Defining Climate

Earth Science Sarah Cordle

Annual Averages and Variations

Climatology is the study of Earth's climate and the factors that cause past, present, and future climatic changes.

Climate describes the long-term weather patterns of an area.


Normals are measured monthly or annual for at least 30 years to determine the standard for a location.

Normal are not meant to determine the usual weather, just the average for the location.

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These classify the normal weather for a area

Causes of Climate


Different parts of the Earth receive different amounts of solar radiation.

tropics- 23.5 S and 23.5 N of the equator.

Temperate Zones- lie between 23.5 and 23.5 north and south of the equator.

Polar zones- 66.5 north and south of the equator

Topographic Effect

Water heats up and cools down more slowly than land.

Therefore large bodies of water affect the climates of coastal areas.

Air rises up one side of the mountain as a result of orographic lifting.