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מקצוע: גיאוגרפיה, כיתה: ט', מאת: Sally Mustang, פורסם: 15/05/2008
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עבודה באנגלית על אקלים ומזג אוויר

Climate and Weather

Climate is the long-term effect of the sun's radiation on the rotating earth's varied surface
and atmosphere. It can be understood most easily in terms of annual or seasonal averages of
temperature and precipitation.
Land and sea areas, being so variable, react in many different ways to the atmosphere,
which is constantly circulating in a state of dynamic activity. Day-by-day variations in a given
area constitute the weather, whereas climate is the long-term synthesis of such variations.
Thermometers, rain gauges, barometers, and other instruments measure weather, but the study of
climate relies on statistics. Today, computers handle such statistics efficiently. A simple, long-term
summary of weather changes, however, is still not a true picture of climate. To obtain this requires
the analysis of daily, monthly, and yearly patterns. Investigation of climate changes over
geologic time is the province of paleoclimatology, which requires the tools and methods of
geological research.
The word climate comes from the Greek “klima”, referring to the inclination of the sun.
Besides the effects of solar radiation and its variations, however, climate is also influenced by the
complex structure and composition of the atmosphere and by the ways in which it and the ocean
transport heat. Thus, for any given area on earth, not only the latitude (the sun's inclination) must
be considered but also the elevation, terrain, distance from the ocean, relation to mountain
systems and lakes, and other such influences. Another consideration is scale: A macroclimate
refers to a broad region, a mesoclimate to a small district, and a microclimate to a minute area.
A microclimate, for example, can be specified that is good for growing plants underneath large
shade trees.
Climate has profound effects on vegetation and animal life, including humans. It plays
statistically significant roles in many physiological processes, from conception and growth to
health and disease. Humans, in turn, can affect climate through the alteration of the earth's
surface and the introduction of pollutants and chemicals such as carbon dioxide into the
atmosphere. See Environment.
Climates are described by agreed-upon codes or by descriptive terms that are somewhat
loosely defined but nevertheless useful. On a global scale, climate can be spoken of in terms of
zones, or belts, that can be traced between the equator and the pole in each hemisphere. To
understand them, the circulation of the upper atmosphere, or stratosphere, must be considered,
as well as that of the lower atmosphere, or troposphere, where weather takes place. Upper
atmospheric phenomena were little understood until the advent of such advanced technology as
rocketry, high-altitude aircraft, and satellites.
Ideally, hot air can be thought of as rising by convection along the equator and sinking
near the poles. Thus, the equatorial belt tends to be a region of low pressure and calms,
interrupted by thunderstorms associated with towering cumulus clouds. Because of the calms, this
belt is known as the doldrums. It shifts somewhat north of the equator in the northern summer and
south in the southern summer. By contrast, air sinks in the Polar Regions. This leads to high
atmospheric pressure, and dry, icy winds that tend to radiate outward from the poles.
Complicating this simplistic picture is the earth's rotation, which deflects the northerly and
southerly components of the atmosphere's circulation. Thus, the tropical and polar winds both
tend to be easterlies (winds from the east), and two intermediate belts develop in each
hemisphere. Around latitude 30° North and South is a zone of high pressure, where the upper air
sinks and divides, and sending air streams toward the equator. Steady northeast trade winds blow
in the northern hemisphere, and southeast trade winds in the southern hemisphere. These high-
pressure areas lead to arid areas on the continents but to moist air over the oceans, because of
evaporation. If these trade winds meet an island or mainland coast, moist air is pushed up into
cooler elevations, and heavy rainfall might occur.
Around latitude 50° to 60° North and South is a belt of low pressure characterized by the
prevailing westerlies, which are deflected to the southwest in the northern hemisphere and to the
northwest in the southern hemisphere. These are relatively mild, moist winds that tend to bring
frequent cyclonic precipitation to all elevations along the west-facing side of continents. The
precipitation is characterized by polar fronts, where cold air from the polar easterlies drives in
under the warm, moist air of the westerlies, which, on cooling, drop their moisture. In winter this is
the cause of most snowfall on continents.
Temperature is an important aspect of climate and can be used to grade climatic zones
on a scale of five: (1) Tropical, with annual and monthly averages above 20° C (68° F); (2)
Subtropical, with 4 to 11 months above 20° C, and the balance between 10° and 20° C (50° to 68°
F); (3) Temperate, with 4 to 12 months at 10° to 20° C; (4) Cold, with 1 to 4 months at 10° to 20° C,
and the rest cooler; and (5) Polar, with 12 months below 10° C.
Within each hemisphere, eight basic climatological zones can also be recognized in terms
of precipitation: (1) Equatorial: rain in all seasons; (2) Tropical: summer rain with winters dry; (3)
Semiarid Tropical: slight summer rain; (4) Arid: dry in all seasons; (5) Dry Mediterranean: slight
winter rain; (6) Mediterranean: winter rain, summers dry; (7) Temperate: precipitation in all
seasons; (8) Polar: sparse in all seasons.
Both of the above meteorological parameters fail to meet the need for a true and
universal climatic description. Vegetation, however, offers a useful guide, particularly in special
cases, such as the selva, or equatorial rain-forest belt, with hot tropical rain much of the year; the
savanna, with warm, strong seasonality; and the tundra, with cold, strong seasonality. It is a
particularly helpful system for a person who wants to know the nature of an area and what it is
like to live there. Because temperature relates to precipitation in terms of potential evaporation, a
classification based on the latter two provides an excellent guide, with four fundamental
divisions: hot dry (arid), cold-dry (polar or glacial), hot-wet (selva), and moderate-warm to cool-
humid (temperate).

