HOME

TheInfoList




A Mediterranean climate or dry summer climate is characterized by dry summers and mild, wet winters. The
climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning 'vapour', and σφαῖρα ''(sphaira)'', meaning 'ball' or 'sphere') is a la ...

climate
receives its name from the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
, where this climate type is most common. Mediterranean climate zones are typically located along the western sides of continents, between roughly 30 and 40 degrees north and south of the
equator The Equator is a circle of latitude, about in circumference, that divides Earth into the Northern Hemisphere, Northern and Southern Hemisphere, Southern hemispheres. It is an imaginary line located at 0 degrees latitude, halfway between the N ...

equator
. The main cause of Mediterranean, or dry summer climate, is the
subtropical ridge Horse latitudes are the latitudes about 30 degrees north and south of the equator. They are characterized by sunny skies, calm winds, and very little precipitation. They are also known as subtropical ridges, or highs. It is a high-pressure are ...
which extends toward that hemisphere's pole during the summer and migrates toward the equator during the winter due to increasing north–south temperature differences. The resulting
vegetation Vegetation is an assemblage of plant Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular re ...

vegetation
of Mediterranean climates are the
garrigue . Garrigue or phrygana (n.pl., Greek Φρύγανα) is a type of low, scrubland ecoregion and plant community in the Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub biome. It is found on limestone Limestone is a common type of carbonate r ...
or maquis in the Mediterranean Basin, the
chaparral Chaparral ( ) is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrublan ...

chaparral
in California, the
fynbos Fynbos (; meaning fine plants) is a small belt of natural shrubland or Heath (habitat), heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. This area is predominantly coastal and mountainous, with a M ...

fynbos
in South Africa, the
mallee Mallee may refer to: *Mallee (habit), the habit of woody plants that grow with multiple stems from underground lignotubers Places *Mallee (biogeographic region), a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia *Mallee (Victoria), an informal ...
in Australia, and the
matorral image:Matorral Octubre.JPG, 300px, Springtime in Chilean matorral a few kilometers north of Santiago along the Pan-American Highway Matorral is a Spanish language, Spanish word, along with ''tomillares'', for shrubland, thicket or bushes. It is us ...
in Chile. Areas with this climate are where the so-called "Mediterranean trinity" of agricultural products have traditionally developed:
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
,
grapes A grape is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term ...

grapes
and
olives The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemica ...

olives
. Most historic cities of the
Mediterranean Basin In biogeography, the Mediterranean Basin (also known as the Mediterranean region or sometimes Mediterranea) is the region of lands around the Mediterranean Sea The Mediterranean Sea is a sea connected to the Atlantic Ocean, surrounded by ...
lie within Mediterranean climatic zones, including
Algiers Algiers ( ; ar, الجزائر; Berber language, Berber: ''Dzayer;'' French language, French'': Alger'') is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Algeria. The city's population at the 2008 Census was 2,988,145Census 14 April 2008: Off ...

Algiers
,
Athens , image_skyline = File:Athens Montage L.png, center, 275px, alt=Athens montage. Clicking on an image in the picture causes the browser to load the appropriate article. rect 15 15 985 460 Acropolis of Athens rect 15 475 48 ...

Athens
,
Barcelona Barcelona ( , , ) is a city on the coast of northeastern Spain. It is the capital and largest city of the autonomous community of Catalonia, as well as the second most populous municipality of Spain. With a population of 1.6 million within ci ...

Barcelona
,
Beirut Beirut ( ; ar, بيروت, ) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Lebanon. , Greater Beirut has a population of 2.2 million, which makes it the List of largest cities in the Levant region by population, third-largest city in ...

Beirut
,
Casablanca Casablanca ( ar, الدار البيضاء, ad-dār al-bayḍāʾ; ber, ⴰⵏⴼⴰ, anfa) is the largest city of Morocco. Located in the central-western part of Morocco bordering the Atlantic Ocean, it is the second largest city in the Maghreb ...

Casablanca
,
İzmir Izmir ( , ; tr, İzmir, ) is a metropolitan city in the western extremity of Anatolia, capital of the İzmir Province, province of the same name. It is the list of cities in Turkey, third most populous city in Turkey, after Istanbul and Ankara; ...

İzmir
,
Jerusalem Jerusalem (; he, יְרוּשָׁלַיִם ; ar, القُدس, ', , (combining the Biblical and common usage Arabic names); grc, Ἱερουσαλήμ/Ἰεροσόλυμα, Hierousalḗm/Hierosóluma; hy, Երուսաղեմ, Erusał ...

