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Explain how each of the altitude and oceanic circulation influence climate (10 Marks)

Both altitude and oceanic circulation play a massive role in affecting our climates, why its cold when it is and why its warm! Climate is defined  as the weather conditions prevailing in an area in general or over a long period. Within this essay I am going to discuss how both these factors affect climate!

Oceanic circulation is the large scale movement of water within the oceans and plays a role in the heat transfer from the tropics roughly speaking north and south. These ocean currents circulate in by convection currents, cold water sinks at the poles and rises when the water is warmed, thus hot water is taken from the equator to the poles. This plays a massive role in the climate of many countries. As the sea is normally warmer the the land during the winter, when onshore winds blow, the warming influence is key, the air is warmed has it flow over the sea which then blows onshore warming the western sides of continents. Cold ocean currents have less effect on temperature as they usually occur under offshore winds – One exception is the Labrador current off the east coast of North America 

Now onto how altitude effects climate around the world, as we know temperature decreases as you increase the height above sea level, this is because the heating influence on the earth is decreased. The temperature decreases at about 6.50C every 1KM and this is called the environmental lapse rate (ELR) This changed according to local air conditions, from height, seasons, surface and whether it is between air masses. This means that the lower to the sea you are the higher the temperature is likely to be lower. For instance in Higher Willhays in Dartmoor which is 645M above sea level the temperature is likely to be  4.2oC lower then at sea level. Adiabatic process is the process of temperature change as a result of a pressure change, however this is not relevant to climate has it has no exchange of heat with the external environment. 

To conclude, both oceanic circulation by the air flowing over a warm ocean, which then warms the land. And, altitude via the ELR affect our world wide climates. Climate and climate change is a massive issue within modern society, human influence is affecting the fine balance which is the natural climate. 

Ben S. 13 Plus  Geography tutor, GCSE Geography tutor, A Level Geogra...

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