49.1  Climate and the Biosphere

Climate = overall prevailing weather conditions of an area
Weather = day to day changes in temperature, humidity, pressure..etc

How the Sun and Earth’s Rotation Affects Weather

Equator – center of the earth, the earth tilts back and forth but sun rays at the equator remain straight (hence it is warmer there year round)

Northern and Southern Hemispheres – experience seasons due to the tilting of the earth. When the northern side is exposed to more direct rays, it is summer, therefore it is winter in the southern hemisphere.

*Equinox  - occurs in the fall and spring, the earth is “straight” and the length of day equals the length of night
The earth’s rotation affects air circulation – this is why storms tend to move from west to east (in the northern hemisphere)

Topography – physical features (lay of the land); also affects weather patterns

1.  Mountains  - rain shadows
2.  Coastal breezes
3.  Lake Effect (snow) – arctic winds moving over the lakes becomes warm and wet, dumping snow on nearby land

49.2  Terrestrial Ecosystems

Biomes – large biogeographical regions that have a consistent climate and types of species.
-  latitude can affect the climate of an area, as well as topography


Climate / Description







Taiga (coniferous forest)




Temperate Deciduous Forest




Tropical Forest








Grassland  (temperate)




Grassland (savanna)








49.3  Aquatic Communities

Oceans   |   Wetlands (marshes and bogs)   |   Lakes (eutrophic vs oligotrophic) | Seashores   |   Estuary