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What measures climate? A variety of variables including their variability and
extreme values determine climate for a particular location. Ecosystems are
finely tuned to survive in their climatic zone; this includes their ability to
survive fluctuations in climate as well as prosper in optimum conditions.
Typical variables to consider are temperature (maximum, miniumum),
precipitation (includes rain, sleet, snow, hail, etc), sunlight/cloudiness, wind,
humidity, ice cover, sea temperature, etc... Many of the variables are linked:
for example more cloud leads to less sunlight, and a smaller range in
temperature over the day (warmer nights but cooler days) and is likely to
coincide with higher humidity and precipitation.
For two identical beams of sunlight (solar energy), the beam falling on B is
spread over a larger area than at A so A will receive more energy for each
square metre. An additional effect is that the solar beam at B passes through a
longer path through the atmosphere since it is entering the atmosphere at an