Defining Climate


  • 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
  • Climate describes the variations of temperature, precipitation, and other weather variables


  • Standard values for a location
  • Data averaged on a monthly basis of at least 30 years
  • Daily data including temperature and the amounts of rainfall

Limitations of normals

  • Normals offer valuable information, they must be used with caution
  • Normals are not intended to describe usual weather conditions; they average over a long period of time.

Causes of Climate

  • Differences in latitude, topography, closeness of lakes and oceans, availability of moisture, global wind patterns, ocean currents, and air masses are different causes of climate.


  • Tropical areas recieve the most sun radiation, because the sun's rays are perpendicular to Earth's surface.