Part II Climates:

Climate is the average of weather over a twenty to thirty year period,

-1 .Temperature: by month/year and threshold temperature

-2.Rainfall: by month/year and threshold amounts

-3 .Soil-environment/temperature/moisture

-4.Vegitation: xerophyte (cactus)

-5.Economic component: mining farming

Block soil is rich, warms up and cools down fast

In the South we have a red soil. Rain is mixing with Iron to create rust FE203.

Yellow color means baked soil (Yellow River/Yellow Sea)

Climate Classification Coded within Last 100 years developed by Vladimir Koppen

A Temperature Based Tropical Climates

Average temperature is above 64° F (18° C). Notice that tropical climates have no third

letter: there is little or no seasonally in temperature, so no third letter is needed. The

seasonality in precipitation is taken care of by the second letter.


Tropical Rainforest. Second letter f, no dry season, wet all year. with at least 2.4" (6

cm) of rainfall each and every month Selva vegetation covers the area.


Monsoon. Second letter m, seasonally high rainfall, short but distinct dry season with

less than 2.4" (6 cm) of rainfall in the driest month. Selva is found here also.


Savanna. Second letter w, dry season in winter with at least one month less than 2.4" (6

cm) of rainfall. This can be of a parkland with isolated trees or primarily grassland.

Dry Climates

B Precipitation Based Dry Climates

Evapotranspiration (evaporation plus transpiration from plants) equals or exceeds

precipitation. Because of this, there is no surplus water in the B climate areas, and no

permanent streams can form there. Streams crossing B climate areas are usually "exotic"

meaning that they originate in more humid areas. An example of this would be the Nile.

The B climate is by far the largest climate area. 7 or more of the precipitation falls in

the summer months; winter precipitation concentration (dry summer) 70 or more of

precipitation falls during the 6 winter months; neither summer nor winter precipitation

concentration: fits neither of the above conditions, more or less even precipitation. It is

important to note that most deserts are not sandy. They may have sandy areas in some


Low latitude (hot) desert. Second letter W, arid; third letter h, hot. Potential

Evapotranspiration is more than twice available precipitation. Mean annual temperature

is over 64° F (18° C).Life is quite sparse and adapted to low rain fall Egypt


Mid latitude (cool or cold) desert. Second letter W, arid; third letter k, cold (from

German Kalt). Potential Evapotranspiration is more than twice available precipitation.

Mean annual temperature is less than 64° F (18° C).Afghanistan


Low latitude (hot) steppe. Second letter S, semi arid; third letter h, hot. Potential

evapotranspiration is up to twice available precipitation. Mean annual temperature is over

64° F (18° C). This usually has a short grass and is not suitable for cattle grazing but can

do sheep or goats.


Mid latitude (cool or cold) steppe. Second letter S, semi arid; third letter k, cold (from

German Kalt). Potential evapotranspiration is up to twice available precipitation. Mean

annual temperature is less than 64° F (18° C).This can be an area of dry cereal farming or cattle grazing.

Question? Why do we find this environment in many western movies?

C Temperature Based Humid Mesothermal

The coldest month is between 27° F and 64° F (-3° C to 18° C). At least one month

averages above 50" F (10° C), so there are definite summer and winter seasons, although

mild. If snow falls, it does not linger long. Those with a as third letter are hot-summer,

with the warmest month over 72° F (22°C); those with b as third letter are warm summer,

with warmest month below 72° F (22° C); those with c as third letter are cool, short

summer, with less than 4 months over 50° F (10° C).These climates are usually located

proximal to coasts and may have great amounts of rainfall similar to monsoon locations.


Humid subtropical. Second letter f, no dry season. Mild, no dry season. Precipitation of

the driest month averages more than 1.2" (3 cm). It is possible to have snow and frost in

these locations but the growing season is usually long.

Cfb, Cfc

Marine west coast. Second letter f, no dry season. Same as above, but cooler due to

position on continents with respect to prevailing westerlies. You may find fruit trees,

viticulture and bocage or maqui type of vegetation here.

Cwa, Cwb

Subtropical monsoon. Second letter w, dry winter season. Dry winter (w designation)

with a wet season in the summer. 70 or more of the precipitation comes during the 6

summer months. In the US, this is the location of the redwood forests.

Csa, Csb

Mediterranean. Second letter s, dry summer season. Dry summer (s designation) with

driest summer month less than 1.2" (3 cm). 70 or more of the total precipitation comes

during the 6 winter months. Citrus trees and truck crops with irrigation are common in

these environments. You can see this type of climate in the Crimea.

D Temperature Based Humid Microthermal

Snow climate. The coldest month averages below 27° F (-3° C). The warmest month

averages above 50° F (10° C). Snow usually falls and stays for at least part of the year.

