Q:

What is a moderate climate?

A:

A moderate climate has weather patterns that remain within reasonable limits. A place with a moderate climate is neither too hot nor too cold. Moderate climate is also characterized by moderate wind and moderate rains. The changes between summer and winter are generally moderate in the temperate, or tepid, latitudes of the globe, which lie between the tropics and the polar regions.

In some parts of the world, such as Asia and central North America, the deviations between summer and winter can be extreme because these regions are located far away from the sea, which causes them to have a continental climate. The world’s oceans are critical for heating the planet. Whereas the land and atmosphere absorb some sunlight, most of the sun’s radiation is absorbed by the ocean. The ocean, especially in the tropical waters around the equator, acts as a vast heat-retaining solar panel. The ocean currents act more like a conveyor belt, transporting warm water and precipitation from the equator toward the poles and cold water from the poles back to the tropics. In this way, currents regulate the global climate, which counteracts the uneven distribution of solar radiation reaching the earth’s surface. Regional temperatures would be more extreme without currents. It would be extremely hot at the equator and extremely cold toward the poles, rendering most parts of the earth uninhabitable.


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