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46.1 Climate and the Biosphere
The birds migrate toward their breeding grounds after wintering in the southern part of their range.
The winter migration takes them through the same flyways and staging points.
From the middle of March to the middle of May is when it happens.
The new birds have grown enough to start the cycle over again.
The survival of this species depends on a variety of biomes.
The prevailing weather conditions in a region are called climate.
Because the Earth is a sphere, it gets both direct sunlight at the equator and indirect sunlight at the poles.
The tropics are between the north and south of the equator.
The tropics are warmer than the north and south of 23.5degS.
Because the Earth is a sphere, beams of solar energy hitting the Earth near one of the poles are spread over a wider area than similar beams hitting the Earth at the equator.
The seasons of the Northern and Southern Hemispheres are due to the tilt of the Earth.
The tilt of the Earth causes one pole or the other to be tilted toward the sun, except at the spring and fall equinoxes.
The seasons occur in all parts of the Earth except at the equator.
When the Northern Hemisphere is having winter, the Southern Hemisphere is having summer.
All air movements would occur in two different directions if the Earth were a solid, uniform ball.
Warm air at the equator would move toward the poles, where it would cool and sink.
zones of lower air pressure are created by rising air.
The flow of warm and cold air is changed into three large circulation cells in each hemisphere because of the Earth's rotation.
The Earth rotates on its axis, so air ascends and descends as shown.
The trade winds move from the northeast to the west in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast to the west in the Southern Hemisphere.
The westerlies are moving toward the east.
The sun heats the air at the equator.
Warm, moist air rises, and as it cools, it loses most of its rain-like qualities.
The equator has the greatest amount of rain.
The rising air flows toward the poles, but at 30 degrees north and south, it cools and sinks into the Earth's surface.
Areas of high pressure are created when the dry air descends.
The high-pressure regions are low in precipitation.
The great deserts of Africa, Australia, and the Americas can be found at these latitudes.
The air moves toward the poles and equator at the Earth's surface.
Water and land get absorbed as dry air moves across the Earth.
The warm air rises and cools in the north and south at 60 degrees north and south.
The great forests of the temperate zone are supported by this moist air.
Part of the rising air goes toward the equator and the other goes toward the poles.
The poles have low amounts of precipitation.
The winds are affected by the spinning of the Earth.
Large-scale winds bend clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere and counterclockwise in the Southern Hemisphere.
The curving pattern of the winds, ocean currents, and cyclones is the result of the Earth rotating in an eastward direction.
The winds blow from the east to the south in the Southern Hemisphere and from the east to the north in the Northern Hemisphere.
There are calm regions at the equator.
Sailors depended on trade winds to fill their sails.
The prevailing westerlies blow from west to east in the north and south latitudes.
The Pacific Northwest has a massive evergreen forest, which is located on the west coast of the continents.
The polar easterlies blow from the east to the west at higher latitudes.
The presence of mountains is a physical feature that affects the climate.
As air rises over a coastal mountain range, it cools.
The windward side of the mountain gets more rain than the other side.
On the interior side of the mountain or leeward side, the air descends, absorbs water from the ground, and produces clear weather.
When winds from the sea cross a coastal mountain range, they rise and release their water as they cool this side of a mountain, called the windward side.
In the Hawaiian Islands, the windward side of the mountains gets more rain than the leeward side, with an average of 50 cm of rain a year.
The western side of the Sierra Nevada Mountains is lush, while the eastern side is semidesert.
The temperature of the oceans is stable.
The heat of the ocean is more slowly than the heat of the land.
There is a weather pattern that is not observed inland.
During the day, the land warms more quickly than the ocean, and the air above the land rises, pulling a cool sea breeze in from the ocean.
The breeze blows from the land to the sea at night.
India and other countries in southern Asia have a monsoon climate in which wet ocean winds blow for almost half the year.
During the spring, the land is hotter than the Indian Ocean.
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