What are the major types of climates in the world?
- Types of climates in the world: Tropical climates
- Areas that have tropical climates
- Subtypes of tropical climates
- Dry climates
- Areas that have dry climates
- Subtypes of dry climates
- Temperate climates
- Areas that have temperate climates
- Subtypes of temperate climates
- Continental climates
- Areas that have continental climates
- Subtypes of continental climates
- Polar climates
- Areas that have polar climates
- Subtypes of polar climates
Climate and weather are not the same things
Climate and weather, well, we guess that a lot of us might think these two words mean the same thing, but in fact, they are quite different. When it comes to types of weather, they should be sunny, cloudy, windy, rainy, snowy, and more. But when it comes to different types of climates in the world, they should be tropical, temperate, and others.
For sure, climate and weather are not the same things. Weather can change from hour-to-hour, day-to-day, week-to-week, month-to-month, or even year-to-year, whereas climate is not like that for sure. That’s why it’s necessary to forecast whether hourly, daily, and weekly. It refers to what the weather is like in a location over a long time.
To identify a location’s climate, as a general rule, scientists need to look at the average weather conditions there for at least 30 years. Of course, different parts of the planet have different climates. According to the Koppen Climate Classification System, there are five primary types of climates on Earth. Let’s see what they are right now!
Types of climates in the world: Tropical climates
Tropical, or also referred to as Megathermal, climates are characterized by constant warm temperatures. A tropical climate zone usually has average temperatures of 64 degrees Fahrenheit (18 degrees Celsius) and above all year round. It also receives 59 inches (1500 millimeters) of rainfall annually, on average.
Types of climates in the world: Tropical climates are characterized by constant warm temperatures
Areas that have tropical climates
Well, the tropical climate zone can be found in areas around the Equator, southern portions of Asia, parts of Australia, parts of South America, the Pacific Ocean islands, and more. The countries that are well-known for their tropical climates are Brazil, Malaysia, Indonesia, Cameroon, the Republic of Congo, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, etc.
We can find a wide variety of tropical rainforests, savannas, as well as chaparrals in this climate zone.
Subtypes of tropical climates
If subdivided, tropical climates include 3 different types. They are the tropical wet climate (rainforest), tropical monsoon climate, and tropical wet and dry climate (savanna).
Tropical wet climate is hot and muggy year-round, whereas the tropical wet and dry climate features wet summers and dry winters. About tropical monsoon climate, this one is characterized by three main seasons of the cool dry season, hot dry season, and rainy season with uneven precipitation throughout the year.
Borneo tropical rainforest, Asia
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, and Belem, Brazil, are two good examples of places having a tropical rainforest climate, whereas Conakry, Guinea, and Chittagong, Bangladesh, are areas with a tropical monsoon climate. Well, the tropical wet and dry climates can be found in Mumbai, India, Jakarta, Indonesia, or Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, …
That’s all about tropical climates, one of the major types of climates in the world. Next, we will learn about dry climates.
The second one in this list of five primary types of climates in the world is dry climates. As its name would suggest, there’s very little moisture and humidity in dry climates. Well, the chances of precipitation are always lower than the chances of evaporation.
Dry climates are also characterized by large ranges in daily temperatures. Day temperatures can reach over 120 degrees Fahrenheit (49 degrees Celsius), while night temperatures may drop to less than 100 degrees Fahrenheit (37 degrees Celsius). Well, that’s what is the weather like in the desert!
There is very little humidity in dry climates
Areas that have dry climates
Do you know that 32.2 percent of the land on Earth is covered in dry climates? If a place has dry climates, it’s usually a desert! We can find this climate zone in Northern Mexico, central Australia, and in many other places.
Subtypes of dry climates
Dry climates are divided into arid and semi-arid zones. Arid climates are drier than semi-arid climates. While semi-arid regions receive 10-20 inches (25-50 millimeters) of precipitation annually, arid regions see less than 10 inches (250 millimeters) of annual rainfall.
- See also: What is the weather like in the desert?
Another one of the primary types of climates in the world is the temperate or mesothermal climates. Well, the term “temperate climates” is used to describe the typical weather conditions in areas with mild winters and warm, humid summers.
The temperate climate zones can be found in Europe and North America
Areas that have temperate climates
These climate zones have average temperatures of at least 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius) in their warmest months, and between 26.6 and 64 degrees Fahrenheit (3 and 18 degrees Celsius) in the coldest months.
The temperate climate zones can be found in the northern parts of Europe, North America, and Asia as well. Common biomes that temperate climates have include deciduous forests and grasslands.
Subtypes of temperate climates
Mediterranean climates, humid subtropical climates, and marine climates are three subtypes of temperate climates.
The Mediterranean climates have warm to hot, dry summers and rainy, mild winters, occurring on the west side of continents between 30 degrees and 45 degrees latitude.
Humid subtropical climates feature warm to hot summers, and cool winters with sometimes snowfall. These climate zones lie on the southeast side of continents between 25 degrees and 40 degrees latitude.
About marine climates, they are characterized by warm summers and cool to mild winters with moderate rainfall occurring throughout the year. Marine climates are just found on the western sides of continents where the prevailing winds blow from the sea to land.
The next one of five main types of climates in the world is the continental or microthermal climates which feature warm summers, and frigid winters. People living in these climate zones can experience snowstorms and very low temperatures of less than -22 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 degrees Celsius) in the winter months.
Humid continental climates are characterized by mild to warm summers and cold winters
Areas that have continental climates
The regions with continental climates tend to be found in the central regions of landmasses, or on their east coast, north of 40 degrees North latitude.
Subtypes of continental climates
Humid continental climates and continental subarctic (boreal) climates are two main subtypes of continental climates.
While continental subarctic climates have long, bitterly cold winters and short, cool summers, humid continental climates are characterized by mild to warm summers and cold winters. The biggest difference between these two subtypes might lie in the length and temperatures of summers. Generally speaking, the humid continental climate has warmer and longer summers as compared to the subarctic climate.
The last one of the major types of climates in the world is polar climates, which lack a true summer. The temperatures in these climate zones never rise above 50 degrees Fahrenheit (10 degrees Celsius).
Tundra and massive blocks of permanent ice are what make the regions with polar climates so distinctive.
There are 2 subtypes of polar climates, including tundra climates and ice cap climates
Areas that have polar climates
As its name would indicate, these climate zones just can be found near both poles of the planet. Well, according to Blue Planet Biomes, the areas with pole climates usually have only 4 months of temperatures above freezing point.
Subtypes of polar climates
There are 2 subtypes of polar climates, including tundra climates and ice cap climates. To tell the truth, ice cap climates are the coldest on Earth. Even in summers, temperatures rarely rise over the freezing point.
About tundra climates, well, they are dry, with a short, chilly summer and, of course, a bitterly cold winter. The continuous permafrost lies under lots of the treeless tundra regions.
These are the five primary types of climates on Earth and their subtypes. As you can see, each one of them has unique characteristics that differentiate them from the other. Knowing about those things is so interesting, right? And that’s it for today’s article “What are the major types of climates in the world?”, we hope you enjoyed it.