Mountains, valleys and local topography affect the movement of air, precipitation and temperature. This results in areas that are wetter, drier or warmer than surrounding flatlands.Continue Reading
Mountains are natural barriers to the movement of wind. They are colder than surrounding flatlands because the temperature decreases with elevation. As a result, there may be a tropical climate at the bottom of the mountain and snow on top. Mountains are wetter on the windward side because of this temperature differential. Winds carrying moist air rise when they reach the mountain and cool as they rise higher. Cold air cannot hold as much water as warm air, and precipitation is the usual result. This is why it rains so much in Seattle. However, the leeward side of the mountain tends to be drier because the wind loses all of its moisture on the windward side, and the air compresses and warms as it works its way down the mountain.
Valleys tend to be warmer than surrounding flatlands. Death Valley, California, for example, is the hottest and driest place in the United States. It is dry because dry air descends from the Sierra Nevada mountains and into the valley. As it descends down into the valley, it warms and settles there. Local topography near large bodies of water affect the temperature of air currents causing them to absorb more water than usual.Learn more about Environmental Science
Maritime climate is a temperate temperature range that coastal regions experience because of the effect of the ocean. Because of its massive size, the ocean does not heat up as fast as rock and soil in the summer, which gives these regions cooler temperatures. Once the ocean does heat up by the end of the summer, it provides the coasts with more heat during the colder months.Full Answer >
Some examples of abiotic factors in temperate forests include the soil and mineral characteristics of the area, as well as the temperature and climate of the forest. In contrast to biotic, or living, factors of a forest, the abiotic factors are the result of non-living processes.Full Answer >
There are many abiotic factors present in the temperate deciduous forest, but some of the most common are rocks, climate, soil, sunlight, rain and temperature. The abiotic factors of an ecosystem are all the nonliving things that affect the survival and reproduction of living organisms.Full Answer >
Seasonal temperature variations and long-term climate change cause melting of the polar ice caps. As of 2014, temperatures in the Arctic are increasing at double the rate of elsewhere in the world. As a result, ice in the Arctic is thinning and melting. Arctic ice is decreasing by 9 percent each decade, according to data derived from NASA satellite images.Full Answer >