A map is a representation of the Earth, or part of it. Traditionally, maps have been printed
on paper. When a printed map is scanned, the computer file that is created may be called a
digital raster graphic.
The distinctive characteristic of a topographic map is that the shape of the Earth's surface
is shown by contour lines. Contours are imaginary lines that join points of equal elevation on the
surface of the land above or below a reference surface such as mean sea level. Contours make it
possible to measure the height of mountains, depths of the ocean bottom, and steepness of
slopes.
A topographic map shows more than contours. The map includes symbols that represent
such features as streets, buildings, streams, and woods. These symbols are constantly refined to
better relate to the features they represent, improve the appearance or readability of the map, or
to reduce production cost.
Consequently, within the same series, maps may have slightly different symbols for the
same feature. Examples of symbols that have changed include built-up areas, roads, intermittent
drainage, and some type styles. On one type of large-scale topographic map, called provisional,
some symbols and lettering are hand drawn.

1. What is meant by the climate of an area (climatic zone) of the world?
Climate zones are a system of winds and air jets that affect the weather in each
hemisphere. These streams affect the season change and the different climates of different
areas. Also a main cause to differences between climate zones is atmospheric pressures in
different layers of the atmosphere.
2. How is climate different from weather?
Climate the composite or generally prevailing weather conditions of a region, as
temperature, air pressure, humidity, precipitation, sunshine, cloudiness, and winds,
throughout the year, averaged over a series of years, whereas weather refers to local
conditions of temperature and air pressures.
3. Here is a list of the five major climate types. Briefly describe each one and give some
examples of where each is located.
a. Tropical moist climates-warm and moist (rainfall) all year round. Common around
the equator.
b. Dry climates-low rates of precipitation and high evaporation and temperatures.
c. Moist mid-latitude climates- warm to cool summers and severe snowy winters.
d. Polar climates- year round low temperatures (below 10?C) and winds.
4. What is the climate where you live? Moist-subtropical weather.
5. Global warming is an issue among many scientists, industrialists, and environmentalists
today. Write an essay explaining what it is, what causes it, and perhaps how it can be
solved. Also, express your opinion about the issue.
6. What is a topographic map? A map that expresses the 3D face of the earth, the
elevations and natural depictions in it.
7. Define each of the following terms in a sentence or short paragraph.
a. Coriolis Effect- tendency for any moving body on or above the earth's surface to
drift sideways because of earth's rotation. In the Northern Hemisphere the
deflection is to the right of the motion; in the Southern Hemisphere it is to the left.
The Coriolis deflection of a body moving toward the north or south results from
earth’s rotation eastward at a greater speed near the equator than near the poles
(a point on the equator traces out a larger circle than a point on another latitude
nearer either pole). A body traveling toward the equator with the slower rotational
speed of higher latitudes tends to veer to the west relative to the more rapidly
rotating earth below it at lower latitudes. Similarly, a body traveling toward either
pole veers eastward because it retains the greater eastward rotational speed of
the lower latitudes as it passes over the more slowly rotating earth closer to the
pole. Understanding the Coriolis effect is important when projectile trajectories,
terrestrial wind systems, and ocean currents.
b. Jet Streams- a high-speed high-altitude air stream blowing from west to east near
the top of the troposphere at speeds often exceeding 400 kilometers (250 miles) per
hour at altitudes of 15 to 25 kilometers (10 to 15 miles). It has important effects of
the formation of weather fronts
