Climate Zones

There are four major climate zones.

Tropical Zone

The tropical zone extends north and south of the equator until about 20º latitude. The sun's rays come down almost vertically at noon during the whole year.These regions have high temperatures all year round. The air is always moist and it rains very often

Subtropical Zone

The subtropical zone reaches between 20º and 40º north and south of the equator. During the summer the sun's rays reach the earth at an angle of almost 90º. These areas are the driest regions of the world with many deserts and little rainfall.

Temperate Zone

The temperate zone lies halfway between the equator and the poles - between 40º and 60º. Average temperatures are much lower than in the tropics or subtropics. It is not too hot and not too cold and there is precipitation throughout the the year. There are four seasons and the length of daylight changes.

Polar Zone

The polar areas lie between 60º and the poles. Because the sun's rays hit the area at a very flat angle temperatures are very low. During polar days in the summer the region is always directed towards the sun and it never gets dark. The opposite happens during the winter months. Plants can grow only during a short time in the summer.

Sun's rays in June
Image by Przemyslaw "Blueshade" Idzkiewicz