Temperature indicates the relative degree of heat of a substance. Heat is the energy which make things or objects hot, while temperature measures the intensity of heat. Although quite distinct from each other yet heat and temperature are closely related because gain or loss of heat is necessary to raise or lower the temperature.
FACTORS CONTROLLING TEMPERATURE DISTRIBUTION
- Latitude: The temperature of a place depends on its latitude as the insolation varies according to the latitude.
- Altitude: The Normal Lapse Rate is the rate at which temperature generally decreases with increasing height, which is 6.5ºC per 1,000m. As a result, places at low elevations near sea level have higher temperatures compared to those at higher elevations.
- Distance from Sea: The location of a place in relation to the sea affects its temperature, as the sea heats and cools slower than land. This results in less temperature variation over the sea compared to land. Places near the sea also experience the moderating effects of sea and land breezes.
- Air mass: The temperature of a place is also affected by the movement of air masses. Places affected by warm air masses experience higher temperatures, while those affected by cold air masses experience lower temperatures.
- Ocean currents: Ocean currents play a significant role in the distribution of temperature on Earth. Warm ocean currents can increase the temperature of coastal areas, while cold currents can lower the temperature.
DISTRIBUTION OF TEMPERATURE
The temperature distribution around the world can be understood by analyzing the temperature patterns in January and July. Temperature maps often use isotherms, which are lines connecting areas with the same temperature. The impact of latitude on temperature is typically evident on temperature maps, as isotherms tend to be parallel to latitude lines.
However, this trend is more pronounced in January than in July, particularly in the northern hemisphere. This is due to the larger landmass in the northern hemisphere, which amplifies the effects of land and ocean currents.
In January, the isotherms deviate towards the north over oceans and towards the south over continents, which can be observed in the North Atlantic Ocean. The presence of warm ocean currents, such as the Gulf Stream and North Atlantic Drift, makes the Northern Atlantic Ocean warmer and causes the isotherms to bend northwards. Conversely, over land, temperatures drop significantly, resulting in isotherms bending southwards in Europe.
In July, the isotherms tend to follow latitude lines more closely. The equatorial oceans have temperatures above 27°C, while some land areas in the subtropical continental region of Asia can reach over 30°C along the 30° N latitude.
The isotherm of 10° C runs along the 40° N and 40° S. The largest temperature range, more than 60° C, is seen in the northeastern part of the Eurasian continent, a result of its high degree of continentality. The lowest temperature range, 3°C, is found between 20° S and 15° N.
THE DISTRIBUTION OF SURFACE AIR TEMPERATURE IN THE MONTH OF JANUARY
THE DISTRIBUTION OF SURFACE AIR TEMPERATURE IN THE MONTH OF JULY
HEAT EQUATOR (also called thermal equator) the line that circumscribes the earth and connects all points of highest mean annual temperature for their longitudes.the course of the heat equator varies with the arrangement of continents and ocean currents. it does not even approximately parallel the geographic equator, but ranges from about 20°n in mexico to about 14°s latitude in brazil. from west africa to the east indies, the heat equator lies north of the geographic equator; from new guinea to 120°w longitude, it lies south of the geographic equator.the approximate latitude of highest mean annual surface temperature (about 10°n).
THE RANGE OF TEMPERATURE BETWEEN JANUARY AND JULY