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Map of world dividing climate zones, largely influenced by latitude. The zones, going from the equator upward (and downward) are Tropical, Dry, Moderate, Continental and Polar. There are subzones within these zones.
Worldwide Climate Classifications

Climate means the usual condition of the temperature, humidity, atmospheric pressure, wind, rainfall, and other meteorological elements in an area of the earth's surface for a long time. Climate is different from weather. Weather is the condition of these elements right now, for shorter periods of time that are up to two weeks.

The latitude, ground, and height can change the climate of a location. It is also important to note if oceans or other large bodies of water are nearby. Climates are most commonly classified by temperature and precipitation. The most commonly used classification was the Köppen climate classification, first made by Wladimir Köppen. The Thornthwaite system,[1] which was used from 1948, not only uses temperature and precipitation information, but evapotranspiration too. This makes it useful for studying how many different kinds of animal species there are, and about the things that could happen when climates change. The Bergeron and Spatial Synoptic Classification systems focus more on where the air masses which help make climates come from.

Climates can change after a long time. Recently, the world may be becoming warmer, as is discussed in global warming.

The climate of a place is given names such as Temperate, Arid, Cold, Dry, Tundra, Tropical, Equatorial, Mediterranean, Savanna, etc.

  • Subarctic regions have a subarctic climate (also called boreal climate), characterized by long, usually very cold winters, and short summers.
  • Temperate climates have four seasons. Some of the countries which have a temperate climate are: Turkey, and most of the European countries.
  • Arid climates are hot climates, like deserts. They just have one or two seasons such as: Saudi Arabia and most of the African countries.
  • The Mediterranean climate is usually hot and dry in summer, and is cool and wet in winter. An example of a country with a Mediterranean climate is Spain.
  • The savannas' climate is often tropical wet and dry.

See also: Köppen's climate classification scheme


  1. C. W. Thornthwaite, "An Approach Toward a Rational Classification of Climate", Geographical Review, 38:55-94, 1948