Climate is the mean weather problems in a ar over a long duration of time—30 year or more. And as friend probably currently know, over there are many different types of climates ~ above Earth.

You are watching: Earth has three main climate zones because of the differences in latitude and

For example, warm regions are typically closest to the equator. The climate is hot there because the Sun’s light is most directly overhead at the equator. And also the North and South Poles room cold due to the fact that the Sun’s light and heat space least straight there.


The snow-covered peaks that the Chigmit variety during winter. Credit: NPS/M. Cahill 2015

Using this information, in the so late 1800s and also early 1900s a German climate scientist called Wladimir Koppen divided the world"s climates right into categories. His categories were based upon the temperature, the amount of precipitation, and also the times of year when precipitation occurs. The category were additionally influenced by a region’s latitude—the imagine lines used to measure our planet from north to south from the equator.

Today, climate scientists break-up the earth into about five main types of climates. Castle are:

A: Tropical. In this hot and humid zone, the median temperatures are better than 64°F (18°C) year-round and there is an ext than 59 inch of precipitation every year.

B: Dry. these climate zones room so dry because moisture is quickly evaporated from the air and also there is very little precipitation.

C: Temperate. In this zone, there are frequently warm and also humid summers v thunderstorms and mild winters.

D. Continental. this regions have actually warm come cool summers and an extremely cold winters. In the winter, this zone can experience snowstorms, solid winds, and really cold temperatures—sometimes falling listed below -22°F (-30°C)!

E: Polar. In the polar climate zones, it’s incredibly cold. Also in summer, the temperatures here never go higher than 50°F (10°C)!

This is roughly where those climate zones appear on a globe:


What walk a map the climate area really watch like?

Distance to the equator is just one part of an area’s climate. Things like the activity of the oceans and Earth’s tilt and also rotation also influence how weather trends move about the globe.

If friend classify the joined States into climate zones using all of this information, it in reality looks something like this:


This is one illustration of the climate zones within the unified States. The extra climate zone, labeling "H" ~ above this map, is a unique zone dubbed the highlands. The highlands climate ar is identified by weather that differs indigenous the neighboring area since of mountains. Credit: NOAA (modified)

How can information about climate zones be used?

Climate zones have the right to be beneficial for gardening and farming. Tree grow ideal in the climate conditions that are found in their indigenous ecosystem. For example, if you want to plant an apple orchard in her backyard, you should first check to see which arrays of apples space a good match for her region’s climate.


This is referred to as a plant Hardiness ar map. It’s a specific form of climate ar map the can help you figure out what type of plants will endure in your earlier yard. Photo credit: USDA/Agricultural research Service/Oregon State University

How perform weather satellites play a role?

Weather satellites mostly assist with tracking conditions that space happening right now and also forecasting weather in the near future. However, they also collect info that helps us monitor a region’s climate over time.

For example, satellites in the GOES-R series—short because that Geostationary Operational ecological Satellite-R—can monitor the sea surface ar temperature and the Gulf Stream, a powerful current in the Atlantic Ocean. Both of these things have the right to influence a region’s climate.

In addition, the temperature that the land i do not care cooler in ~ night, and there are alters in the amount of clouds. The GOES-R collection satellites monitor cloudiness and land surface ar temperature—information the helps researchers to understand just how the differences in between day and also night can affect a region’s climate.

Satellites in the share Polar Satellite system (JPSS) can also provide information ~ above differences between day and also night. For example, JPSS orbits earth twice a job in what’s dubbed an afternoon orbit. Together the satellite orbits from north Pole to southern Pole, it captures observations in the afternoon ~ above one side of Earth and also observations the the early morning ~ above the other side the the planet.

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While JPSS orbits, the satellites provide an international observations of many other variables that influence climate such as atmospheric temperature and water vapor, snow and ice cover, vegetation, sea and land surface temperature, precipitation and also more. These add important info to our documents of local differences in earth climate.