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Climate Definition

Teacher/Instructor Patrick Roisen
Patrick Roisen

M.Ed., Stanford University
Winner of multiple teaching awards

Patrick has been teaching AP Biology for 14 years and is the winner of multiple teaching awards.

Climate is defined as the long term patterns of temperature, humidity, wind, etc. in an area. People often confuse climate with weather. Weather is considered a temporary state while climate is the overall set of patterns. Climate can be influenced by latitude, altitude, terrain and nearby bodies of water. Examples of climates include Mediterranean, tundra and subarctic.

In Ecology one measurement that's taken of a particular area is its climate. What climate is the long term patterns that you'll see in a particular area of wind, temperature, humidity, precipitation and other things like that. It's very common to confuse climate with weather.
Weather is what's happening right now or during the course of the day, the climate is the long term patterns and trends that you'll see in an area. Now this can be influenced by that particular area's latitude where it is relative to the equator. The altitude obviously two areas one that's close to the sea level and another one that's much higher up they can have significant differences in temperature and other things. The terrain, mountain sides, forest etcetera and nearby bodies of water.
Here in California for example we're in the Bay area and we're right next to the Pacific Ocean and that can influence our climate greatly. Some examples of climates include like the Mediterranean Climate that we here in California enjoy and of course people in the Mediterranean there is Arid Climates. There's the Subarctic there's many different kinds of climates around the world.