Tropical wet climates or wet equatorial climates are usually found in areas near the equator as the name states. These areas include the Amazon, Congo, Southeast Asia and are sometimes found in the trade wind belts. The Koppen symbol for this type of climate is Af. This climate has the smallest temperature range in the world being between 2 and 3.6 degrees. These areas don’t have a dry season because of the close proximity to the equator which covers 5-10 degrees. The weather remains constant being warm and wet year around. Tropical wet climates see 60-100 inches of rain annually and experience convective thunderstorms. This climate is known for being seasonless due to the consistency in day to day weather.
The reason for thse constant weather patterns is mainly location. The latitude position allows sun coverage directly above creating uniform insolation. Also, the ITCZ creates the year around humid, unstable air. These weather conditions create oxisol and latosol soils which are the least fertile; however, are an ideal location for tropical rainforests to emerge. Tropical rainforests and selva are home to animals such as birds, reptiles and insects. Those who live in these types of climates may use the weather to their advantage with agriculture, forestry, and with slash and burn cultivation.
Tropical savanna climates are found further from the equator extending to 25°N and S latitude. The Koppen symbol for this type of climate is Aw. Characteristics that make this climate distinctive is the alternation of a wet and dry season. Locations that experience the Aw climate are Africa, S. America, and N. Australia. Winters in this climate are dry with clear skies and are associated with subtropical highs. The summers are wet with many thunderstorms anf convectional rain of the ITCZ.
The tropical savanna sees an average of 35 to 70 inches of rain annually which mostly comes from the summer season. The average annual tempeteature range is 5 to 15°. A surplus of the water supply comes during the summer. These weather conditions create a laterite soil type making it an ideal location for grasslands and tall grasses to thrive. These grasslands are home to lions, gazelles and zebras. Those who live in these locations can create ranches with animals or use the wildlife to their advantage for ecotourism.
The tropical monsoon climate is similar to the tropical savanna climate in the way they both have wet summers and dry winters. The Koppen symbol for this climate is Aw. This type of climate is found in areas such as southeast Asia, western Africa, northeastern South America, the Phillipines, northeastern Australia, and some islands of the East Indies. It isn’t uncommon to see 30 inches of rain within two or three months in the summer.
The annual total rain in inches falls within 100 and 200. There is a surplus of rainfall in the summer and a deficit in the winter. The tropical monsoon climates are dominated by offshore winds and seasonal reversal of winds. Latosol soils, red or yellow in color, are found in the Aw climate allowing deciduous forests with some grasses to grow. Birds, reptiles and insects call this climate home. Those who live in tropical monsoon climate can build plantations, grow rice or sugarcane.
The tropical desert climate, or Bwh, is found in North Africa and southwestern Eurasia. Moist winds are kept out of this area by the Andes mountains. These locations are found 25-30 degrees N and S latitude. The tropical desert climate experiences very hot summers and mild winters. The annual temperature ranges 15 to 25°F with scarce rainfall typically less than 12 inches.
Climatic controls that cause these weather patterns are cool ocean currents that cool any air that comes across it and subsidence from subtropical highs. The desert has aridosol soil which is fertile, but requires irrigation. Snakes, birds, reptiles and rabbits call the tropical desert climate home. Those who call the tropical desert home can create jobs by salt mining.
The steppe climate, or Bsh, is very similar to the tropical desert climate and surround the Bwh climates except on the western side. They are found mostly on the edges of the desert. Rainfall is somewhat greater than the tropical desert climate and temperatures are slightly moderated with hot summers and mild winters. The weather system is controlled by cool ocean currents and is affected by the rain shadow of mountains. The steppe climate has short grasslands making it an ideal home to many reptiles, snakes, birds, and rabbits. Chestnut/brown soils allow these grasses to grow. Those who call the steppe climate home may take up cattle ranching to earn an income.
The humid subtropical climate, represented as Cfa Cwa and Cwb, is located at 30 degrees latitude on eastern sides of the continents. Some locations that experience this type of climate include North America, South America, and Eurasia. The summers at this latitude are warm and hot, while the winters are mild to cold. During the summer, the average temperature ranges between 75 and 80 degrees.
These climates receive convectional rain during the summer and cyclonic rain during the winter. Annual precipitation is abundant between 40 and 65 inches. The location of the humid subtropical climate plays a huge role on the climate. It is located in between and on up tilted side of subtropical high pressure cells. There is gray/brown or yellow podsol soil in this climate allowing forest growth. Forests also bring along the forest animals such as deer, raccoons, and black bears. This also makes it an ideal farming area.
The Mediterranean or sometimes referred to as the Dry- summer sub-tropial climate, is known as Csa or Csb. These C climates are located 35 degrees North and South latitude. Some locations that experience this type of climate include Southern Europe, Central Chile, and the South tip of Africa. Summers in these locations are hot and dry with wet, mild winters. Average annual precipitation ranges from 15 to 25 inches. Rainfall in the Mediterranean is cyclonic. A large amount of the precipitation falls in the winter and summers are mostly rainless. These weather patterns are controlled by the subtropical high pressure cells.
