulation patterns of the atmosphere-ocean system can be altered as a result of changes in external factors such the distribution of various plant species, the sun’s energy or the emission of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Atmosphere and oceans can also generate internal fluctuations because they are turbulent. The currents and temperature of the underlying ocean can also be directly influenced by the short-term changes and fluctuations in wind or temperature (namely, weather), meanwhile oceanic fluctuations can diminish, magnify, or modify the atmospheric fluctuations.

The scientists assured that the oceans play an important role in storing carbon and heat. The change in temperature becomes greater and faster over the land than the over the oceans especially when the earth’s surface cools or is heated by the sun. The ocean spread the effects of the temperature change for great distances through vertical mixing and convective movements because it is a fluid. On the contrary, the solid land cannot, therefore the sun’s heat penetrates only the thin, upper crust. The ocean’s ability to absorb more heat resulted in that when an area of ocean becomes cooler or warmer than usual, it takes much longer for that area to revert to “normal” than it would for a land area. This clarifies the reason that makes “maritime” climates tend to be less extreme than “continental” ones, with smaller day-night and winter-summer differences.

The powerful currents lead to moving the ocean’s waters constantly. The currents of the surface are largely wind-driven, though the presence of continents, the rotation of the earth, as well as the oceans’ internal dynamics have a great influence. The density differences produced by cooling and heating as well as by and evaporation and precipitation lead to driving the deep-ocean flow. The behavior of the atmosphere actually has great effects on these density differences. Clouds, for example, can lead to cooling the sea by preventing the warming rays coming from the sun or reducing the surface salinity by bringing rain. The wind can also have a great influence on the evaporation rates by blowing more weakly or more strongly.

By transporting heat, these currents have a great influence on the climate. The horizontal currents, especially the currents moving north or south, can carry cooled or warmed or water as far as many thousand kilometers. After that, the displaced water can cool or warm the air as well as the land over which this air passes. Water from the tropical and subtropical Atlantic, for example, moves north through the Atlantic in a current with is well known as the “Gulf Stream”. There it passes the shores of Western Europe, resulting in producing the climate which is mild for that latitude.

Scientists asserted that the currents which are involved in “deep-water formation” are very important for climate. Surface cooling, in winter, makes water become denser. (As the fresh-water which is cooled begins to expand at temperatures less than 4 C, salt-water continues to compress all the way down to its freezing point of -2 C.) .In the areas where the evaporation becomes more than precipitation, the resulting rise in salinity leads increasing density. “Convective overturning” occurs as well as the dense surface water mixes downwards especially when the surface water becomes denser than the underlying water. In some places this downward mixing can extend all the way to the bottom, even in deep oceans. Therefore, the dense, deep water which is formed spreads throughout the ocean. When the downward mixing occurs at high latitudes, as a result, it leads to creating a circulation pattern where the warm water from tropical and subtropical regions moves pole ward, surrenders heat to the atmosphere, sinks, cools and flows back towards the equator. This in turn resulted in transporting the heat pole ward.

Now it becomes clear that a small change in just one aspect of the ocean’s behavior can result in producing major climate variations over very bi areas of the earth. The cold-water formation areas represent good example of this possibly wide-spread phenomenon. Although the scientists asserted that there is an urgent need for conducting more researches, the oceanographers agreed that, as for the whole area north of 30 N latitude, the ocean’s pole ward transport of heat is equivalent to nearly 15 watts per square meter of the earth’s surface (W/m2). This actually can be compared with about 200 W/m2 from direct sunshine, and nearly 6 W/m2 for what climate change models predict will happen if the atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide doubles. Ocean core records, recent observations, and many results denoted that North Atlantic deep-water formation as well as its ocean heat flow changes and fluctuate substantially over time-scales ranging from years up to millennia.

Effect of climate change on oceans

In the matter of fact, the climate change and variation may have a great effect on the oceans throughout the world. Actually, from the south Arctic with its diminishing sea ice to the new low-lying beach areas in England to the Great Barrier Reef, the temperature of the planet raised more than the last century. The sea level is continuously rising. The CO2 gas levels are constantly increasing. The planets and animals are appearing in some areas and disappearing from others. As for the climate variation and change, the oceans represent a wonderful source of indicators. The climate change, in general, has a great effect on these oceans are affected. The Climate change has also a great effect on the ocean animals such as the sea turtles, polar bears, penguins, right whales, lobsters, seals, and cod. The beach sea fish are also involved; therefore it is too important to work on ways that may lead to reducing the negative impacts that the climate has by supporting the research, creating pristine marine protected sanctuaries and promoting sustainable seafood. (Hansen, et.al: (2000).

Conclusion

Finally, we can safely say that climate play an important role in our world. In this study, we have tried to cover some of the main sides of the climate in the world. First, we touched upon one of the main sides of the climate in the world, namely, the factors that have a great effect on the climate explaining how these factors affect the climate greatly. Then we moved to another important point, that is, the earth’s major climate zone explaining how the scientists have divided the earth into three major regions: polar, temperature and tropical zone. We didn’t stop at this point, but we continue to shed the light on the world climate type, the oceans’ influence on the climate and the effect of climate change on oceans to end our study with the effect of the climate change on the Indian Ocean.


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