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1- Seasons and Weather

I) Seasons
A) Earth’s tilt
a) earth is tilted at 23.5 degrees in relation to the sun
(i) this results in some areas getting more direct sun than others at certain times of
the year
b) Tropic of Cancer and Capricorn
(i) these mark the points farthest north and south that the sun hits directly
1 on either side of the equator at 23.5 degrees N and S
II) Weather
A) Difference between weather and climate
a) weather is the condition of the atmosphere in a location at a particular time
b) climate is the pattern of weather in a location over a long period of time
B) Causes
a) daily weather is complex
(i) the sun, for instance, puts out more radiation some days than others
(ii) also
1 water vapor, whether humidity or precipitation
2 cloud cover
3 landforms or bodies of water
4 elevation
5 air movement (wind)
C) Precipitation
a) easily the most recognizable form of weather
b) temperature determines type
(i) warm weather = rain; cold = snow/hail
c) rain shadow effect
(i) when mountains stop clouds from continuing, rain ends up only on one side
1 creates many deserts on one side of the mountains, but lush green lands on the
III) Weather Extremes
A) Hurricanes
a) large scale storms that form over warm tropical waters
(i) aka typhoons or cyclones in Asia
b) winds can hit up to 200 mph
c) storm can cover up to 500 miles wide
B) Tornadoes
a) form quickly, and while we know why, we can’t yet predict them
b) small tunnels of wind that reach up to 300 mph
c) typically only last a few minutes and travel a mile or less
C) Blizzards
a) heavy snowstorms with 35 mph wind
b) endanger livestock and anyone caught in it
c) easy to predict, so typically less deadly than tornadoes
D) Droughts
a) long period of time without sufficient rainfall
(i) worst for US was in 1930s in the Great Plains, which were also followed by dust
storms that wiped away the dry soil
(ii) Texas only recently (2014) was considered out of a drought that stretched back to

pg. 53 (1, 3ab) Honors and Regular

2- Climate

I) Factors Affecting Climate

A) Wind Currents
a) wind
(i) as the air is heated, the molecules move faster, decreasing pressure
(ii) cooler air from higher pressure zones moves into the low pressure zones
b) global winds
(i) these can be predicted and we can see consistent wind patterns
1 due to global rotation at a tilt, wind is turned at an angle instead of going
 this bend is called the Coriolis effect
(ii) maps on pgs. 54-55 show global winds and currents
B) Ocean Currents
a) affect winds due to the movement of warm or cold waters
b) also affects the amount of precipitation an area gets
(i) Britain gets lots of rain due to the warm current hitting cold waters
(ii) the Atacama and Namib deserts were partly formed because cold ocean currents
reduced the precipitation in the area
C) Zones of Latitude
a) 3 zones
(i) low (tropical) from Tropic of Cancer to Capricorn
1 hot year round, many parts get lots of rain (most rain forests are here)
(ii) middle (temperate) from Tropics to Polar zones
1 vary greatly from relatively hot to relatively cold (highest population)
(iii) high (polar) are north and south of polar zones (66.5 degrees N and S)
1 remain very cold year round, gets 6 months of light and 6 of dark
D) Elevation
a) distance above sea level determines climate
(i) temperature drops about 3.5 degrees F for every 1,000 feet
E) Topography
a) landforms, especially mountains, affect climate
(i) this is seen easily by rain shadow effect
II) Changes in Climate
A) El Nino
a) every two to seven years winds change direction in the central Pacific
(i) this changes ocean temperatures and causes precipitation to hit different areas
(ii) can cause droughts in areas used to getting that precipitation
B) Global Climate Change
a) evidence gathered over the past 100+ years shows changing patterns
(i) these are especially seen in record breaking droughts, storms, floods, and
(ii) since the late 1800s (when records began), temperatures over the globe have risen
one degree F
1 this doesn’t sound like much, but one degree has wide ranging effects on
ecosystems around the world
(iii) critics argue this warming occurs naturally and that human activity doesn’t
contribute to it
1 this argument is very new- as little as 10 years ago critics said it was entirely a
hoax and temperatures could not be proven to be changing
(iv) effects
1 we have begun to see giant slabs of ice break from the poles, especially
 these slabs could affect currents, which in turn could affect wind patterns
and climates in far reaching areas
 this has also raised ocean levels, and it is predicted that half of Florida will
be underwater within the next 100 years
b) greenhouse effect
(i) most climate scientists say that the burning of fossil fuels has put so much CO2 in
the atmosphere that it creates a layer that traps heat on the planet
c) industrialization
(i) climate change scientists argue that industrialization is what has caused the issues
1 as more countries industrialize, the effect will increase
(ii) other countries have also refused to slow production growth despite the pollution
they are putting in the air
1 China only last year agreed to put limits on production, as their air quality is
so bad that a single day spent in Beijing is considered equal to smoking 11

pg. 58 (1, 3ab) R (1, 3) H

3- World Climate Regions

I) Defining a Climate Region

A) two most important elements in classification are temperature and precipitation
a) latitude, topography, and elevation will also impact climate region
B) most common pattern of climate region involves latitude
a) 5 general zones
(i) tropical (low), dry, mid-latitude, high latitude, and highland
1 dry and highland occur all over
b) variations within the zones divide into smaller zones
II) Types of Climates (map pg. 60-61)
A) Tropical Wet
a) always hot, nearly daily rainfall (about 80 inches a year)
b) found in Central and South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia
B) Tropical Wet and Dry
a) similar to Tropical Wet, but has a rainy season and dry season
b) less overall rainfall than Tropical Wet
c) generally found near Tropical Wet in Central and South America, Africa, and parts of
C) Semiarid
a) hot summers, mild to cold winters
b) little precipitation (about 16 inches a year)
c) generally located near deserts
D) Desert
a) can be hot or cold; are determined mostly by rainfall (less than 10 inches a year)
b) wild temperature variations
(i) can be blistering hot in the day, but below freezing at night
E) Mediterranean
a) named for shared climate around Mediterranean Sea
(i) also exists in the US and Australia
b) dry and hot summers, cool and rainy winters
F) Marine West Coast
a) found near oceans
b) generally cloudy, foggy, and damp
c) moderate temperatures, regular precipitation
G) Humid Subtropical
a) long, hot, and humid summers
(i) East Texas is part of this group
b) winters depend on latitude, and range from mild to cool
H) Humid Continental
a) high variety of temperature and precipitation
b) experience all 4 seasons, but the length and severity is determined by latitude
(i) generally have hot and humid summers and very cold winters
(ii) areas are subject to super storm systems and tornadoes
I) Subarctic
a) short and cool summers, very cold winters
(i) found mainly in Russia and Canada
(ii) freezing or below freezing 5-8 months a year
J) Tundra
a) less than 15 inches of precipitation, found in Arctic Circle
b) land is constantly frozen
c) summer may get as warm as 40 degrees
K) Ice Cap
a) snow, ice, always frozen
b) region too cold to hold many clouds
(i) coldest temp ever recorded was -128.6 F
c) technically a desert based solely on precipitation (less than 10 inches)
L) Highlands
a) found around mountains, and the temperature and precipitation varies based on angle
of the slope, which side of the mountain you’re on, and elevation

pg. 63 (1-2) R (1-3) H

pg. 67 (1, 3b) R (1, 3) H