effect of latitude on climate


Many factors influence the climate of a region. The most important factor is latitude because different latitudes receive different amounts of solar radiation. The Equator receives the most solar radiation. Days are equally long year-round and the Sun is just about directly overhead at midday. The polar regions receive the least solar radiation. The night lasts six months during the winter. Even in summer, the Sun never rises very high in the sky. Sunlight filters through a thick wedge of atmosphere, making the sunlight much less intense. The high albedo, because of ice and snow, reflects a good portion of the Suns light.

temperature with latitude

Its easy to see the difference in temperature at different latitudes in the Figure 1.1. But temperature is not completely correlated with latitude. There are many exceptions. For example, notice that the western portion of South America The maximum annual temperature of the Earth, showing a roughly gradual temperature gradient from the low to the high latitudes. has relatively low temperatures due to the Andes Mountains. The Rocky Mountains in the United States also have lower temperatures due to high altitudes. Western Europe is warmer than it should be due to the Gulf Stream. Click image to the left or use the URL below. URL:


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the polar regions receive the most solar radiation because their summer days are 6 month long.

a) true

-->  b) false

in the polar region, the night lasts

a) for 12 hours

b) for 6 days

c) for 6 hours

-->  d) for 6 months

the number of hours of daylight is equal all year long at the equator.

-->  a) true

b) false

what causes western europe to be warmer than the rest of europe?

-->  a) the gulf stream

b) the benguela current

c) the arctic current

d) the east australian current

latitude is the only factor that determines the temperature of a region.

a) true

-->  b) false

at the equator, the sun is just about directly overhead at midday.

-->  a) true

b) false

the equatorial region in south america should be hot, but is actually cool. there is a similar zone of cool at nearly the same latitude in africa. what is the reason for these equatorial cool zones?

-->  a) rising warm air causes precipitation and leads to the growth of rainforests.

b) high plateaus collect snow and ice so there is high albedo.

c) sinking air from higher in the atmosphere brings cool air downward.

d) none of these.

what prevents the poles from getting sunlight half the year?

a) earths elliptical orbit.

-->  b) the tilt of earths axis of rotation.

c) the high albedo of the polar regions.

d) none of these.

if a map of temperature displayed stripes parallel to the equator with equal temperatures the distance north and south of the equator, it would mean that only ____ affected temperature.

a) longitude

b) altitude

-->  c) latitude

d) albedo

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