Alpine climate

Alpine climate
White Mountain, an alpine environment at 4,300 metres (14,000 ft) in California
For the climate of the mountains named the Alps, see Climate of the Alps.

Alpine climate is the average weather (climate) for a region above the tree line. This climate is also referred to as mountain climate or highland climate.

In the Köppen climate classification the alpine climate is part of "Group E," along with the polar climate, where no month has a mean temperature higher than 10 °C (50 °F).[1] Certain highland climates can also fit under hemiboreal climate or Semi-arid climate groups of climate classification.



The climate becomes colder at high elevations—this characteristic is described by the lapse rate of air: air tends to get colder as it rises, since it expands. The dry adiabatic lapse rate is 10 °C per km of elevation or altitude.[2] Therefore, moving up 100 meters on a mountain is roughly equivalent to moving 80 kilometers (45 miles or 0.75° of latitude) towards the pole.[3] This relationship is only approximate, however, since local factors such as proximity to oceans can drastically modify the climate.[4] The main form of precipitation is often snow, often accompanied by stronger winds.


The Cascade Mountains, the Rocky Mountains, the Alps, the Pyrenees and Sierra Nevada, the Andes, the Himalayas, the Tibetan Plateau, the Eastern Highlands of Africa, and the central parts of Borneo and New Guinea are examples of highland climates. The mountain climate in the Northern Andes is particularly known for the notion of four zones of elevation:

In mountainous areas with alpine climate, the dominant biome is alpine tundra.


  1. ^ McKnight, Tom L; Hess, Darrel (2000). "Climate Zones and Types: The Köppen System". Physical Geography: A Landscape Appreciation. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. pp. 235–7. ISBN 0-13-020263-0. 
  2. ^ "Adiabatic Lapse Rate". Goldbook. IUPAC. 
  3. ^ "Mountain Environments". United Nations Environment Programme World Conservation Monitoring Centre. 
  4. ^ "Factors affecting climate". The United Kingdom Environmental Change Network. 

See also

Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.

Игры ⚽ Поможем решить контрольную работу

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Climate of Spain — Climate of the Iberian Peninsula according to the Köppen Climate Classification. Spanish State Meteorological Agency Agencia Estatal de Meteorología and Portuguese Meteorological Institute Instituto de Meteorologia.[1] …   Wikipedia

  • Climate of Australia — Climate map of Australia, based on the Köppen climate classification …   Wikipedia

  • Alpine lake — Alpine lakes are classified as lakes or reservoirs at high altitudes, usually starting around 5,000 feet in elevation above sea level or above the tree line.Alpine lakes are usually clearer due to the colder water which decreases the speed and… …   Wikipedia

  • Alpine tundra — Hikers traversing the Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains, much of which is in the alpine zone. Alpine tundra is a natural region that does not contain trees because it is at high altitude. Alpine tundra is distinguished from arctic tundra,… …   Wikipedia

  • Climate of India — …   Wikipedia

  • Alpine — The term alpine refers to the Alps, a European mountain range. It is also found in many other instances, which may or may not be related to the mountains:Related to the AlpsAlpine may also refer to: * Alpine climate, the climate above tree line… …   Wikipedia

  • Climate of the Alps — The climate of the Alps is the climate, or average weather conditions over a long time, of the exact middle Alpine region of Europe. As air rises from sea level to the upper regions of the atmosphere the temperature decreases. The effect of… …   Wikipedia

  • Climate of Uttar Pradesh — The Climate of Uttar Pradesh (U.P.) is primarily defined as Humid Subtropical with dry winter (CWa) type with parts of Eastern U.P. as Semi Arid (BS) type. Alternatively, some authors refer to it as tropical monsoon. Variations do exist in… …   Wikipedia

  • Alpine Chough — Taxobox name = Alpine Chough status = LC status system = iucn3.1 image width = 250px regnum = Animalia phylum = Chordata classis = Aves ordo = Passeriformes familia = Corvidae genus = Pyrrhocorax species = P. graculus binomial = Pyrrhocorax… …   Wikipedia

  • Alpine meadow — An alpine meadow is a high altitude grassland plant community located in an alpine climate, above the treeline of a mountain.Alpine meadows, along with sub alpine meadows, are part of the Montane grasslands and shrublands biome as defined by the… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”