Chapter 7 Global Climates This chapter examines the major influences on atmospheric temperature and precipitation characteristics to explain the different global climates. • The climateof an area based on the average weather conditions over an extended period of time as revealed by average measurements of temperature and precipitation. • Important climateprinciples: • Low latitude locations have warmer temperatures and smaller annual temperature ranges than high latitude locations. • Continental locations tend to have much larger annual temperature ranges than coastal locations at the same latitude. • Colder locations tend to have less precipitation than warm locations, because warm air can hold more moisture than cold air. •The basic control on temperatureis latitude, while the effect of a continental or maritime location is an important secondary control.• Precipitationgeneralizations: • Atmospheric circulation and the pressure systems it generates has a strong influence on global precipitation patterns. • The equatorial region experiences high convectionalprecipitationbecause of excess heating. These areas of high precipitation extend north and south along the east sides of the continents because the trade winds bring moisture onto the land. • The subtropical high-pressure cells, characterized by dry, subsiding air, produce arid and semiarid regions. • Mountain ranges produce wet areas where air masses are forced to rise over the mountains creating an orographiceffect. • Coastal mountains also act as barriers to moisture producing a rainshadoweffect on the lee side of the mountains. • Continental interiors tend to be dry because they are far away from the source areasof moist air masses. • Three types of annual precipitation patternsare: • Seasonally uniform distributed precipitation • Precipitation maximum during the warmest period of the year (high sun season) • Precipitation maximum during the coolest period of the year (low sun season)
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