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In
geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country located in Southeast Europe. Its population is approximately 10. ...

geography
, the temperate climates (sometimes ''tepid climates'') of
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% is Water distribution on Earth, covered wi ...

Earth
occur in the
middle latitudes The middle latitudes (also called the mid-latitudes, sometimes midlatitudes, or moderate latitudes) are a spatial region on Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29 ...
(40° to 60° N/S of Equator), which span between the
tropics The tropics are the region of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remaining 70.8% i ...

tropics
and the
polar regions of Earth The polar regions, also called the frigid zones, of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent ...
. These zones generally have wider
temperature Temperature ( ) is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several distinct physical concept ...

temperature
ranges throughout the year and more distinct
season A season is a division of the year based on changes in weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloud cover, cloudy. On Earth, most ...

season
al changes compared to
tropical climate Tropical climate is one of the five major climate groups in the . Tropical climates are characterized by monthly average temperatures of 18 °C (64.4 °F) or higher year-round and feature hot temperatures. Annual precipitation is often ...
s, where such variations are often small. In temperate climates, not only do latitudinal positions influence temperature changes, but sea currents, prevailing wind direction, continentality (how large a landmass is), and altitude also shape temperate climates. The
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
defines a climate as "temperate" when the mean temperature is above but below in the coldest month. However, other climate classifications set the minimum at .


Zones and climates

The north temperate zone extends from the
Tropic of Cancer The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern Tropic, is the most northerly circle of latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted ...

Tropic of Cancer
(approximately 23.5° north latitude) to the
Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two s and the most northerly of the five major as shown on maps of . It marks the northernmost point at which the center of the sun is just visible on the and the southernmost point at which the center of the ...

Arctic Circle
(approximately 66.5° north latitude). The south temperate zone extends from the
Tropic of Capricorn The Tropic of Capricorn (or the Southern Tropic) is the that contains the at the December (or southern) . It is thus the southernmost latitude where the Sun can be seen directly overhead. It also reaches 90 degrees below the horizon at solar ...
(approximately 23.5° south latitude) to the
Antarctic Circle 350px, ''Map of the Antarctic with the Antarctic Circle in blue.'' The Antarctic Circle is the most southerly of the five major circle of latitude, circles of latitude that mark maps of the Earth. The region south of this circle is known as the An ...

Antarctic Circle
(at approximately 66.5° south latitude). ''In some climate classifications'', the temperate zone is often divided into several smaller climate zones, based on monthly temperatures, the coldest month, and rainfall. These include
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
,
Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
,
oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also called "Pacific Islander(s)" Places *Oceanic, British Columbia, a settlement on Smith Island, Br ...
, and
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (hot summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds In meteorology Mete ...
.


Subtropics

These are the climates that are typically found toward the more equatorial portion of the temperate zone between 23.5° and 35° north or south, and thus are far more influenced by the tropics than any other temperate climate type, usually having warmer temperatures over the year, longer summers and mild, short winters. Freezing precipitation is uncommon in this portion of the temperate zone. On the winter solstice within this range of latitude, the sun still rises to an altitude of between 31.5 and 43 degrees above the horizon respectively thus contributing to the warmer winters however it does not quite reach the zenith (directly overhead) on the summer solstice hence the definition of being within the temperate zone.


Humid subtropical (Cfa) and monsoon subtropical (Cwa)

Humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
s generally have long, hot and humid summers with convective showers in summer and a peak seasonal rainfall in the hottest months. Winters are normally mild in the humid subtropics, and warm ocean currents normally are found in coastal areas with humid subtropical climates. This type of climate is normally located along leeward lower east coasts of continents such as in southeast and central
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
,
Uruguay Uruguay (; ; pt, Uruguai), officially the Oriental Republic of Uruguay ( es, República Oriental del Uruguay), is a country in South America. It shares borders with Argentina to its west and southwest and Brazil to its north and northeast; whi ...

Uruguay
and south of
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
, the southeast portions of
East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia, which is defined in both Geography, geographical and culture, ethno-cultural terms. The modern State (polity), states of East Asia include China, Japan, Mongolia, North Korea, South Korea, and Taiwan. ...

East Asia
, the
southern United States The Southern United States, also referred to as the Southern States, the American South, Dixie, the Southland, or simply the South, is a geographic and cultural region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally ...
,
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
,
Ethiopia Ethiopia, officially the Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia, is a landlocked country in the Horn of Africa. It shares borders with Eritrea and Djibouti to the north, Somaliland to the northeast, Somalia to the east, Kenya to the sout ...

