What is the difference between maritime and continental climate?


Quick Answer

The difference between maritime and continental climate is that there is less of a temperature variation in a maritime climate, while in a continental climate the climate does fluctuate, such that summers can be hot and winters very cold. In a maritime climate, summers can be cool, and the winters are not very cold.

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Full Answer

The reason for this is that maritime climates are located near the coast of water sources like the sea. Water bodies tend to retain their heat during winter, which causes temperature near coastal areas to be warmer in winter. Continental climate are found away from bodies of water, so temperature extremes between the summer and winter seasons are more noticeable.

Another difference in these two climate types is in the amount of precipitation. In maritime climates, precipitation amounts are greater than in continental climates because there is more moisture due to its location near a body of water.

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