Why is our climate like this?

The climate system is influenced by complex interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, land, ice, and biosphere. This activity supports learners to consider the main influences on climate.

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Royal Meteorological Society climate change content quality mark

~ 1 hour


Download the information sheet below


  • Indoors

Curriculum links

  • Geography

Step by step

Share the contextual information and tasks below with students to guide them through the activity.


The climate system includes and is influenced by complex interactions between the atmosphere, oceans, land, ice and biosphere.

Ask learners to look at the Climate Systems information in the download to learn about why the world has different climatic zones.

Main Activity

From the information sheet you should now know more about the influences on the World's climate:

  • Latitude
  • Location relative to continents and oceans
  • Situation in relation to large scale atmospheric circulation patterns
  • Altitude
  • Local geographical features such as topography (hills and mountains) or the nature of a built up area

Ask students the following questions:

  • How would you explain each process to a young audience of 10 year olds? 
  • What are the key words you would use?

In pairs, students can write a five minute presentation that explains each of the processes and present this to their class.

Use the rest of the lesson for pairs to present these to the rest of the group. 


As a class, make a criteria for judging each pair’s presentation.

Ask students to use the criteria to decide which pair made the best presentation and why?