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Science for Kids

Climate

What is climate?

Climate is the average measurements of temperature, wind, humidity, snow, and rain in a place over the course of years. Climate is like the weather, but over a long time.

Climate vs. Weather

Climate is different than weather. Weather is changes in the atmosphere that occur on a daily basis. The weather we experience today could be completely different than the weather we have tomorrow.


Temperature averages over the course of a year (click to see larger movie)


Climate is a pattern of weather that occurs over a long time such as years and centuries. For example, the climate in an area could be dry in that it rarely rains there. However, on days when it does rain, the weather is rainy for that day. The climate doesn't change, it's still a dry climate.

Types of climate

There are lots of ways that scientists use to describe different types of climate. One way is to divide up climates into five types: tropical, dry, mild, cold, and polar. There are also important subcategories including rain forest, desert, tundra, savanna, and steppe.


Desert Climate



Rain Forest Climate


Why is climate important?

Climate can determine a lot of things, but it especially determines what kind of plants and animals can live in an area. For example, polar bears need a cold climate. They would be terribly hot and would die quickly in the desert. When climates start to change, animals and plants become endangered.

Climate Change

Climates can change over long periods of time. Sometimes this is just the cycle of the earth, but sometimes outside forces can have a big impact on climate. Humans have had an impact by building large cities and cutting down vegetation in places like the rain forest. This has had an impact on the local climate. Other major events that can affect the climate include volcano eruptions and changes in the Sun.

Ice Age

Over the history of the Earth there have been times when the Earth's climate has cooled considerably. During these times the ice cap, or glaciers, covering the North Pole has grown to encompass much of the northern hemisphere.

Fun Facts about Climate Activities

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Earth Science Subjects

Geology
Composition of the Earth
Rocks
Minerals
Plate Tectonics
Erosion
Fossils
Glaciers
Soil Science
Mountains
Topography
Volcanoes
Earthquakes
The Water Cycle
Geology Glossary and Terms

Nutrient Cycles
Food Chain and Web
Carbon Cycle
Oxygen Cycle
Water Cycle
Nitrogen Cycle
Atmosphere and Weather
Atmosphere
Climate
Weather
Wind
Clouds
Dangerous Weather
Hurricanes
Tornadoes
Weather Forecasting
Seasons
Weather Glossary and Terms

World Biomes
Biomes and Ecosystems
Desert
Grasslands
Savanna
Tundra
Tropical Rainforest
Temperate Forest
Taiga Forest
Marine
Freshwater
Coral Reef
Environmental Issues
Environment
Land Pollution
Air Pollution
Water Pollution
Ozone Layer
Recycling
Global Warming

Renewable Energy Sources
Renewable Energy
Biomass Energy
Geothermal Energy
Hydropower
Solar Power
Wave and Tidal Energy
Wind Power

Other
Ocean Waves and Currents
Ocean Tides
Tsunamis
Ice Age
Forest Fires
Phases of the Moon


Science >> Earth Science for Kids





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