Third letter designations a, b, and c are the same as for C climates. D climates with a

third letter designation of d are very-cold winter climates, with the coldest month below -

36° F (-38° C).These climates are found at high latitudes in the northern hemisphere or in

interior continental locations.

Question? Why are these climates not found in the southern hemisphere?

Dfa, Dfb, Dfc, Dfd

Snow climate with wet winter, no dry season, Third letter designations: a is hot

summer, b is warm summer, c is cool summer, d is cold winter (subarctic).

Dwa Dwb Dwc Dwd

Snow climate with dry winter. Third letter designations: a is hot summer, b is warm

summer, c is cool summer, d is cold winter (subarctic).

Note. Many of the D climates resemble deserts but with low temperature comes short

growing seasons and a minimal need of water.

E Temperature Based Polar

Average temperature of the warmest month is below 50° F (10° C). Only two letters are

needed because these climates have no summer. They are routinely cold and usually the

precipitation comes in the form of snow. Vegetation is hardy and stunted and animals are adapted to the cold and snow .


TC,TT,TF and Paramos

Elevation Based Mountain Climates

This designation is for those areas in which climatic conditions change so quickly over a

short horizontal distance due to elevation changes. Mountain climates are variable over a

short distance, but they must fit into the surrounding general climate. In general,

mountain climates are colder and wetter with increased altitude, although there are some

exceptions to the wetter generality. (Sometimes shown as "G" climates on some maps.)

These have some of the oldest cultures associated with them and have specialized crops

and farming techniques also

The Changing Climate extra reading notes

-Average Atmospheric Values

-Variability of elements

-occurrence of extreme events

Exchange of energy and moisture within Atmosphere



-Litho sphere

-cryo sphere

Climate has varied extensively through time

Human Activities effect environment


Tundra. The warmest average month is above 32° F (0° C) but less than 50° F (10° C).

Very short growing season. Permafrost is common to this environment.


Ice cap. Permanent snow and ice, average temperature of all months is below 32° F (0°

C). There is no growing season. Glacier may migrate during the summer months in both

north and south hemispheric locations.


Island locations at high latitude. Very few locations. Cold and windy suitable for sheep.

Evidence used to detect change

-Sea floor sediment

-Oxygen Isotope analysis

-glacial Ice

-old Soils

-tree rings


Sea floor sediment contains remains of organisms that once lived at the surface.

-Surface and organisms changed and adapted with climate

-JOIDES Resolution collects cores from sea floor

Oxygen Isotope analysis

-precise measurement of ratio between common Oxygenl6 and heavier


Oxygen 18

-016 evaporates more readily from Oceans leaving greater amounts of) 18 in


Study of Buried soils Paleosols

Yearly growth of tree rings

Pollen in Sediment

Natural Mechanisms of Climate Change

1.Plate Tectonics: continental plates shining

2.Volcanic Activity: reducing solar radiation, changing landscape

3.Solar Variability: variations in output, sunspot surplus can cause global temperature to


4.Variations in Earth's orbit: Milonkovitch cycle:axial tilt change(obliquity),

wobble(precession) shape oforbit(eccentricity)

Human Impact on global Climate

-use of fire


-modifying surface albedo

-Addition of C02 in the atmosphere

-Addition of trace gasses


-Nitrous Oxide


-These all lead to global warming trends

-Sea level rise

-Melting of glaciers

-increase in ocean volume due to temperature expansion of water


-shoreline erosion

Climate of Urban areas/Cities different from surrounding or non urban areas





Urban Heat Island

-Highest temperatures are seen where building density is highest, and industry is


end of reading notes

Eastern Massachusetts is a Cfa climate

Western Ma is like a D climate

Characteristics of Climate Types


every month has temp over 64 degrees F


Tropical evergreen dense hardwoods

Vines connecting to ground liana

Bottom story is fern

bananas, cacao, nuts, fruits rubber


Soil is Tierra (red)


Steppes, Desert

Mining, raw materials

indigenous peoples, nomad

Camels, sheep, goat

short grasses


Influenced by the sea

one or months above 50 degrees F

Deciduous leaf trees

Pedocal Soil, Podzol soil

Fruit trees ex.) pecan, apples, walnuts, peaches


One or month above 50 degrees F and one or month below 32 degrees F

Evergreen and Taiga trees

Coniferous forest

paper pulp


Average Temp of warmest month is less than 50 degrees F

Ice cap. Frozen tundra, permafrost.


Paramous is highest elevation: devoid of vegetation

Tierra Fria

Tierra Templada

Tierra Caliente Lowest elevation