How Does Distance From the Sea Affect Temperature?

By Staff WriterLast Updated Apr 9, 2020 1:22:28 AM ET
Pedro Ribeiro Simoes/CC-BY 2.0

Large bodies of water take longer to warm or cool than the land does, so coastal regions generally see lower temperatures during the summer and warmer temperatures during the winter than areas that are further inland. When warm air from the inland areas meets the cool sea air, moisture and water droplets form fog, which is far less common further from the sea.

Distance from the sea is a factor in the overall climate due to ocean currents, which are caused by the winds that blow over the surface of the ocean. The surface of the water is driven by these winds and pressure begins to build, creating disturbances in the water that initiates currents. These currents transfer heat from the equator to the colder northern and southern regions of the planet. Ocean currents not only run from north and south, but from east and west as well, carrying both warm and cool water for thousands of miles and reaching all the continents. This either cools or warms the air of the region, which indirectly affect the climate on land as well. Meteorologists track ocean currents in an effort to anticipate future weather patterns and determine any possible climate change.