Earth and Moon

World climates: dry and cold

World climates: dry and cold

In some places on Earth the air contains low humidity so that rainfall is scarce.

In others, the temperature is so low that a good part of the year is frozen or covered with snow. In the extreme case, in polar climates, ice is maintained year-round.

Finally, there is a special type of climate that depends largely on altitude rather than latitude. This is the mountain climate, where the contrast between daytime and nighttime temperatures is usually marked and where rainfall has a special regime.

Dry climates

They are climates in which evaporation exceeds precipitation, so it is not enough to feed permanent water currents. There are two main subdivisions:

Semi-arid: In the warm steppes or in the limits of the great hot deserts. Its rainfall is scarce and irregular, between 250 and 500 mm per year, in the form of showers. Temperatures are high throughout the year. Great daily thermal amplitude. Another type of semi-arid climate occurs in the cold steppes, in middle latitudes of the interior of the largest continents. Its rainfall is very scarce and irregular, in the form of showers. Temperatures similar to continental. Cold winters and strong annual thermal amplitude.

Arid: It is the desert climate, either hot or cold. The aridity is extreme and the rainfall is scarce and irregular, less than 250 mm per year, with extreme dryness of the air. Relative humidity very low. Except in Europe, they occur on all continents. Cold deserts are degradations of the continental, Mediterranean or leeward slopes.

Cold climates

They are humid sub-Antarctic and sub-Arctic climates with severe winters, where the average temperature of the coldest month is below -3º C and the average temperature of the warmest month is greater than 10º C. These temperature limits coincide approximately with those of forests towards poles The places with this climate are characterized by being covered with snow one or more months. There are two fundamental types:

Humid continental: It occupies most of the temperate zone proper. It is very contrasted. A warm and rainy summer is opposed to a very cold and dry winter. The annual thermal oscillation is very high. On the edges of the continental climate, rainfall, although not very abundant, is regular.

Soft continental: Unlike the previous one, it has a dry season in winter.

Polar climates

The average temperature of the warmest month is less than 10º C. They are located in high latitudes and have annual rainfall of less than 300 mm. There are two fundamental types of this climate:

Tundra: High polar pressure zone between the pole and the isotherm of the 10º C summer. Intense and constant cold, no month exceeds 10º C due to the obliqueness of the sun's rays. Low rainfall and decreasing as we approach the poles, mostly snow-shaped. There is a brief season of plant growth, essentially ferns, lichens, mosses and some grasses.

Polar climate: High polar pressure zone between the pole and the 0º C isotherm. Intense and constant cold. Low rainfall and decreasing as we approach the poles, mostly snow-shaped. In this climate it is no longer possible that there is vegetation.

High mountain weather

In the high mountains there are climates of the polar type, where latitude does not influence, it only affects the height above 3000 m and the exposure, considering the factors that determine a mountain climate. The vegetation is very variable, according to the latitude in which the mountains are located. This type of climate, which is normally humid, can be found around the world in areas of large mountain ranges, and can be cool to cold

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World climates: rainy