Types of climate in the world

Throughout the globe we can find a great variety of climates, some of them so disparate that it might seem that they belong to different planets. The climatology of the world is one of the most important aspects that shape life on Earth, since, among other things, it allows a greater or lesser availability of natural resources.

What are the types of climates on Earth

We begin by counting what are the types of climate that exist on Earth . Broadly speaking, the world’s climates can be classified into three general blocks that we expose below.

Warm or intertropical climates

They are those that are located between the tropics as their name indicates. In them there are high average temperatures every month (between 22ºC and 18º) and there is no great variation between the seasons of the year. Within the intertropical or warm climates we have another classification. The types of hot climates are:

  • Equatorial climate.
  • Dry and humid tropical climate.
  • Monsoon weather.
  • Dry or arid climate.

Temperate climates

Temperate climates are intermediate climates between cold and warm climates. Where do temperate climates occur? Temperate climates are located in the middle latitudes, between the other two types of climates, usually between 40º and 60º latitude. A total of 4 types of temperate climates are presented :

  • Mediterranean climate.
  • Oceanic climate.
  • Continental weather.
  • Chinese weather.

Cold or polar climates

Finally, cold or polar climates are characterized by always having low temperatures (the average of the warmest month is always less than 10 ºC). They are located in high latitudes, usually from the Arctic and Antarctic polar circles. The types of cold climates are three:

  • Tundra climate.
  • Glacial or polar climate.
  • Mountain weather.

Equatorial climate

The equatorial climate is also known as the rainforest climate . The temperatures are high and the thermal amplitude (difference between the maximum and minimum temperatures) is low. There is rainfall throughout the year , that is, there is no dry season. In addition, the relative humidity is high, making it uncomfortable for people, since perspiration is slow and difficult.

Dry and humid tropical climate

These climates also have high temperatures , with averages above 18ºC. However, the thermal amplitude is greater than in the previous case.

In them there is an alternation of rainy season with another dry season. However, for some cases the dry season is the longest, becoming predominant. The same is true in other places with the wet season. That is why it speaks of a dry tropical climate and also a humid tropical climate . It is also known as the tropical savanna climate.

Monsoon climate

This type of climate has high temperatures and an appreciable thermal amplitude. But the most characteristic of the monsoon climate is undoubtedly the high annual rainfall concentrated , generally in the summer months. These occur suddenly. The winter months, by contrast, are dry.

Dry or arid climate

The main feature of a dry or arid climate is water scarcity and irregular rainfall . Depending on the greater or lesser scarcity of water, we can have a desert or steppe climate respectively, the latter considered a climate of transition to the desert. They are also characterized by dry desiccant winds and large fluctuations in temperatures throughout the day, as temperatures drop sharply at night.

Although dry climates are typical of the intertropical zone, for example in desert areas , they can also be found in middle and high latitudes due to various geographical factors.

Mediterranean climate

It develops on the western façade of the continents , although it is typical of Mediterranean Europe. It is characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters , although some frosts and snows may occur.

There are strong temperature contrasts between summer and winter, this difference being more pronounced towards the interior. The precipitations usually occur mainly in the winter, although in a reduced number of rainy days. The difference in rainfall from one year to the next can be considerable. It is a climate, therefore, with irregular rainfall that can sometimes occur in the form of strong storms.

Oceanic climate

In the oceanic climate , the regulatory action of the ocean is fundamental. Both the warm ocean currents and the moisture-laden air masses from the sea regulate temperatures in summer and winter, making them milder. Therefore, the annual thermal oscillation is weak.

On the other hand, rainfall throughout the year is also favored, although it is less abundant in summer, and there is also usually a high cloudiness.

Continental weather

The continental climate is also known as a microthermal climate . It is mainly characterized by the great difference in temperature between winter and summer . The thermal oscillation between day and night is also strong. The continental climate develops inside the continents, where the regulatory action of the sea does not reach. Rainfall is low and occurs in the summer. Winters are long and cold.

Chinese weather

They are presented on the eastern facades of the continents . It receives this name because it mainly affects eastern China , but also other parts of the world. In the Chinese climate, summer has very high temperatures, in contrast to winter where low temperatures are recorded, below 0ºC.

It has no dry season and rainfall is abundant throughout the year. There is high humidity and, during the summer, it becomes very similar to the climate of the equatorial jungle.

Tundra climate

In the tundra climate, temperatures are low , although in the warmer months they can exceed 0ºC. This rise above 0ºC allows the surface ice to thaw (at least partially) and is due to the influence of the sea in the Antarctic and Arctic coastal areas. Rainfall is low and fogs often form due to evaporation over the sea (Arctic smoke).

Glacial or polar climate

In glacial climates or perpetual or polar ice climates, no month exceeds 0ºC. Precipitations are lower than those that occur in the tundra climate and strong winds are characteristic. The temperature difference between night and day is high. Another characteristic is that in this type of climate the ground is permanently frozen (permafrost).

We recommend you read these other posts in which you will learn about perpetual ice: climate, flora, fauna and images and the Characteristics of the polar climate .

Mountain climates

Height brings with it a drop in temperatures . Therefore, in high mountains , this leads to the existence of cold climates. In this type of climate there are strong daily thermal oscillations and abundant rainfall that contrast with those of the nearest lowlands. Snow precipitation is important .

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