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Climatic Controls

Six major factors control the climate:



Let us learn more about these factors that affect the climate in a region.


Latitudes are imaginary lines joining points on the Earth's surface that are all of equal distance north or south of the equator

Latitudes (Horizontal Lines)

The Equator


The equator divides the planet into a Northern Hemisphere and a Southern Hemisphere, and has a latitude of 0°.

Lines of latitude are circles on the surface of the Earth.

The angle at which sunlight strikes the earth, which varies by location, time of day, and season, is an important factor in the amount of heat energy received at any location on the globe, thus determining the climate of a region.

Thus temperature decreases from the equator towards the poles.


Altitude is the height of a place above sea level or the Earth's surface.

As the altitude of a place increases, the atmosphere becomes less dense and temperature decreases. The hills are therefore cooler during summers than the plains.


The Earth's atmosphere is divided into various altitude regions:

  • Troposphere - surface to 5 miles.
  • Stratosphere - Troposphere to 31 miles.
  • Mesosphere - Stratosphere to 53 miles.
  • Thermosphere - Mesosphere to 420 miles.
  • Exosphere - Thermosphere to 6200 miles.


Pressure and Wind



Wind is the flow of air and Air Pressure is the force exerted by the column of air on the surface of the earth.

Latitude and altitude determine the pressure and wind system of an area.

Pressure and wind play an important role in the amount of rainfall a region receives.

With increase in altitude, the air expands due to a decrease in air pressure .Due to this the wind experiences a decrease in temperature which results in the increase of the relative humidity. This causes condensation of water vapor into water droplets. When droplets become too heavy ,rain falls.


India Wind zone map


Distance from the Sea

The Sea

The sea has a moderating influence on the region near it. The region near the sea does not experience extreme climates.

As the distance from the sea increases the region experiences extreme climatic conditions known as continentality , that is the summers are very hot and the winter are very cold.

Ocean Currents



Ocean currents and onshore winds affect the climate of coastal regions. Coastal area are warm or cool depending on the ocean currents that flow past it.

Relief (Mountains)


Mountains act as barriers and stops cold or hot winds. So the climate of a region, sheltered by a mountain, owes its climatic condition to the mountain relief. Mountains that are high enough bring rain to the region they are sheltering as the block the rain-bearing winds and cause them to shed their waters. The regions on the other side of the mountains however remain dry.


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