There is a deficit of rain in the summer and a surplus in the winter. The soils in these C climates can be very fertile if irrigated. The soil is a chestnut/brown pedical which is very dry with an abundance of calcium. Chaparrals thrive in this type of climate. They take on a brown/yellow color in the summer and become green in the winter. Mountain lions, bears, deer, coyotes, gofers and birds call this climate home. These areas are used for agriculture with irrigation in the winter.
Moving further from the equator at 40-60 degrees North and South latitude is the West Coast Marine climate. The koppen symbols for this type of climate are Cfc and Cfb. Some major locations within this climate are Western and Central Europe, the Western side of North America, and New Zealand. For this latitude, these areas experience very mild winters as well as mild summers.
Westerly winds adjacent to the ocean are the reason for the mild summer and winters. It is wet year around due to oceanic influence with an annual rainfall between 30 and 50 inches received mostly in the winter. Podsol or spotosol is the soil type this climate allowing needle leaf forests with some deciduous trees to grow. Deer, bears, birds and other forest animals call this climate home. These forests may be used people for lumbering to gain a profit on the lands.
The mid-latitude desert and steppe climates are also very similar. First, the mid-latitude desert climate, or Bwk, can be found distant from the ocean and surrounded by mountains. Some of these locations include central Eurasia, North American and southern South America. The Bwk region receives most of its precipitation during the summer when warming is occurring.
This warming also causes the ice to melt and create more of a water supply. The winter is dominated by severely low temperatures and anticyclonic conditions. These low temperatures create a much lower annual temperature range than the subtropical desert climate. The most fertile soil in the world is found in the mid-latitude climate allowing grasslands to grow. These grasslands are home to grass eating animals and the lands are used for animals to graze.
The mid-latitude steppe climate, or Bsk, isn’t much different from the desert climate. It’s mainly used as a transition between desert and humid climates. Some areas that experience these climates are in found in the interior southwest of the United States such as Colorado. The temperatures in the Bsk climate are similar to the desert climate; however, have more precipitation and lesser temperature extremes. These climates are similar in the way that they are both grassland oriented, home to grass eating animals, and the land is used for animals to graze.
Moving even farther from the equator, between 35 and 55 degrees North and South latitude, is the Humid Continental climate, or Dfa, Dfb, Dwa, and Dwb. Eurasia and North America are a couple locations that have this type of climate. They experience long, very cold winters and hot summers. Precipitation is not high ranging only between 20-40 inches. Westerly winds and storms, especially in the winter play a key role in the weather conditions. The average winter month temperature is usually between 10 and 25 degrees F. Gray-brown podsols are found in the humid continental climate as well as prairie grasses and mixed forest, deciduous and evergreen. There is a large variety or mammals and birds. The humid continental climate is ideal for farming.
50 to 70 degrees North and South latitude is the Continental Subarctic climate, or Dfc, Dwd, Dfd, and Dwc. Locations that experience this climate are Western Alaska across Canada, Eurasia, and Scandanavia. There are extremely cold winter conditions in these D climates with a light amount of snow that falls during the winter; however, little melting takes place until the summer.
Cyclonic storms alternate with prominent anticylonic conditions. The annual precipitation is 5-20 inches. Also, continentality is also a key factor in the reason for the cold winters and hot summers. The absolute annual temperature variation has sometimes been as dramatic as -90 degrees F to 98 degrees F. Podsolization occurs here making the soil cold and wet. This is an area where evergreen trees will thrive and be a home to animals such as deer, birds, bears and elk. Many people use these locations for forestry.
The last two climates are Tundra and the Icecap which are both cold climates. The Tundra, or ET climate, is located pole ward of the margins and occupies small coastal areas in the Antarctic. The warmest month will only reach up to 32 degrees F making it extremely difficult for plant life other than small bushes and grasses to grow. The ET climate experiences long, cold winters and cool summers. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer, but is less than 10 inches annually that falls mostly in the form of snow. There is a low evaporation level due to the low temperatures. Tundra soil is found in these climates. Polar bears and some birds can tolerate the coldness of the ET climate and many people use these animals for fur trapping.
The last climate is the Icecap or EF climate. Antarctica and Greenland are two locations that experience these freezing weather conditions. 50 degrees F is the average temperature of the warmest month found on the very edge of the Tundra. More towards the center of the tundra, temperatures don’t exceed 32 degrees F. There is a sparse amount of precipitation in this climate with only less than 5 inches all in the form of snow. The cause for these freezing temperatures is mostly the latitude location. Also, the distance from sources of heat cause cold temperatures. There is no soil type here, with no vegetation and no economic activity.