What is a climate?

What is a climate?

The weather where you live may be sunny one day and cloudy the next, or dry during one season and wet during another.
Over several years, there's a pattern to these daily and seasonal changes in the weather, wherever you live. This pattern of weather over a period of time is called a climate.
Scientists who study climates are called climatologists. 
They say that the climate varies according to three things — the way the sun's rays reach the earth, the amount of land and sea nearby, and the height of the land above sea level.

The earth is marked into horizontal sections by invisible lines called lines of latitude. 

A main line around the middle is called the equator. 
Two lines of latitude north of the equator are special and are called the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle.
Two lines of latitude south of the equator are the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle.

You can see that the sun's rays are more concentrated at the equator than anywhere else on earth.
So the countries near the equator are the hottest in the world.

Near the equator, the earth's tilt causes the sun's rays to shine more directly.
The direct sunlight provides enough energy to heat up land and water. In the polar regions, an equal amount of rays is spread over a wider area since the rays meet the earth's surface at more of an angle.
The angle of the tilted earth causes the rays to pass through more atmosphere at polar regions, losing heat along the way.
Energy from the sun warms the ground, and some of this heat is reflected back into the air. As the warm air rises, it cools down. Places that are high above sea level, such as mountains, have cooler climates than places lower down.
Energy from the sun warms the oceans, rivers and lakes, turning some of the water into vapor. This vapor rises to form clouds, and then falls back to earth as rain, sleet, hail or snow.
So places near the coast have wetter climates than places inland.
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