CHARACTERISTICS OF CLIMATE
6.E.2B.4 Construct explanations for how climate is determined in an area (including latitude, elevation, shape of the land, distance from water, global winds, and ocean currents).
The objective of this indicator is to construct explanations to show how latitude, elevation, shape of the land, distance from the water, global winds and ocean currents all determine the climate in an area. Therefore, the primary focus of assessment should be for students to use evidence obtained from scientific evidence, models, conclusions, predictions, and data to explain how factors such as latitude, elevation, shape of the land, distance from the water, global winds and ocean currents are all factors that determine climate in an area.
This could include but is not limited to students 1) using these factors to determine the climate in a given location and 2) comparing the factors in different locations and use them to explain the differences in regional climates. In addition to construct explanations, students should ask questions, develop and use models, plan and conduct investigations, analyze and interpret data, use mathematical and computational thinking, engage in scientific argument from evidence and obtain, evaluate and communicate information.
Key words: Local wind patterns
Essential Knowledge: All of the following can affect climate in local regions:
o The sun’s rays directly strike the equator (latitude 0) and cause the regions near the equator to be warmer.
o Generally, as latitude increases the temperature of the area decreases.
o Within the troposphere as altitude increases temperature decreases.
Shape of the Land (Topography)
o Certain land formations (mountains and valleys) can affect the movement of air masses and therefore affect the weather conditions a region experiences.
Distance from Water
o Land and Sea breezes are local convection currents that occur in areas near water because of the unequal heating of Earth materials.
o Global winds provide a predictable pattern for the movement of air in a specific region and are named after the direction they come from. Ocean Currents
o Ocean currents circulate heat energy. Air masses that originate over regions of the ocean are moved with currents and affect the climate of coastal regions.
Extended Knowledge: There are three types of global winds. o The trade winds blow from east to west in the tropical region moving warm tropical air in that climate zone. o The prevailing westerly winds blow from west to east in the temperate region. o The polar winds blow northeast to west in the polar region moving cold polar air in that climate zone from the poles toward the west. Agriculture and mariculture in a particular area is determined by the weather conditions.
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Student PPT Copy:
6-4.7, 6-4.8, 6-4.9
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