Factors controlling temperature distribution Upsc

The temperature of the air at any place is influenced by:

  • the latitude of the place;
  • the altitude of the place;
  • distance from the sea, the airmass circulation;
  • the presence of warm and cold ocean currents;
  • local aspects.

The latitude

The temperature of a place depends on the insolation received. It has been explained earlier that the insolation varies according to the latitude hence the temperature also varies accordingly.

The altitude

The atmosphere is indirectly heated by terrestrial radiation from below. Therefore, the places near the sea-level record higher temperatures than the places situated at higher elevations.

In other words, the temperature generally decreases with increasing height. The rate of decrease of temperature with height is termed the normal lapse rate. It is 6.5°C per 1,000 m.

Distance from the sea

Another factor that influences the temperature is the location of a place with respect to the sea. Compared to land, the sea gets heated slowly and loses heat slowly. Land heats up and cools down quickly.

Therefore, the variation in temperature over the sea is less compared to land. The places situated near the sea come under the moderating influence of the sea and land breezes which moderate the temperature.

Air-mass and Ocean currents

Like the land and sea breezes, the passage of air masses also affects the temperature. The places, which come under the influence of warm air masses experience higher temperatures and the places that come under the influence of cold airmasses experience low temperatures.

Similarly, the places located on the coast where the warm ocean currents flow record higher temperatures than the places located on the coast where the cold currents flow.

* * All the Notes in this blog, are referred from Tamil Nadu State Board Books and Samacheer Kalvi Books. Kindly check with the original Tamil Nadu state board books and Ncert Books.