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AP Enviro



Unit 4

4.8 Earth's Geography and Climate

1 min readjune 11, 2020

Cody Williams

Factors That Influence Climate

There are many factors that influence climate, but there are some geologic and geographic factors that can play a big role. These factors include mountains, altitudes, bodies of water, and volcanoes.

  • Mountains play a massive role in the weather in surrounding areas. The rain shadow effect results in one side of a mountain receiving more precipitation than the other side. On the windward side, warm, moist air rises up the mountain, cools, and falls as precipitation. However, on the leeward side, they don’t receive much precipitation because the air doesn’t have much moisture left.

  • Altitude mainly impacts temperature. At higher altitudes, the temperature will be cooler than at lower altitudes.

  • Bodies of water, especially oceans, can greatly impact the weather in nearby regions. Since water has a high specific heat, temperature changes in areas near large bodies of water are often starker. In addition to this, ocean water can heat the air and cause the weather to be more moderate and humid, especially in coastal regions.

  • As one can imagine, volcanic activity can also impact an area’s climate. When a volcano releases smoke, it can block and trap solar radiation which causes a cooling effect that can last for long periods of time.

  • Other factors that affect climate are human interaction, pollution, albedo effect, humidity, and many more.


Image Courtesy of Wikimedia

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