Climatology


What is climatology? How does it differ from weather? Describe the Koppen
Climate Classification and its purpose.


Climatology is one of the several branches of physical geography, but
it differs from weather in several ways. The term climate implies an average,
or long term record of weather conditions at a certain region. It conveys a
generalization of all the recorded weather observations in a given area.
Weather conditions are recorded in specifics for any given moment in time:
the temperature, percentage of rainfall, and percentage of humidity. Climate
on the other hand, is described in more general terms. Humid Equatorial
climates, Dry climates, and Cold Polar climates are marked by certain
prevailing characteristics that can be mapped such as continuous snow or deserts.


One of the most popular classification systems is the Koppen Climate
Classification system, which gives different climates three letters that
describe that climate. The Koppen Climate Classification system is
comparatively simple and is based on a triad of letter symbols. The first
(capital) letter is the critical one; the A climates are humid and tropical;
the B climates are very dry; the C climates are humid and mild; the D
climates reflect increasing cold; and the E climates mark the polar areas.
The first letter is followed by two more letters that further define the climate
of that region. The second letter represents and explains the dry season:
whether there is or isn\'t a dry season, whether it is a short or long dry
season, and what season it comes in either a dry winter or a dry summer. The
third letter defines the temperature of different seasons either a hot or cool
summer or a cold or warm winter.

The purpose of the Koppen Climate Classification system is to assist in
the realization of the importance of generalization, allowing you to
concentrate on the big picture unaffected by less important complexities such
as trade winds and jet streams. This methodology persists as a leading model
in contemporary geography. In fact in recent years, geography has expanded the
search for theoretical principles through the use of laboratory-like
abstractions called spatial models. These spatial models are a modern approach
to generalization in both physical and human regional geography.

Category: History