Types of climate
The classification of a region’s climate depends on elements such as temperature, humidity and atmospheric pressure. There are also factors such as the distance of a region from the sea, marine currents, latitude and altitude. In low-altitude areas, the heat is retained for a longer time because of the denser atmosphere. If the air is rarefied, as happens in areas with an elevated altitude, there is less capacity to maintain the heat that comes from the sun. In relation to latitude, the closer a region is to the poles (higher latitude) the colder it will be, and the closer to the Equator (lower latitude) the hotter the region will be.
Taking into consideration all the influencing factors, one of the classifications to divide the types of climate around the world is the following: equatorial, tropical, temperate, Mediterranean, continental, polar and arid.
In regions located close to the line of the Equator, the average temperature is 25 °C and it rains almost all year round. This type of climate covers a good part of Brazilian territory and principally covers the Amazon Forest region. It is also found, for example, in Colombia (South America), the Congo (Africa) and in Malaysia (Asia).
The tropical climate, which covers areas between the tropic of Cancer and the tropic of Capricorn, has an average temperature above 20 °C (in the summer it is higher than 25 °C) and a high rain index. In winter there may be periods of drought. It is found in the northwest, the southwest and the mid-west of Brazil, as well as, for example, in Venezuela (South America), Australia (Oceania), India and China (Asia), and in South Africa (Africa).
In a temperate climate (between the North Pole and the tropic of Cancer, and the tropic of Capricorn and the South Pole), the temperature falls to around 18°C. In the winter there may be temperatures below zero degrees. Rain is distributed in a regular manner during the year and the seasons are well defined: hot summer, autumn with amenable temperatures, cold winter, and a spring that heats up with the passing of time. A temperate climate is found in the south of Brazil and in countries such as Argentina and Chile (South America), the United States (North America), Greece and Italy (Europe), North Korea and Japan (Asia).
The Mediterranean climate is a type of temperate climate with more intense rains in the winter and autumn, and with hot, dry summers. It is mainly found in the south of Europe, in the region by the Mediterranean Sea, but also occurs in the United States (North America) and in Chile (South America), for example.
It is characterized by an average temperature above 10 °C in the hottest months and less than zero degrees in the coldest ones. Normally it is recorded in regions in the interior of continents, like in China (Asia), Canada and the United States (North America), and in Russia (Europe/Asia).
The climate in polar regions has average temperatures below zero degrees, with long winters and short, dry summers. It rarely rains and, when there is precipitation (transformation of atmospheric nebulosity into water or ice), it happens in the form of snow. The polar climate is found, for example, in the whole continent of Antarctica, Canada and the United States (North America), and Iceland (Europe).
In the regions with an arid climate, also called a desert climates, the atmospheric humidity is low and the temperatures are high. This type of climate is found in Australia (Oceania), China (Asia), the United States (North America), Chile and Peru (South America), and in Namibia (Africa), for example.