Science - 2018-19

ES.12 b, d - Climate

The student will investigate and understand that energy transfer between the sun and Earth and its atmosphere drives weather and climate on Earth. Key concepts include
b) prediction of weather patterns; and
d) weather phenomena and the factors that affect climate including radiation, conduction, and convection.

Bloom's Levels:  Analyze; Understand

Adopted: 2010


  • Radiation, conduction, and convection transfer energy through Earth's systems.
  • Weather is a short term pattern in atmospheric circulation patterns; climate is a long-term pattern.

  • I can decide if I should walk home or take the bus this afternoon by looking at the clouds.
  • I can plan a trip to a warm destination at various times of the year


  • The four major factors affecting climate are latitude, elevation, proximity to bodies of water, and position relative to mountains. Earth’s major climatic zones are the polar, temperate, and tropical zones. Areas near the equator receive more of the sun’s energy per unit area than areas nearer the poles. 
  • A tornado is a narrow, violent funnel-shaped column of spiral winds that extends downward from the cloud base toward Earth. A hurricane is a tropical cyclone (counterclockwise movement of air) characterized by sustained winds of 120 kilometers per hour (75 miles per hour) or greater. 


In order to meet this standard, it is expected that students will

b) predict weather based on cloud type, temperature, and barometric pressure.

d) read and interpret climate graphs.

     label a diagram of global climate zones and the surface movement of ocean currents.

     label a diagram that demonstrates the interaction of Earth’s atmosphere and energy transfer (conduction, convection, and radiation).


air mass, anemometer, barometer, cirrus, climate, cold front, condensation, cumulus, dewpoint, evaporation, freezing rain, freezing, front, global warming, greenhouse effect, hail, humidity, hurricane, lightning, melting, polar zone, precipitation, rain shadow effect, relative humidity, saturated, stationary front, stratus, temperate zone, temperature, thunder, tornado, tropical zone, urban heat island, warm front, warming, watch, weather, wind vane, hygrometer

Updated: May 30, 2018