The Climates Of Europe Essay

Europe has many different factors which make it unique. It has at least 40 mountain ranges, at least 49 different major rivers and 72 major cities. Europe is home to more than 731,000,000 people.

Some of the biggest mountain ranges include Carpathians, Alps, Apennines and Caucasus. Mont Blanc may be well known for its height, and therefore mistaken for the world’s tallest mountain, however it is NOT; at 5,642 meters above sea level, Mount Elbrus is in fact Europe’s highest mountain.

One mountain range, the Pyrenees is right between France and Spain. As the wind blows from north to south, the Pyrenees shelters Spain from weather conditions.

The plain and lowlands of Europe include the East European Plain, the largest landscape feature of Europe. The East European Plain also known as the Russian Plain, It is a plain made up of river basins in Eastern Europe. Together with the Northern European Plain it creates the European Plain. The largest mountain-free part of the European landscape.

The Pannonian Plain is a large plain in Central Europe that remained when the Pliocene Pannonian Sea dried out. It is a geomorphological subsystem of the Alps-Himalaya system.

The river Danube divides the plain roughly in half. The plain consists mainly of the Great Hungarian Plain (in the south and east) and the Little Hungarian Plain (in the northwest).

Overall, there are five climate zones in Europe. Each climate zone has a particular feature of climate or/and rainfall.

For instance, the Mediterranean climate zone has hot dry summers and warm wet winters. The Mediterranean climates is called this because most of the country’s which have this climates are very close to the Mediterranean Sea. The climate zone includes the greater part of Southern Europe such as south of Portugal, most of Spain, Southern France, a big part of Italy, Balkan states and Greece. Even in the winter these lands enjoy warm temperatures of up to 80� F compared to those of Moscow for example, only 14� F. Both instances within the same month, this clearly shows why the Mediterranean is so popular with tourists; for the warm weather unlike in many other climate zones.

In the west coast maritime, the climate zone shows mild winters, cool summers, and rain all year round. This Climate So On can be found in the north-western Europe which includes the British Isles, some of France, Belgium, the Nederland and South Western Norway. Typical temperatures in the summer are 60� F and the winters are quite mild with temperatures usually above 32� F. The region is affected by the wind blow from the Atlantic Ocean all year round, and this is why these particular areas sometimes have extremes of hot and cold.

The alpine mountain climate zone has cold winters with snow and warm summer’s with showers. It is found in the middle of Europe in places like Germany, Poland, Australia, and Switzerland etc. The winters are very cold with temperatures going as low as 32� F but summers are fairly warm. The days are warmer in summer and cooler in winter than the west-coast maritime because in this climate zone is located a further distance away from the Atlantic Ocean so its influence does not reach these parts.

In the continental climate zone there are Cold dry winters and hot damp summers. Areas in this climate zone are countries in Eastern and East Central Europe London such as southern and Central Russia, Ukraine, Hungary, Romania, Bulgaria etc. All these areas are nowhere near the sea so therefore have a typical climate of hot summers but very cold winters. The listed areas consist of at least 2 months below 32� F in winter and at least one month above 68� F. In comparison with other climate zones such as the west coast maritime where the climate doesn’t vary according to the time of year as much as this climate zone does.

The Tundra climate zone is cold all year round with very little rain and a short summer. The winter is very long and cold while the summer is short and cold. The North of Russia, Norway except the south western part, Northern Sweden and Finland are just some that are included in this climate zone. The area is covered with snow for most of the year. It is unsurprising, that not many people live there. The climate is dues to the areas high latitudinal position and remoteness from sea.

Temperature and rainfall vary from place to place, and often influence each other. The temperature amongst other things mostly depends on the altitude of a place. The higher the altitude, it seems, the lower the temperature would be. As an example, the closer to sea level a place is, the warmer it will be. Or the higher than sea level a place is, the cooler it will be. Rainfall on the other hand, depends on the humidity in an areas atmosphere. The higher, or greater the level of humidity in the atmosphere of that place, the more it shall rain in that particular place.

The picture below shows the different climate zones and the areas which go with the particular climate zones with a key.

As you can see, the tundra is north of the map whereas the Mediterranean is south. This shows that it is cooler in the north and gets warmer the further south you go.

But why is this? As you travel south, you will come to the equator line. The equator is the most intensely sunlight hit part of the earth, making it very warm as the ray are focused on this particular spot. If you travel north or south of the equator, the light is more spread out, as Earth is a sphere. (See the diagram below) That is why it gets cooler the closer to the poles you get.

The sun hits the earth from different angles, meaning some area will be bigger, or smaller than other. As the picture above also shows.

The wind in Europe mainly comes from the Atlantic Ocean.

Europe’s climate may be influenced by many things such as latitude, relief/altitude, distance from sea, and prevailing winds. Here is a closer, detailed look at one particular factor to show exactly how and why it affects the overall climate of Europe.

The climate is often influenced by the distance from sea. The sea being liquid is less dense than land because the land is a solid. The sea therefore heats to a greater depth, but the depth means that in summer the sea takes longer to heat up than the land. Once it is warmed up however, it retains the heat for a lot longer, and takes longer to cool down in winter. This means the further away from the sea you are, the warmer the summers you’ll have, but the cooler the winters you’ll have.


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