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Part VIII : Introduction to the Earth

The Earth

Part IX : Climates and Biomes Index

Weather and Climate : Questions

Biomes
The Environment : The Atmosphere
The Greenhouse Effect
Is there life on Mars?
Hydrosphere, Lithosphere and Biosphere

Topic Chapters Index

 

View over Paris © John Hembury

View over Paris

 

Type of clothing needed when visiting Antarctica © Shirley Burchill

Type of clothing needed when visiting Antarctica

 

CLIMATES AND BIOMES

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Weather and Climate

Earth has regions where the temperature and humidity are very different. Tunis, the capital of Tunisia, is two hours to the south of Paris and Oslo, the capital of Norway, is two hours to the north. Chances are good that the weather forecasts in these places will be very different from each other. Weather usually changes from day to day, which is one of the reasons people talk about it on the radio and on television daily. The term "weather" is used to describe short-term changes in atmospheric conditions.

The term that scientists use to explain the long-term patterns of temperature, humidity and amount of sunshine is climate.

 

Average Temperatures

Oslo -5°C in the winter, 17°C in the summer.
Paris -4°C in the winter and 19°C in the summer
Tunis 11°C in the winter, 26°C in the summer.

 

Often the terms oceanic climate or continental climate are used because the conditions of temperature and humidity are very different depending on whether or not the region is near the ocean. In general, regions nearer the oceans are cooler and more humid than the regions further from the coastline.

 

Equatorial climate - near the equator, it is almost always sunny and warm; there are practically no seasons.
Tropical climate - warm temperature, only two seasons; a dry season an a wet season.
Arid climate - very low humidity. In arid climates, it rains (or snows) only a few times a year.
Temperate climate - cool in the winter, warm in the summer, four distinct seasons, adequate humidity throughout the year.
Mediterranean climate - hot and dry in the summer, cool in the winter, four distinct seasons, wet in autumn.
Cold climate - very cold in the winter, cool in the summer.
Polar climate - very cold in the winter, cold in the summer.
Mountainous climate - temperatures change dramatically, generally cooler than the climate the mountain is situated in geographically. For example, the only place where snow can be found in France in July and August is high up in the mountains either in the Alps or in the Pyrenees.

 

 

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