What is the relationship between latitude and temperature?


Quick Answer

Latitude forms an inverse relationship with temperature, where regions at lower latitudes have higher temperatures compared to areas at higher latitudes. The lower the latitude, the warmer the region becomes. Conversely, the higher the latitude, the colder the area becomes.

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Full Answer

The specific location of any particular place on the planet's surface can be determined using geographic coordinates. The two numbers that are used to indicate a global address, as well as the different time zones, are called latitude and longitude. On a globe, latitudes are depicted as horizontal lines that run from east to west, while longitudes are drawn as vertical lines that run from north to south.

A latitude refers to the north or south angular distance of a place with respect to the equator. It is also known as a "parallel" because a latitude runs parallel to the equator. The equator, designated as 0 latitude, equally divides Earth into the Northern and Southern Hemispheres, with corresponding poles at 90 degrees north latitude and 90 degrees south latitude, respectively.

Latitude significantly influences global weather phenomena, including the polar auroras, prevailing winds, precipitation and temperature. The areas closest to the equator, called the tropics, receive the highest amount of sunlight and are generally warmer compared to other parts of the planet. The places located at mid-latitudes, known as the temperate regions, experience both the tropical heat and the arctic cold. Regions at very high latitudes receive the least amount of sunlight, which results in very cold temperatures.

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