EarthLabs > Climate and the Biosphere > Lab 4: Climate Patterns and Life

Climate Patterns and Life


Did you ever wonder why there are so many varieties of plants and animals around the world? Imagine for a moment the local plants and animals in your region. Are there any varieties that are unique to your area? For instance, if you live in parts of Arizona you may have saguaro cactus in your yard, while in the mountains of Colorado you might find aspen trees. Are there alligators in Wisconsin? "That's absurd," you say, "it's far too cold." We all know that life forms are adapted to the climatic conditions in which they live, but have you ever thought about what might happen if the climate changed?

In this Lab, you will learn more about the variety terrestrial biomes on Earth and the climate that defines them. First, you will research and become a "biome expert." Once you know more about biomes, you will use Google Earth to connect biomes and climate patterns.

After completing this Lab, you should be able to:
  • compare climate patterns from a variety of regions of the globe and explain how climate is defined by precipitation and temperature; and
  • give examples of the relationship between climate and the living environment (the biome).

Keeping Track of What You Learn

In these pages, you'll find three kinds of questions.
  • Checking In questions are intended to keep you focused on key concepts. They allow you to check if the material is making sense. These questions are often accompanied by hints or answers to let you know if you are on the right track.
  • Stop and Think questions are intended to help your teacher assess your understanding of the key concepts and skills. These questions require you to pull some concepts together or apply your knowledge in a new situation.
  • Discuss questions are intended to get you talking with your neighbor. These questions require you to pull some concepts together or apply your knowledge in a new situation. There is no right answer to these questions; just something to ponder.
Your teacher will let you know which questions you should answer and turn in.