MadSci Network: Earth Sciences

Re: What are the five climatic zones of the ancient greeks?

Date: Fri Dec 14 21:27:43 2001
Posted By: Dave Clark, Staff, Chemical and Environmental Technologies, Battelle
Area of science: Earth Sciences
ID: 1007519543.Es

look at

"The division of the earth into five climatic zones probably originated 
(5th cent. b.c.) with Parmenides, who recognized a torrid zone (see 
tropics) and north and south temperate zones and postulated north and 
south frigid (or arctic) zones; his classification was adopted by 
Aristotle and is still in use. The zones are based on latitude: the torrid 
zone lies between 2312°N and 2312°S, the temperate zones between these 
parallels and the polar circles (6612° N and S), and the frigid zones from 
the polar circles to the poles. Later geographers, recognizing that 
climate is affected by such conditions as altitude, distance from water, 
prevailing winds, and ocean currents, have used other bases for zoning. 
Most geographers today recognize five major climatic groups, based mainly 
on the work of the German meteorologist Wladimir Köppen. Two of these 
groups—the rainy tropics and the dry tropics, which encompass four 
different climates—together correspond roughly to the former torrid zone. 
Two humid climate groups of the Köppen system, encompassing six climates, 
together correspond roughly to the former temperate zones. Köppen's two 
polar climates correspond roughly to the two former frigid zones. In 
addition to the five groups encompassing twelve climates, geographers also 
recognize a series of highland zones where many of the other climates of 
the world are duplicated. Geographic zones in which people have similar 
patterns of life are called culture zones or areas "

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