How Does Latitude Affect Climate?

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Latitude can affect climate through circulation, and the wind bands known as trade winds differ depending on latitude. Discover how the movement of weather systems is controlled by large wind belts with help from the chair of a department of environmental studies in this free video on how latitude affects climate.

Part of the Video Series: Environmental Science & Weather
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Video Transcript

Well, latitude affects climate in terms of circulation, where the major wind bands are by latitudinal differences. Around the equator you have a wind band known as the "trade winds" which primarily blow from the East to the West. As you move either North or South off from the equator then you get into the wind bands known as the "prevailing westerlies" where we are right now, and that controls most of the weather because it moves the weather as the name implies from the West to the East. So it's opposite from what you get around the equator with the "trade winds". As we move even farther North toward the Pole's, well, then it switches back again. You get the "polar easterlies" where the winds again move from the East to the West, and this is all set up by atmospheric circulation and turn over of the atmosphere causing the surface winds to go into different directions. So, the movement of the weather systems is controlled by these bigger wind belts and these bigger wind patterns that you see, and they're symmetrical around the equator. You have, you have the tropical winds, the "trade winds", both North and South right near the equator . Then the "westerlies" a little farther on both sides, then the "polar easterlies" towards both Poles.


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