c. Trade Winds- Any of a consistent system of prevailing winds occupying most of the
tropics, constituting the major component of the general circulation of the
atmosphere, and blowing northeasterly in the Northern Hemisphere and
southeasterly in the Southern Hemisphere.
d. Westerlies- a wind or storm blowing from west to east.
e. Polar Easterlies- Polar Easterlies are global winds that move in the opposite
direction of a pole, and turns to the east due to the Coriolis force.
f. Polar Easterlies occur at both South and North pole. In many aspects they are the
same as other global winds, such as Trade Winds. The Polar Easterlies are usually
weak in the summer, and very strong in the winter. During the winter the polar
wind can reach far into the middle latitudes. When the Easterlies encounter the
Westerlies they can become anticyclones or cyclones.
8. Write a short essay explaining what the El Nino is, where it is located and how it affects
society.
9. Earth Biomes
a. What is a biome? a complex biotic community characterized by distinctive plant
and animal species and maintained under the climatic conditions of the region,
especially such a community that has developed to climax
b. Why are biomes considered a legitimate part of modern geography? The study of
biomes allows understanding the connection between the geography of a place
and the life and ecosystems that inhabit it. A good analysis of a biome could
allow a better glance and respect for what happens on our planet.
c. What is the meaning of the term biogeography? The study of the geographical
distribution of living things.
Near the equator is a low-pressure belt, known as the doldrums, which lies roughly
between latitudes 10° South and 10° North. Within this belt, sometimes called the equatorial belt of
calms, the air is hot and sultry. At about 30° from the equator in both hemispheres are the horse
latitudes, which are high-pressure belts of calms, or light variable winds. Surface air, moving from
the horse latitudes toward the low-pressure equatorial belt, constitutes the trade winds, which are
the prevailing winds of the lower latitudes. In the northern hemisphere, the northerly wind blowing
toward the equator is deflected by the rotation of the earth to become northeasterly and is
known as the northeast trade wind. In the southern hemisphere, the southerly wind, which is
similarly deflected, becomes southeasterly and is known as the southeast trade wind.
On the polar side of the horse latitudes in either hemisphere, the atmospheric pressure
diminishes toward low-pressure centers in middle and high latitudes. The winds set in motion pole-
ward by these pressure systems are deflected toward the east by the earth's rotation. Because
winds are known by the direction from which they blow, the winds in middle latitudes are known
as the prevailing westerlies. These westerlies are greatly affected by traveling cyclonic and
anticyclonic disturbances that cause their actual direction to change greatly from day to day.

1. The doldrums are
(1) located near the north pole.
(2) located near the south pole.
(3) located on both the north and south poles.
(4) located near or on the equator.
(5) normally found only in the American Midwest.

2. Trade winds

(1) flow between the horse latitudes and the equator.
(2) in the northern hemisphere are northeasterly.
(3) in the southern hemisphere are southeasterly.
(4) are influenced by the direction of rotation of earth.
(5) All the above are true.

3. How many belts of calms are mentioned in this passage?

(1) One
(2) Two
(3) Three
(4) Four
(5) None

4. The horse latitudes are

(1) located between 10 N and 10 S latitude.
(2) Located near the equator.
(3) Located within 30 degrees of the poles.
(4) Hot, humid, and stormy.
(5) Located within 30 degrees either side of the equator.

5. Prevailing winds are often named according to

(1) the season of the year.
(2) the direction toward which the wind is blowing.
(3) the direction from which the wind is blowing.
(4) the compass direction to the nearest major body of water.
(5) the compass direction to the nearest major body of land.

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