Factors affecting Weather and Climate

Following factors affecting Weather and Climate :-

Latitude – Based on latitude, the climate has been classified as:

(i) Tropical,

(ii) Subtropical,

(iii) Temperate and

(iv) Polar.

The tropical climate is characterized by high temperature throughout the year. Subtropical is also characterized by high temperature alternating with low temperature in winter.
The temperate climate has low temperature throughout the year. The polar climate is noted for its very low temperature throughout the year.

Altitude (Elevation) – The height from the mean sea level creates variation in climate. Even in the tropical regions, the high mountains have temperate climate. The temperature decreases by 1.8oC for every 300 m from the sea level. Generally, there is a decrease in pressure and increase in precipitation and wind velocity. The above factors alter the kind of vegetation, soil types and the crop production.

Precipitation – The quantity and distribution of rainfall decides the nature of vegetation and the nature of the cultivated crops.

Soil Type: Soil is a product of climatic action on rocks as modified by landscape and vegetation over a long period of time. The colour of the soil surface affects the absorption, storage and re-radiation of heat. White colour reflects while the black absorbs more radiation. Due to differential absorption of heat energy, variations in temperature are created at different places. In black soil areas, the climate is hot; while in red soil areas, it is comparatively cooler due to lesser heat absorption.

Nearness to large water bodies (Nearness to sea) – The presence of large water bodies like lakes and sea affects the climate of the surrounding areas. e.g., Islands and coastal areas. The movement of air from earth surface and from water bodies to earth modifies the climate. The extreme variation in temperature during summer and winter is minimized in coastal areas and Islands.
Topography (relief) – The surface of landscape (leveled or uneven surface areas) produces marked changes in the climate. This involves the altitude of the place, steepness of the slope and exposure of the slope to light and wind.

Vegetation – Kind of vegetation characterizes the nature of climate. Thick vegetation is found in tropical regions where temperature and precipitations are high. General types of vegetations present in a region indicate the nature of climate of that region.

Other factors that affect the weather and climate are
• Semi permanent high and low pressure systems.
• Winds and air masses.
• Atmospheric disturbances or storms
• Ocean currents and mountain barriers.

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