climate

Winter brings snow and ice in places like northern Minnesota. But during the same season along Florida's beaches, temperatures rarely drop below freezing. These two locations have very different climates. Climate is the typical weather of particular region over many years. Scientists can describe the global climate by observing long-term weather patterns around the world.

Definition: the average, long-term weather conditions in an area
Descriptions: warm, cool, dry, moist, windy
Factors: Sun's energy, latitude, ice cover, landmasses, greenhouse gases in atmosphere
Cool Fact: Scientists can determine carbon dioxide levels of past climates by studying ice cores. Ice cores are samples of ancient ice drilled from deep within glaciers.

Image credits: main image, AMNH / NOAA / Gerald and Buff Corsi (c) California Academy of Sciences.