How do these factors influence the climate pattern?
Air Pressure, Ocean Currents, Altitude, Prevailing Winds, Continentality, Latitude
I understand what each mean, but I don't understand how they affect the climate- thanks for your help!
For GCSE Geography
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I will address each of these areas more in identification mode than in an essay format.
Latitude: Latitude primarily influences climate by determining both yearly and seasonal temperatures. An area near the equator will have direct sun throughout the year and result in a constantly hot climate, while an area at the polls will have cold temperatures with a multitude of variances in-between.
Air Pressure: Air pressure isn't usually a constant; therefore it usually impacts weather not climate. With that being said there are several key areas of the globe that have consistent highs and lows that affect the weather and wind patterns, thus having a key impact on the climate.
Ocean Currents: Ocean currents have an incredible impact on global climate regions. Ocean currents are circular and consistently bring warm water from the equator and cool water from places distant from the equator. Warm water from the Gulf Stream Current ensures that Great Britain has a much warmer, habitable climate than it should for its location in terms of latitude.
Prevailing Winds: Prevailing winds bring warm/ cool air and moisture (or lack thereof) to regions around the globe affecting weather, temperatures, and precipitation. The monsoons of India would be a great example of this.
Altitude: Altitude pays several roles in affecting climate. Obviously, a higher elevation area is going to have a colder climate in most places. Additionally, tall mountains block moisture laden winds from reaching certain areas by a phenomenon known as the rain shadow effect. As moist water carried by winds reaches tall mountains the air is forced upwards and condenses to form rain. This causes one side of a mountain to get generous amounts of rain and the other to be very dry. This explains why the Atacama Desert in Chile (just west of the Andes Mountains) gets very little rain while the eastern side is a rain forest. Tall mountains also block cold or hot air from reaching a region, thus altering the predicted climate for a region.
Continentality: Continentality affects climate by mitigating the moderating effects of the ocean. Areas far from oceans tend to have more extreme climates due to their distance from the ocean.
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