Climate Changes with Latitude
Places far from the equator receive less sunlight than places close to the equator. The amount of sunlight and the amount of precipitation affects the types of plants and animals that can live in a place.
The equator of our planet received the most sunlight. The sunlight makes this area very warm. The types of ecosystems that develop in this warm environment are:
- Rainforests: There’s a lot of rain in a rainforest and the temperature stays warm all year long.
- Savanna: This ecosystem has a wet season and a very dry season.
- Deserts: There is very little rain in deserts and they are very warm.
The area between the warm equator and the chilly poles is called the mid latitudes. Climates in this zone are affected by both warm, tropical air moving towards the poles and cold, polar air moving towards the equator.
- Chaparrel: This ecosystem has wet-winters and dry-summers.
- Grasslands This ecosystem is typically found on the dry interior of continents.
- Temperate forest: A moist climate allows leafy trees to thrive.
High latitudes receive the least sunlight, creating cold climates.
- Taiga: The forests of the taiga ecosystem survive despite long and very cold winters. Summers are short and still quite cool.
- Tundra: Ocean winds in arctic coastal areas keep the temperatures from
being too harsh.