Ethiopia
, and eastern
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
. In some areas with a humid subtropical climate (most notably southeast
China China (), officially the People's Republic of China (PRC; ), is a country in East Asia East Asia is the eastern region of Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere ...

China
and
North India North India is a loosely defined region consisting of the northern part of India India, officially the Republic of India (Hindi: ), is a country in South Asia. It is the List of countries and dependencies by area, seventh-largest count ...

North India
), there is an even sharper wet-dry season, called subtropical monsoon or Cwa. In these regions, winters are quite dry and summers have very heavy rainfall. Some Cwa areas in southern China reported more than 80% of annual precipitation in the 5 warmest months (southwest monsoon).


Mediterranean (Csa, Csb)

Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degre ...
s, opposite to the humid subtropical and monsoonal climates, have a dry summer, with rainfall in the winter and cooler months. They occur mostly at the western edges and coasts of the continents and are bounded by arid deserts on their equatorward sides that cause the dry season of summer, and oceanic climates to the poleward sides that are influenced by cool ocean currents and air masses that bring the rainfall of winter. The five main Mediterranean regions of the world are the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
in northwestern
Afro-Eurasia Afro-Eurasia (or Afroeurasia, Field, Henry.The University of California African Expedition: I, Egypt, ''American Anthropologist,'' New Series Vol. 50, No. 3, Part 1 (Jul. - Sep., 1948), pp. 479-493. or Eurafrasia), nicknamed the World Island, ...

Afro-Eurasia
, coastal
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
in the
United States The United States of America (U.S.A. or USA), commonly known as the United States (U.S. or US) or America, is a country Continental United States, primarily located in North America. It consists of 50 U.S. state, states, a Washington, D.C., ...

United States
, the southwest of
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
, the
Western Cape The Western Cape ( af, Wes-Kaap; xh, iNtshona-Koloni) is a province A province is almost always an administrative division Administrative division, administrative unitArticle 3(1). , country subdivision, administrative region, subnation ...
of
South Africa South Africa, officially the Republic of South Africa (RSA), is the southernmost country in Africa. With over 60 million people, it is the world's 23rd-most populous nation and covers an area of . South Africa has three capital citie ...

South Africa
and the south and southwestern coast of Chile.


Subtropical highland (Cfb, Cwb)

These are variants of the subtropical climates found in high altitude plateaus or montane systems either in the tropics or subtropics, they have characteristically mild temperatures year-round, featuring the four seasons in the subtropics and no marked seasons in the tropics, the latter usually remaining mild to cool through most of the year.


Middle latitudes

These climates occur in the middle latitudes, between approximately 23.5° and 66.5° north, and 23° and 66.5° south, and are the ones with the most equal influence from the equator and the poles, and the most prototypical temperate climates with the typical distinct four-season pattern. In these the temperatures remain relatively cool through most of the year, as opposed to mild and warm in the subtropics and cold in the subpolar zone.


Oceanic (Cfb)

The
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
s are created by the onshore flow from the cool high latitude oceans to their west. This causes the climate to have cool summers and cool (but not cold) winters, and relative humidity and precipitation evenly distributed along the year. These climates are frequently cloudy, and are fairly milder both in winter and summer in comparison to other temperate climates. Annual rainfall is spread throughout the entire year. Regions with this climate include
Northwestern Europe Northwestern Europe, or Northwest Europe, is a loosely defined subregion A subregion is a part of a larger region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted ...
, Northwestern North America, southeastern and southwestern
South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continent ...

South America
, southeastern
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, sma ...

Australia
and most of
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
.


Subpolar zone

These are temperate climates that compared to the subtropics are on the poleward edge of the temperate zone. Therefore, they still have four marked seasons including a warmer one, but are far more influenced by the polar zones than any other but the very polar climates (
tundra In physical geography Physical geography (also known as physiography) is one of the two fields of geography Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα ...

tundra
and
ice cap climate upright=1.4, Effect of Sun angle on climate, Solar radiation has a lower intensity in polar regions because it travels a longer distance through the atmosphere, and is also spread across a larger surface area due to its oblique angle of approach. A ...
).


