Climatology also known as climate science, is the scientific study of the Earth’s climate, which is typically defined as weather conditions averaged over at least 30 years. This modern field of study is classified as an atmospheric sciences branch and a subfield of physical geography, which is classified as an Earth science.
Factors Affecting Climate
Places at lower latitudes are warmer than places located at higher latitudes. The sun’s rays fall vertically on the equator and oblique on the temperate and polar regions.
The earth’s atmosphere gets heat mainly from terrestrial radiation. The air near the surface gets more heat than the upper part of the atmosphere. For a vertical rise of 165 meters, there is an average decrease in temperature at the rate of 1°C. Thus the temperature decreases with an increase in height.
- Distance from the Sea
Water has high specific heat and takes longer to get heated and cool. Due to the presence of the sea, a moderating effect can be felt in the coastal areas. This reduces the daily range of temperature and increases humidity.
- Nature of the Prevailing Winds
On-shore winds coming from the sea bring moisture and cause rainfall in the area through which they pass. The off-shore winds coming from the land are dry, help evaporation, and do not cause precipitation.
- Cloud Cover
The cloudless areas receive comparatively higher insolation, and terrestrial heat radiated also escapes fast. Due to this fact, sunny regions witness a high diurnal range of temperature, whereas, in cloudy areas, the diurnal range of temperature is low.
- Ocean Currents
Warm ocean currents raise the coast’s temperature and add moisture to the air, which sometimes causes precipitation. The cold oceanic currents decrease the temperature of the beach and the moisture-carrying capacity of air. The onshore wind blowing through the ocean can raise or lower the temperature of the interior.
- Mountain Ranges
The mountain ranges act as a natural windbreak. Wind laden with moisture ascends along with mountain ranges and causes rainfall. The wind is descending on the mountain’s leeward side, driving very little rain. The mountain ranges also block the very chilled or hot wind and save from the extreme effects of this wind. If the mountain range runs parallel to the direction of the prevailing wind, then it causes very little rainfall. Example: Aravalli.
- Nature of Soil and Vegetation Cover
Rocky or Sandy soils are good conductors of heat, whereas black soil absorbs heat more rapidly. The bare surface of the earth radiates heat rapidly and has a high range of diurnal temperature than places with vegetative cover. Forest cover, due to the transpiration mechanism, adds moisture to the air and sometimes causes precipitation.
Heat concentration is high at the gentler slope, e.g., in plains which raises the air temperature over it. Its lower concentration on steeper slopes reduces temperature.
Factors affecting Climate of World,Factors affecting Climate of World
Read Also : The Elements of Weather and Climate