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Intro to Physical Geography > Climates > Flashcards

Flashcards in Climates Deck (29):

What is a climate? What are the two basic elements?

Average weather in a place - temperature and precipitation (2 basic elements)


What are the 7 Major controls of climate?

1. Latitude - temperature especially
2. Altitude (Elevation) - temperature especially
3. Distribution of Land/ Water - moderating oceans and "continentality"
4. Topography - mountains, valleys, rain shadow
5. Ocean Currents - cold and warm currents
6. Distribution of High (dry) and Low (wet) Pressure Cells
7. Air Masses/ Winds


What was the first global climate map?

The Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification System (1928)


What is the Koppen-Geiger Climate Classification System? What are its three main inputs?

Mathematical Calculations. Its main inputs are:
1. average monthly temperature
2. average precipitation
3. annual rainfall
and other factors to calculate climate classes


What are the major Koppen Classes?

Tropical climates, dry arid/ semiarid climates, mesothermal climates, microthermal climates, polar climates, highland climates


Where are the major Koppen Classes?

Look at map in powerpoint!


What are the 3 limitations of the Koppen system?

1. Good at global or continental scale, but not detailed at local scale. (Not all places in a climate class have exact same climate, e.g. central Florida and Virginia)
2. Boundaries are somewhat artificial (Sharp on map, in reality are gradual, continuous)
3. Does not consider: wind, temperature extremes, precipitation intensity, quantity of sunshine or cloud cover


What are the 11 climate types and what are the first letters for each in the Koppen symbol?

1. Tropical Rainforest (A)
2. Tropical Monsoon (A)
3. Tropical Wet/Dry (A)
4. Desert (B)
5. Steppe (B)
6. Humid Subtropical (C)
7. Marine West Coast (C)
8. Mediterranean (C)
9. Humid Continental and Subartic (D)
10. Polar (E)
11. Highland (H)


How many climates are tropical? What are they?

3 - Tropical Rainforest, Tropical Monsoon, Tropical Wet/Dry


How many climates are arid and semiarid? What are they?

2 - Desert, Steppe


How many climates are mesothermal (mid-latitude severe)? What are they?

3 - Humid Subtropical, Marine West Coast, Mediterranean


How many climates are microthermal (mid-latitude severe)? What are they?

1 - Humid Continental and subarctic


What is a biome?

A global unit of study of biota (similar to regions). Climatically and geographically defined area of similar ecosystems (similarly adapted plants and animals) discernible at the global scale


What are biomes based on?

Biomes are based on climax vegetation


What is climax vegetation?

It is mature vegetation reached under prevailing climate after long time in the absence of human interference (not realistic in many places)


How to processes governing plants and animal distribution operate?

They operate on local scales, such as a community


What is a community?

A collection of organisms that live together on relatively uniform area of land


What is an ecosystem?

When communities interact with non-living things.


What do biomes represent?

Potential vegetation (climatically determined) in a place, but many have been drastically altered by human activities


Where are the A (tropical climates found)?

The tropical latitudes (0°-25°)


How would you describe tropical weather?

Boring. Little day to day change, and almost no frontal activity.


In the tropics, what does seasonality apply to?

Seasonality in the tropics mainly applies to precipitation rather than temperature! Wet and dry seasons cycle


What is the general rule for dry and wet seasons?

The farther form the equator in the tropics, the longer and more distinct the dry season


What are the 3 wind and pressure belts that influence tropical weather?

Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ), Trade winds, and Subtropical Highs (STH)


When your in higher tropical latitudes what wind has the most influence?

Subtropical Highs (STH) (dry)


When your in lower tropical latitudes what wind has the most influence?

Intertropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ) (rainy)


In between

Trade winds


What happens when mountains are in the tropics?

Rainforest and arid land is very close together due to the rainshadow effect


What are 3 characteristics of all tropics?

1. Consistent daylength, high insolation
2. average monthly temperature never <64° F
3. 3 climatic divisions based on seasonality of precipitation