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Temperate zone facts for kids

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The temperate parts of the world are green

In geography, temperate latitudes of the Earth lie between the subtropics and the polar circles. Average yearly temperatures in these regions are not extreme, not burning hot nor freezing cold. Temperate means moderate.

Unlike in the tropics, temperatures can change greatly here, between summer and winter. So, most places with a temperate climate have four seasons: summer, autumn, winter and spring. Other areas with a temperate climate can have very unpredictable weather. One day it may be sunny, the next may be rainy, and after that it may be cloudy. This is normal in summer as well as in winter. These are the main types of temperate climate:

  • A maritime climate is generally for locations near the sea. That includes London, Dublin, Melbourne or Auckland. Most places do not have a rainy season and a dry season. Prevailing winds in the temperate zone are from the west. The western edge of temperate continents usually get this maritime climate. Examples are Western Europe, and western North America at latitudes between 40° and 60° north (65°N in Europe).
  • Some parts of the temperate zone have a Mediterranean climate, which have a dry summer – for example Rome, Cape Town, Santiago or Adelaide.
  • Some parts of the temperate zone, especially in the northern part of the continental climate, have severe winters – for example Moscow or Minnesota – this is called a hemiboreal climate.
  • Some places in the temperate zone have hot summers and cold winters, for example Chicago, Beijing, Budapest or Almaty.

Human aspects

Demography, fauna and flora

The vast majority of the world's human population resides in temperate zones, especially in the northern hemisphere, due to its greater mass of land. The biggest described number in temperate region in the world is found in southern Africa, where some 24,000 taxa (species and infraspecific taxa) have been described, but the native fauna and flora of this region does not have much cultural importance for the majority of the human population of the world that lives in Temperate Zones and that live in the Northern Hemisphere, only environmental importance.


Farming is a large-scale practice in the temperate regions (except for boreal/subarctic regions) due to the plentiful rainfall and warm summers, because most agricultural activity occurs in the spring and summer, cold winters have a small effect on agricultural production. Extreme winters or summers have a huge impact on the productivity of agriculture.


Temperate regions have the majority of the world's population, which leads to large cities. There are a couple of factors why the climate of large city landscapes differs from the climate of rural areas. One factor is the strength of the absorption rate of builds and asphalt, which is higher than natural land. The other large factor is the burning of fossil fuels from buildings and vehicles. These factors have led to the average climate of cities to be warmer than surrounding areas.

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