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Why Does Temperature vary over the world?

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Why Does Temperature vary over the world There are two different sorts of factors that alter the answer to this question and these are long-term and short-term factors. Long-term factors Land and sea areas mostly influence atmospheric temperature. This is evident in the colder months when it is evident that the waters in the same area are always colder than the land the same areas. In the summer months this is totally reversed. Land and sea differ in their ability to absorb, transfer and radiate heat energy. The sea is more transparent than the land, and is capable of absorbing heat down to a depth of 10 metres. It can then transfer this heat to greater depths through movements of waves and currents. The sea also has a greater specific heat capacity than that of land. ...read more.


Warm currents carry water pole wards and raise the temperature of the maritime environments where they flow. Cold currents carry water towards the equator and so lower the temperatures of coastal areas. The mean difference of one place and the mean same monthly totals of places with the same latitude; this difference is known as Temperature anomaly. (The term 'temperature anomaly' is used specifically to describe temperature differences from a mean.) Anomalies result primarily from the uneven heating and cooling rates of land and sea, and are intensified by the horizontal transfer of energy by ocean currents and prevailing winds. Temperatures are adjusted to eliminate some of the effects of relief, thus emphasising the influence of prevailing winds, ocean currents and continentality. Prevailing winds also affect the temperature differences across the earth. The temperature of the wind is determined by its area of origin and by the characteristics of the surface of which it usually blows. ...read more.


This is because the molecules in air that receive and retain heat become fewer and more widely spaced as height increases. Short-Term Factors Seasonal changes at the spring and autumn equinoxes (21 March and 22 September) when the sun is directly over the equator, insulation is distributed equally between both hemispheres. At the end of the summer and winter solstices (21 June and 22 December) when, due to the earth's tilt, the sun is overhead at the tropics, the hemisphere is experiencing' summer' will receive maximum insulation. The length of day and night affects the variation of temperature because insulation is only received during daylight hours and reaches its peak at noon. There are no seasonal variations at the equator, where day and night are of equal length throughout the year. In extreme contrast, polar areas receive no insulation during part of the winter when there is continuous darkness, but may receive up to 24 hours of insulation during parts of summer when the sun never sinks below the horizon (the lands of the midnight sun). ...read more.

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