Factors That Affect Climate

Climate is the weather prevailing over a long period. It is measured by accessing the weather temperature and precipitation and analyzing the overall long-term trends in these two variables. Regarding meteorology, the climate is the statistical description of a group or region’s mean weather pattern over time. The climate study includes atmospheric composition and circulation, including cloud formation and water vapor. The primary purpose of studying climate is to determine what influences it, such as temperature, precipitation levels, winds, and geography, to make inferences about global warming on earth.

Factors that affect climate

The factors which affect climate are the ones that affect temperature. The main factors impacting climate are:

Ocean Currents

Ocean currents are the moving flows of warm and cold water in the ocean. A current is a stream or movement of water, also referred to as a current. The currents are due to temperature differences. Warm water is lighter and moves toward the Equator with the Coriolis force. The same happens with cold water.

Tropical Moisture

The total amount of moisture in a climate system is known as the suitably defined climate quantity called tropical moisture. Tropical moisture has been studied for many years, and various climatic models have been developed to simulate this quantity to study climate changes associated with them.


Climate change affects climate because the earth is closer to the sun at the Equator than at higher latitudes. Due to this variation in the distance by latitudinal position, the earth absorbs different amounts of solar radiation from the sun.


Precipitation is any product of atmosphere precipitation (or water) that falls back to earth, usually within a defined geographic area such as a state, country, or continent. The primary factors affecting precipitation are latitude and temperature. Regions with high latitudes typically receive more precipitation due to cooler temperatures resulting in larger water volumes. In contrast, tropical regions generally have lower precipitation due to warmer temperatures with smaller water volumes.


Clouds are formed by water vapor in the atmosphere. The water vapor that forms clouds forms from humidity by condensing water vapor into tiny droplets that eventually become visible clouds. Cumulonimbus clouds form at latitudes greater than 30 degrees North and South, associated with high altitudes, strong winds, and cold air. Cumulonimbus clouds have the most precipitation within tropical regions. They are the most abundant in warmer regions such as India during the monsoon season, which occurs from June through September.

Tropical Cyclones

Tropical cyclonic storms are formed by intense moist air that rises in the tropics and is carried pole ward. Tropical Storms form the same way as typhoons and hurricanes, except they are located in the tropics. Tropical cyclones have more rain within their vicinity than extra tropical cyclones because of stronger vertical wind shear within the storm because of their proximity to the Equator. Tropical cyclone formation has been associated with a change in mean temperature for some years but has received little study due to large improvements in satellite technology.

El Niño

El Niño is a weather phenomenon in the tropical Pacific Ocean. It occurs irregularly, meaning occurrences are not predictable. Still, El Niño is associated with warmer surface sea-surface temperatures (SST) and average sea-level pressures (SLP), as well as indicators of increased rainfall such as increased river flooding and landslides. The warming of the eastern Pacific Ocean has also been associated with winter cyclone activity.

Global warming

Global warming refers to rising global surface temperatures resulting from human activities that increase carbon dioxide (CO2) and other greenhouse gases. These human activities have grown substantially since the industrial revolution. Burning fossil fuels and deforestation are two main contributors to increased greenhouse gases, both of which cause global warming.

Distance from the equator

The earth’s climate is significantly different at different points from the Equator. The temperature in the north of Canada is much colder than it would be if it were situated directly on the same latitude as, for example, Florida.

The Coriolis Effect

The Coriolis effect occurs when an object moves across a rotating system, such as the earth’s atmosphere. The Coriolis effect directly affects the freezing level height and atmospheric moisture patterns. It begins to impact around 500 ft (150 m) above sea level due to low levels of atmospheric friction at this altitude.


The topography of a region has a direct effect on the local climate for two reasons. The first reason is that the land heats up faster than the oceans. Second, high land elevations allow air to be trapped; the air is less dense and produces less pressure than lowlands. The combination of warmer temperatures and lower pressure allows frequent storms along mountainous regions’ coastlines.


Relief is the distance from one place to another, usually across a landscape. Relief can also be described as the altitude difference between places. Different places have different heights and therefore create different climates.


Vegetation includes trees, shrubs, and grasses. The density and height of vegetation affect the climate around it because the more trees there are, the more moisture is retained in surrounding areas (see Greenhouse effect).

Wind and air masses

Wind and air masses are large bodies of air that exhibit uniform characteristics. They result from large-scale atmospheric pressure and temperature variations, which create belts of similar climatic conditions around them. These belts span different latitudes and are known as tropical, subtropical, polar, express, and maritime.


Bio-geography studies the distribution patterns and processes of plants, animals, and other organisms on the earth’s surface. This affects climate because some species migrate to areas of cooler climates and others to warmer ones.

Volcanic Activity

Volcanic activity releases volatile gases (such as carbon dioxide, water vapor, and sulfur dioxide) from the earth’s inner mantle. These gases are trapped under pressure within the earth’s crust. Volcanic activity also affects climate by releasing large quantities of dust particles into the atmosphere, which can reflect sunlight or cause a greenhouse effect. This causes a warmer climate in places where volcanoes are located.

Subtropical Modes

The sub-tropical modes create equable climates that vary depending on latitude. The four modes are monsoon, summer, polar, and winter (see: Climate). This affects climate depending on the location of the sub-tropical mode; the climate can be warm (monsoon) or cold (polar).