How does latitude affect climate?

2

Answers


  1. 0 Votes

    In general terms, the closer to the equator (0 degrees latitude), the warmer the overall climate. Likewise, the closer to either pole (90 degrees N or S) you get, the colder the overall climate. The latitude itself isn’t affecting climate, as latitude is just a measure of the distance form the equator. The equator is usually warmer because it receives the sun’s rays most directly. For further explanation of climate trends by latitude, see the citation.

  2. 0 Votes

    Think about the beam of a flashlight.  If you point it directly at a wall, the beam is a bright, concentrated circle.  Angle the beam of the flashlight, and the spot on the wall becomes dimmer and spreads out into an elliptical shape.  The decrease in brightness of the spot is due to the same amount of energy (i.e. the beam of the flashlight) being spread out over a larger area — the circle vs. the stretched ellipse.

    Likewise, the Sun can be thought of as the flashlight, and the earth can be thought of as the wall.  Because the earth is round, as you get farther away from the equator, the angle of the light from the Sun on the surface of the earth increases, much like angling the flashlight on the wall.  This causes the same spreading-out of energy over a greater area.  Less energy per unit area means less heat, which is why it is coldest at the poles of the earth. 

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