Subpolar oceanic (Cfc, Cwc, Csc)

Areas with subpolar oceanic climates feature an oceanic climate but are usually located closer to polar regions. As a result of their location, these regions tend to be on the cool end of oceanic climates. Snowfall tends to be more common here than in other oceanic climates. Subpolar oceanic climates are less prone to temperature extremes than
subarctic climate The subarctic climate (also called subpolar climate, or boreal climate) is a climate characterised by long, usually very cold winters, and short, cool summers. It is found on large landmasses, often away from the moderating effects of an ocean, gen ...
s or
continental climate Continental climates often have a significant annual variation in temperature (hot summers and cold winters). They tend to occur in the middle latitudes (40 to 55 north), within large landmasses where prevailing winds In meteorology Mete ...
s, featuring milder winters than these climates. This variant of an oceanic climate is found in parts of coastal
Iceland Iceland ( is, Ísland; ) is a Nordic Nordic most commonly refers to: * Nordic countries, written in plural as Nordics, the northwestern European countries, including Scandinavia, Fennoscandia and the List of islands in the Atlantic Ocean#N ...

Iceland
, the
Faroe Islands The Faroe Islands ( ), or simply the Faroes or Faeroes ( fo, Føroyar ; da, Færøerne ), are a North Atlantic archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of is ...

Faroe Islands
, parts of
Scotland Scotland ( sco, Scotland, gd, Alba Alba (Scottish Gaelic Scottish Gaelic ( gd, Gàidhlig or Scots Gaelic, sometimes referred to simply as Gaelic) is a Goidelic language (in the Celtic languages, Celtic branch of the Indo-European ...

Scotland
, northwestern coastal areas of
Norway Norway, officially the Kingdom of Norway,Names in the official and recognised languages: Bokmål Bokmål (, ; literally "book tongue") is an official written standard for the Norwegian language Norwegian (Norwegian: ''norsk'') is a Nort ...

Norway
such as
Lofoten Lofoten () is an archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of islands, or sometimes a sea containing a small number of scattered islands. Indonesian Archipelago, A ...

Lofoten
and reaching to 70° north on some islands, uplands near the coast of southwestern Norway, the
Aleutian Islands The Aleutian Islands (; ; ale, Unangam Tanaa, literally "Land of the s", possibly from ''aliat'', "island"), also called the Aleut Islands or Aleutic Islands and known before 1867 as the Catherine Archipelago, are a chain of 14 large volcanic ...
of
Alaska Alaska (; ale, Alax̂sxax̂; ; ems, Alas'kaaq; Central Alaskan Yup'ik language, Yup'ik: ''Alaskaq''; tli, Anáaski) is a U.S. state in the Western United States, on the northwest extremity of the country's West Coast of the United State ...

Alaska
and northern parts of the Alaskan Panhandle, some parts of Southern
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
and Chile (though most regions are still classified as continental subantarctic), and a few highland areas of
Tasmania Tasmania (), abbreviated as TAS, is an island An island (or isle) is an isolated piece of habitat that is surrounded by a dramatically different habitat, such as water. Very small islands such as emergent land features on atol ...
, and the
Australian Australians, colloquially referred to as "Aussies", are the citizens Citizenship is a relationship between an individual and a state to which the individual owes allegiance and in turn is entitled to its protection. Each state determines ...
and
Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana The Southern Alps (officially, Southern Alps / Kā Tiritiri o te Moana) are a mountain range extending along much of the length of New Zealand's South Island, reaching its greatest elevations near the range's western side. The name "Southern ...
. This type of climate is even found in the very remote parts of the Papuan Highlands in Indonesia. The classification used for this regime is Cfc. In the most marine of those areas affected by this regime, temperatures above 20 °C (68 °F) are extreme weather events, even in the midst of summer. Temperatures above 30 °C (86 °F) have been recorded on rare occasions in some areas of this climate, and in winter temperatures down to −20 °C (−4 °F) have seldom been recorded in some areas.


Human aspects


Demography, fauna and flora

The vast majority of the world's human population resides in temperate zones, especially in the
northern hemisphere The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29.2% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continents and islands. The remain ...

northern hemisphere
, due to its greater mass of land. The biggest described number of taxa in a temperate region is found in
southern Africa Southern Africa is the south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Pr ...
, where some 24,000 taxa (species and infraspecific taxa) have been described, but the native fauna and flora of this region does not have much cultural importance for the majority of the human population of the world that lives in the Temperate Zones of the Northern Hemisphere, only environmental importance.


