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5.1: Concept of climate

Concept from this subtopic

a) Define concept of climate

Climate refers to the average weather condition recorded over a long period of time about thirty 30 years.

5.2: weather and climate

To differentiate between weather and climate

Similarities between weather and climate

  1. Both describes atmospheric condition of an area
  2. Both are determined by the same elements
  3. Both determines social economic activities
  4. Both contributes to the life of living organism

Differences between weather and climate

  1. Weather refers to the atmospheric condition recorded over a short period of time while climate is average weather condition recorded at a long period of time.
  2. Weather can change quickly while climate change gradually
  3. Climate has distinct season while weather changes day to day.
  4. Description of is based on small area while climate based on large area
  5. The study of weather is called meteorology while the study of climate is called climatology

Relationship between weather and climate

  1. Climate is established by average weather condition
  2. Any change of weather condition has influence to climatic change

Types of world climate

  1. Equatorial climate (tropical rainforest climate)
  2. Tropical climate
  3. Dry climate
  4. Mediterranean climate
  5. Temperate climate
  6. Polar climate

Equatorial climate (tropical rainforest climate)

This type of climate occurs between 0˚ to 5˚ North and South of the equator. Examples of equatorial climate are Congo basin, South America in Amazon Basin

Characteristics of Equatorial climate

  1. The average temperature is 27˚C
  2. The temperature range is about 3˚C
  3. Convectional rainfall is common
  4. Relative humidity is very high
  5. Mean annual rainfall is about 1500mm
  6. Heavy rainfall throughout the year
  7. It found between 0˚ to 5˚ North and South of the equator.


-It comprises evergreen trees that yield tropical hard wood such as mahogany, ebony, greenheart, rosewood and cabinet wood.

Human activities

  1. Agriculture. For example, Rubber and Oil palm in Malaysia, Cocoa in Ghana and sugar cane in Cuba. Other crops are maize, banana and groundnuts.
  2. Lumbering. Due to presence of mahogany, ebony, greenheart, rosewood and cabinet wood.
  3. Fishing and Water transportation. Presence of large rivers like Amazon and Congo
  4. Hunting and food collection. They collect fruits and animals hunting like gorilla and monkey
  5. Tourism. The presence of attractive environment (animals and trees).

Tropical climate

This type of climate lies between 5˚ to 20˚ on the side of the equator. For example Central America, Central Brazil, East and central Africa.

Characteristics of tropical climate

  1. Average temperature in tropical climate is 21˚C to 32˚C.
  2. It has two seasons which are dry and wet season.
  3. Annual range temperature is 11˚C.
  4. Low humidity during dry season
  5. The annual rainfall is around 762mm.
  6. Convectional rainfall is common


-It characterized by tall grass with scattered trees

-Their vegetation consists of thorny bushes, low shrubs and thorny trees.

Human activities

  1. Crops production. For example, millet, beans, maize, rice and groundnuts.
  2. Livestock keeping. For example, Maasai in East Africa
  3. Hunting and gathering. For example, animals, birds and fruits.
  4. Tourism. For example, Serengeti, Mikumi and Manyara

Dry climate

This type of climate experiences very little rainfall and has no permanent source of streams. Dry climate is most found between 15˚ to 35˚ North and South of the equator. Dry climate is divided into semi-arid and arid. Examples of area are western part of northern America, South America, central and southern Africa and middle Asia.

Characteristics of dry climate

  1. Average precipitation is less than 35mm per year
  2. There is greater evaporation
  3. There is no cloud cover
  4. Temperature varies from 29˚C in ho season to 10˚C in cool season.

Human activities

  1. Crop cultivation under irrigation
  2. Hunting
  3. Livestock keeping such as dog, donkey and camel.


For example, of vegetation is cactus

Mediterranean climate region

It is located in northern hemisphere between 30˚ and 45˚ in southern hemisphere 30˚ and 40˚.nnbbbn    

It is developed around Mediterranean Sea. For example, Egypt, Italy, Spain and Israel and South Africa.

Characteristics of Mediterranean climate region

  1. It has relative mild winter
  2. Annual rainfall ranges from 500mm to 760mm
  3. Temperature range from 10˚C to 21˚C
  4. Off-shore trade wind blows in summer
  5. The vegetation is evergreen with open woodland coupled with scattered trees.

