As we read before, our atmosphere is made up of many different layers, the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, the thermosphere and the exosphere. Each of these layers have different temperatures and they help to affect the way that our climate works.

Generalistic map of global temperature in simple warm and cold differential


Climate is the average pattern of weather taken over many years.. In most climates, animals and people adapt to the different climates so that they can live easier. Even though the climate is the weather, the weather is always changing, and it sometimes changes quickly.

Same but in threefold levels of temperature differential.

Climate Zones

There are three major climate zones, the Tropical Zone, the Temperate Zone and the Polar Zone. The Tropical Zone is closer to the sun, so they have more daylight and heat.

The Temperate Zone is the area that experiences seasons.

The Polar Zone has the least amount of sunlight.

Climate Factors

There are different factors that determine the climate. The first is the latitude. The latitude changes the closer you are to the equator and the further away that you are. The further away, the cooler the climate will be.

The second factor is temperature. Depending on the temperature and the season changes helps to determine what the climate will be.

the world's cloudy and sunny spots. NASA Earth Observatory map

Elevation also determines climate. When an area is above sea level, it will be cooler. When an area is below sea level, it will be warmer in that area.

Precipitation changes the climate. When there is more rain, the temperatures are generally cooler. Sometimes due to the rain and the cool temperatures, the area might experience snowfall.

Being near major bodies of water can determine what climate a land has. When an area is close to a large body of water, it can cause the air to change and cause the climate to change as well. This can also cause there to be more precipitation in that area.

Tropospheric Convection

When the radiation from the sun passes through space and reaches the Earth’s surface, it has to pass through layers of the atmosphere. It passes through the atmosphere and it goes though clouds, gasses, and even different types of molecules. The Earth’s surface then begins to absorb the energy from the sun.

Whatever the Earth does not absorb, it is reflected back into space. When sunlight is absorbed, it changes the way the surface of the Earth is. The sunlight turns into heat and then what is called surface heating happens.

When surface heating happens, the land becomes warmer and the ground heats up along with the air. As the air becomes warmer, it becomes less dense and it begins to rise. The air that is cooler from above, begins to sink and as it gets closer to the Earth, it gets warmer.

When the warm and the air move around, it cause convection currents. Convection currents move heat throughout the troposphere. This gives us the heat that we need to live.

At the equator, the sun’s rays are not as scattered because the sun is higher in the sky than it is on other parts of the Earth. When this happens, it causes the surface of the Earth to heat faster and it causes it to be warmer. This is why some tropical areas are so warm.

At the poles, such as the North and South Pole, they get very little rays from the sun. Because they do not get the rays from the sun, they are cooler and some of the regions are very cold and icy.

Temperate Zones

Temperate zones are the areas that are between the poles and the tropic areas. These areas are classified by how hot and how cold they are. The areas between the poles and the topics have very different temperatures.

Surface Heating

When the surface of the Earth gets warmer, it causes water to evaporate. When the water vapor goes into the air, it comes from the surface heating and from things that live on the Earth.

The amount of water that is found in the air is called humidity. Colder air can hold less water vapors than warmer air and this is why the poles are less humid while the tropical areas can be extremely humid.


When air rises and is warm and humid, it causes the troposphere to begin to cool. When it cools and condenses, salt crystals, smoke and dust form in the air. Another thing that forms are clouds. Clouds happen when water vapor forms into small particles.

Fog also forms when the weather changes and when it gets cool after being warm or hot. When the water condenses to cooler areas, this causes dew to form.

Frost forms when it gets very cold and below freezing.

More Facts About Climate:

  • The Earth’s surface absorbs around 50% of the sun’s energy.
  • The particles and gases that are in the atmosphere absorb and reflect the sunlight.
  • The sun is also reflected by the Earth’s surface.
  • Some deserts are not hot.
  • Polar regions are sometimes considered to be deserts because of the little rain that they get each year.
  • A mirage is formed when light rays bend as they pass through the air.
  • Evaporation can cause there to be rain or snow due to the water cycle.
  • Climate change means that the weather changed for a long period of time.
  • The Greenhouse Effect is when the temperatures on the Earth get higher because of there being a lot of gases in the atmosphere.

What Did You Learn?

  • What is climate?
    Climate is weather taken over a long period of time, more than 20 years of time.
  • Why do animals adapt to different climates?
    Animals adapt to different climates so that they can live in that area. If an animal is in a climate that snows, the animal might grow white fur so that it can blend in with the snow.
  • What is tropospheric convection?
    Tropospheric convection is when the surface of the Earth absorbs sunlight and the surface changes and gets warmer.
  • What is the area that has a huge amount of different temperatures between the poles and the tropical areas called?
    This is called the temperate zone.
  • What forms when water vapor condenses into small particles?
    Clouds form when water vapors condense into small particles.