How Many Types of Climate are There?

There are many different types of climate on earth. Climate, by the way, is the combination of temperature, moisture, wind, and sunshine at a place over a period of many years. Climates of the world can be classified according to their latitudes and the plants that grow there. Different kinds of plants need different amounts of moisture and heat to grow. So the vegetation of a place tells us about temperature and rainfall conditions over a long period of time.

Basically, there are five major classifications of climates, with many subdivisions in each class. There are tropical climates, subtropical climates, mid-latitude climates, high-latitude climates, and high-altitude climates.

Tropical climates are found in regions between 350 degrees north and 350 degrees south latitude. In the tropical rain forests, conditions are warm and rainy all year long, and there is a thick cover of trees. In this tropical area there are also tropical wet-and-dry climates; tropical savannas, where the climate is too dry for forests; tropical steppes; and the tropical desert climate.

Subtropical climates prevail in 30 degrees and 40 degrees north and south latitudes. In these areas there is a Mediterranean climate of hot, dry summers and mild, wet winters and a humid subtropical climate of hot summers and mild winters, with enough rainfall in all seasons to sustain forests.

Mild-latitude climates occur between 40 degrees and 60 degrees north and south latitudes. Included in this area are a marine west coast climate; cool steppe or cool desert climates; and humid continental climates-each with different vegetation and rainfall patterns.

High-latitude climates are characteristic of from 60 degrees north and south latitudes to the poles. Here temperatures are very cold in winter and cool in summer. Within this area is a taiga climate; a tundra climate, where only grasses, mosses and lichens can grow; and the polar climate, where great ice caps exist.

High-altitude climates, or highland climates are found on the high mountains of the world, even at the equator.

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