Human activities

  1. Agriculture activities. The crops produced are grains and citrus n
  2. Animals kept are goats, sheep, lynx

Temperate climate

This is environment with moderate rainfall spread across the year or portion of the year with sporadic drought,mild to warm summer cool to cool winter.

It found between 30° and 60° North and south of the equator. Examples are western Europe and western north America

Characteristics of temperate climate

  1. Temperature ranges between 17°C and 24°C.
  2. Summer tend to be warm with little rainfall about 610mm.
  3. Winter are moderate wet

Polar climate

This is a place with temperature below freezing and covered in snow.

It found across the continent that border the Arctic Ocean, Greenland and Antarctica. Part of the world where polar climate exists are northern Canada, Siberia and Antarctica.

  Characteristics of polar climate

  1. The land is most covered by thick ice sheets.
  2. during winter the region is entire dark and extreme cold
  3. during summer the days are long but receive very small insolation make the region to be cool
  4. The average temperature during warmest day is 10°C
  5. The annual temperature ranges between -40°C and 0°C
  6. Annual precipitation is less than 250mm
  7. Precipitation inform of snow and blizzards

Human activities

  1. No crops production
  2. Fishing activities
  3. hunting

Mountain climate

This type of climate is common in mountain region. Increase of altitude and position of slope create unique climate. For example, of mountain experiences this climate is Mount Kilimanjaro, Atlas Mountain and Alps Mountain.

Characteristics of mountain climate

  1. temperature decrease increases of altitude
  2. orographic rainfall is common
  3. windward side receive high rainfall than leeward side
  4. Maximum rainfall received is about 2500mm.
  5. Local winds are associated with temperature inversion.

Human activities

  1. Crop production; Crops produced in this region include tea, coffee and pyrethrum
  2. Mountain region attracts tourists; for example, Kilimanjaro

Factors affecting climate

  1. latitude
  2. altitude
  3. distance from the sea
  4. prevailing winds
  5. ocean currents
  6. aspects
  7. vegetation
  8. human activities
  9. soil

i. Latitude

-The area near to the equator experience higher temperature than those away from equator.

-latitude influence pressure system of the world and wind behavior

ii. Altitude

-Increase of altitude decrease of temperature

-The region with low temperature experience high pressure while the region of high temperature experience low pressure

- Highland area experience high rainfall due to prevailing of moist wind

ii. Distance from the sea

-coastal area has high humidity that influenced by evaporation of water bodies

_ Temperature of the coast region also influenced by water bodies due to heating specific capacity.

iii. Prevailing winds

-wind is medium of transfer of heat and moisture over the land.

-The moving wind carries specific character will affect certain area of blowing.

iv. Ocean currents

-Ocean currents tend to modify a climate of certain area along the coast.

-The area where the wind blows over cold ocean current, the wind moisture condenses and form precipitation over the area.

-The area with warm or cold ocean currents will affect the temperature of that area.

v. Aspects

-This is direction where the slope face.

-windward slope receive higher rainfall than leeward slope. For example Mount Kilimanjaro south eastern slope are wetter than north western slope

vi. Vegetation

-Area with dense vegetation receive less insolation towards the earth make the area to be cooler.

-Also vegetation influence rainfall due to the process of Eva-transpiration that lead to rainfall formation.

vii. Human activities

-Human activities such as settlement, agriculture, industries and construction of dams affect the climate. For example, deforestation that affect hydrological cycle.

viii. Soil

-Light soil reflects more heat than darker soil which are better heat absorber. Such soil may lead to variation of temperature over a region.

5.3: Impact of climate

Impact of climate change on human activities

The climatic change leads to;

  1. drought
  2. floods
  3. melting of ice
  4. heavy rains
  5. rise of the sea level
  6. global warming

impact pf climatic change to human activities

  1. Decline in crops production
  2. Decline of industries
  3. Increase of poverty
  4. Absence of water for domestic use
  5. Health deterioration. For example, skin cancer
  6. Occurrence of water-borne diseases such as malaria





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