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Oceanic climate

From Academic Kids

An oceanic climate (also called marine west coast climate and maritime climate) is the climate typically found along the west coasts at the middle latitudes of all the world's continents, and in southeastern Australia; similar climates are also found at high elevations within the tropics.

Oceanic climates are characterized by a narrower annual range of temperatures than are encountered in other places at a comparable latitude, and differ from Mediterranean climates in that significant amounts of precipitation are received in summer. This means that precipitation is both adequate and reliable at all times of the year in oceanic climates, except in certain tropical highland areas, which would have tropical savanna climates (with a dry season in winter) if not for the high altitude making them cooler.

Overall temperature characteristics vary among oceanic climates; those at the lowest latitudes are subtropical from a thermal standpoint, but more commonly a mesothermal regime prevails, with cool, but not cold, winters. Poleward of the latter is a zone of subpolar oceanic climate, with a summer growing season of less than four months; examples of this climate include much of coastal Iceland in the Northern Hemisphere and extreme southern Chile in the Southern Hemisphere (the fact that this form of climate exists in both hemispheres ruling out the use of such terms as subarctic or boreal to denote it; even though these terms are used to refer to climates characterized by short summers, they are also synonyms for "northern" and therefore inappropriate).

With one significant exception, oceanic climates are classified as humid with respect to precipitation, the only major example of a dry oceanic climate being that of Patagonia.

Compare continental climate, Mediterranean climate.


External link

  • EPIC Data Collection (http://www.epic.noaa.gov/epic/ewb/) On-line ocean observational data collection

fr:Climat tempéré

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