Agriculture

Farming is a large-scale practice in the temperate regions (except for boreal/subarctic regions) due to the plentiful rainfall and warm summers, because most agricultural activity occurs in the spring and summer, cold winters have a small effect on agricultural production. Extreme winters or summers have a huge impact on the productivity of agriculture.


Urbanization Urbanization (or urbanisation) refers to the population shift from rural File:Rural landscape in Finland.jpg, A rural landscape in Lappeenranta, South Karelia, Finland. 15 July 2000. In general, a rural area or a countryside is a geographi ...

Temperate regions have the majority of the world's population, which leads to large cities. There are a couple of factors why the climate of large city landscapes differs from the climate of rural areas. One factor is the strength of the absorption rate of builds and asphalt, which is higher than natural land. The other large factor is the burning of fossil fuels from buildings and vehicles. These factors have led to the average climate of cities to be warmer than surrounding areas.


Misconceptions

"Temperate Climate" refers to climates between Polar and Tropical. However, there is a gradual change from polar to tropical climates across the middle latitude temperate zones. Normally, in the northern hemisphere, the northern portions of the temperate zone feature
Boreal Boreal, meaning "(far) northern" in Latin and Greek language, Greek, may refer to: Climatology and geography *Boreal (age), the first climatic phase of the Blytt-Sernander sequence of northern Europe, during the Holocene epoch *Boreal climate, a c ...
,
Continental Continental may refer to: Places * Continent * Continental, Arizona, a small community in Pima County, Arizona, US * Continental, Ohio, a small town in Putnam County, US Arts and entertainment * Continental (album), ''Continental'' (album), an alb ...
, and
Oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
s, while the southern portions of the temperate zone are often
Mediterranean The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by the Mediterranean Basin and almost completely enclosed by land: on the north by Western Europe, Western and Southern Europe and Anatolia, on the south by North Africa ...
and
humid subtropical climate A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cool to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitude In geography Geograp ...
s. These different climates all fall within the temperate zone which has a basic definition as being any climate with a mean temperature above but below in the coldest month. Obviously winter temperatures will be more mild in southerly portions and colder in the more northerly portions of the northern temperate zone and vice versa in the southern temperate zone. From a floristic standpoint, each of these climate zones have generally temperate vegetation. There is however, an obvious change in flora from the far northern portions of the temperate zone (Boreal) to the far southern portion (humid subtropical). Pines and conifers are endemic and more abundant in the northern portion of the temperate, while palms may be endemic to far southern portions of the temperate zone. Along with this, the humid subtropical climate may be wrongly separated from the Temperate group of climates, and further associated with the Tropical climates, much because of its name, temperatures and the vegetation found in Subtropical zones which can be somewhat similar to that of Tropical regions (For instance the
Atlantic Forest The Atlantic Forest ( pt, Mata Atlântica) is a South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It can ...

Atlantic Forest
of
Brazil Brazil ( pt, Brasil; ), officially the Federative Republic of Brazil (Portuguese: ), is the largest country in both South America and Latin America. At 8.5 million square kilometers (3.2 million square miles) and with over 211 mill ...

Brazil
is spread across both Temperate and Tropical zones of the country). Additionally, both temperate and tropical species can be found side by side in the far southern portions of the temperate zone (for example in central Florida), while subarctic species might be found growing in northern portions of the continental zone (for example in Northwest Europe).


See also

*
Geographical zone The five main latitude In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth and planets. T ...
*
Habitat Ibex in an alpine habitat In ecology Ecology (from el, οἶκος, "house" and el, -λογία, label=none, "study of") is the study of the relationships between living organisms, including humans, and their physical environment. ...

Habitat
*
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
*
Middle latitudes The middle latitudes (also called the mid-latitudes, sometimes midlatitudes, or moderate latitudes) are a spatial region on Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbour and support life. 29 ...
*
Polar circle A polar circle is a geographic term for a conditional circular line (arc) referring either to the Arctic Circle The Arctic Circle is one of the two s and the most northerly of the five major as shown on maps of . It marks the northernmo ...

Polar circle
*
Subtropics The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical zone, geographical and Köppen climate classification, climate zones located to the north and south of the tropics, Torrid Zone. Geographically part of the Geographical zone#Temperate zones, ...

Subtropics


References

{{Authority control Köppen climate types