What Are the Different Types of Climates?

Climate can be divided into five main types, which are tropical, dry, temperate, cold and polar. Within each climate type, there are further sub-divisions determined by local weather patterns and conditions. Two main variables that determine the exact climate type of an area are the average air temperature and precipitation levels. The type of climate that a region enjoys largely determines local life diversity.

The tropical climate region is controlled by the air masses located on the equator. The tropical climate type can be further subdivided into three distinct geographical types, which are rainforest, savanna and desert. Each region’s unique characteristics are largely determined by the volume of rainfall it receives on a yearly basis. Over all three geographical regions, average temperature and latitude range differs little.

Mid-latitude areas are affected by the movement of both the tropical winds and the polar winds that are in constant conflict over this region. Four climate sub-types that can be found in the mid-latitude area include the steppe, the chaparral biome, the grasslands biome and the deciduous forest biome.

Arctic and polar air controls the climates of high-latitude areas, which experience long and cold winters. Sub-types common in this area include the taiga and tundra biomes.