What is climate?

Climate is a pattern of weather in an area for a long period of time. Climate is different to weather.

Weather is a change in the atmosphere that happens daily. Today the weather can be rainy and tomorrow it can be sunny.

The climate of an area doesn’t change from one day to the next. For example, the climate of a desert is dry. The weather in the desert might be rainy one day but the climate of the desert is still dry.

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Climate change

The climate of an area can change after a long time. A long time ago, there was a big ice age on Earth and woolly mammoths roamed the Earth. The climate changed and today there is grass and flowing rivers where ice once was.

The climate changes naturally with time but human activity has been making it change even quicker! Pollution and the cutting down of forests has been making the temperature of the Earth hotter. This is known as global warming

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Global warming has caused the ice to melt in the Poles and is putting many animals’ lives at risk. Polar bears rely on the sea ice for travelling, hunting, and resting. 


Types of climate

How high up a place is, what the land is like, and the presence of water, all affect the climate of an area. The type of climate determines what animals and plants can live in the area. You won’t find polar bears in a tropical rainforest or coconut trees in Antarctica! Each climate has its very own habitat.

These are the 5 main types of climates in the world. Think about the animals and plants you can find in each one: tropical, dry, mild, cold, and polar. 


Did you know?

  • The driest place on Earth is the Atacama Desert in Chile. It gets less than 1cm of rain per year!
  • The wettest place on Earth is Mawsynram, India.

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  • The hottest place on Earth is the Danakil Depression in Ethiopia.
  • The coldest place is Plateau Station, Antarctica, where the average temperature is -56.7ºC (-70.1ºF).