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People and Climate

Author(s): Nancy P. Moreno, PhD, Barbara Z. Tharp, MS, and Judith Dresden, MS.

Global Climate Map

There are three major climate zones on the planet, by distance from the equator. 

  • The zone nearest the equator—the tropical zone—is warmest because it receives the most direct radiation from the sun. 
  • The zones closest to each pole—the polar zones—are the coldest, because they receive the least direct radiation. 
  • The broad areas between the tropical and polar zones—known as the temperate zones—generally have snow or rain during cool or very cold winters. The temperate zones lie between 30° and 60° latitude in both hemispheres.


Funded by the following grant(s)

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, NIH

My Health My World: National Dissemination
Grant Number: 5R25ES009259
The Environment as a Context for Opportunities in Schools
Grant Number: 5R25ES010698, R25ES06932


Houston Endowment Inc.

Foundations for the Future: Capitalizing on Technology to Promote Equity, Access and Quality in Elementary Science Education