Jerusalem
,
Lisbon Lisbon (; pt, Lisboa ) is the capital and the largest city of Portugal, with an estimated population of 544,851 within its administrative limits in an area of 100.05 km2. Grande Lisboa, Lisbon's urban area extends beyond the city's admin ...

Lisbon
,
Marseille Marseille ( , , ; also spelled in English as Marseilles; oc, Marselha ) is the prefecture A prefecture (from the Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European langua ...

Marseille
,
Monaco Monaco (; ), officially the Principality of Monaco (french: Principauté de Monaco; Monégasque Ligurian: ''Prinçipatu de Mu̍negu''), is a sovereign Sovereign is a title which can be applied to the highest leader in various categories. The ...

Monaco
,
Naples Naples (; it, Napoli ; nap, Napule ), from grc, Νεάπολις, Neápolis, lit=new city. is the regional capital of and the third-largest city of , after and , with a population of 967,069 within the city's administrative limits as of ...

Naples
,
Rome , established_title = Founded , established_date = 753 BC , founder = King Romulus , image_map = Map of comune of Rome (metropolitan city of Capital Rome, region Lazio, Italy).svg , map_caption = The te ...

Rome
,
Tunis Tunis ( ar, تونس ') is the and largest city of . The greater metropolitan area of Tunis, often referred to as "", has about 2,700,000 inhabitants. , it is the fourth-largest city in the region (after , and ) and the in the . Situated on ...

Tunis
,
Valencia Valencia ( va, València) is the capital of the Autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Valencian Community, Valencia and the Municipalities of Spain, third-largest city in Spain after Madrid and Barcelona, surpassing 800,000 ...

Valencia
, and
Valletta Valletta (, mt, il-Belt Valletta, ) is the capital city of Malta. Located in the South Eastern Region of the Malta (island), main island, between Marsamxett Harbour to the west and the Grand Harbour to the east, its population in 2014 was 6,444, ...

Valletta
. Major cities with Mediterranean climates outside of the Mediterranean basin include
Adelaide Adelaide ( ) is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually ...

Adelaide
,
Cape Town Cape Town (Afrikaans: Kaapstad ; Xhosa language, Xhosa: ''iKapa;'') is the second-most populous city in South Africa, after Johannesburg, and also the legislative Capital city, capital of South Africa. Colloquially named the Mother City, it is ...

Cape Town
,
Dushanbe Dushanbe ( tg, Душанбе, ; ; russian: Душанбе) is the Capital city, capital and largest city of Tajikistan. , Dushanbe had a population of 863,400 and that population was largely Tajiks, Tajik. Until 1929, the city was known in Ru ...
,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
,
Perth Perth () is the list of Australian capital cities, capital and largest city of the Australian state of Western Australia (WA). It is Australia's list of cities in Australia by population, fourth-most populous city, with a population of 2.1 mi ...

Perth
,
Porto Porto or Oporto () is the List of cities in Portugal, second-largest city in Portugal, the capital of the Porto District, and one of the Iberian Peninsula's major urban areas. Porto city proper, which is the entire concelho, municipality of Porto ...

Porto
,
San Diego San Diego ( , ; ) is a city in the U.S. state of California on the coast of the Pacific Ocean and immediately adjacent to the Mexico–United States border, Mexican border. With a 2020 population of 1,386,932, San Diego is the List of United ...

San Diego
,
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
,
Santiago Santiago (, ; ), also known as Santiago de Chile, is the and largest city of as well as one of the . It is the center of Chile's most densely populated , the , whose total population is 8 million, of which more than 6 million live i ...

Santiago
,
Tashkent russian: Ташкент , other_name = , settlement_type = Capital city, Capital , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top: Skyline of Tashkent, Hilton ...
and
Victoria Victoria most commonly refers to: * Victoria (Australia), a state of the Commonwealth of Australia * Victoria, British Columbia, provincial capital of British Columbia, Canada * Victoria (mythology), Roman goddess of Victory * Victoria, Seychelles ...
.


Köppen climate classification

Under the
Köppen climate classification The Köppen climate classification is one of the most widely used climate classification Climate classification is a way of categorizing the world's s. A climate classification may correlate closely with a category, as climate is a major infl ...
, "hot dry-summer" climates (classified as ''Csa'') and "cool dry-summer" climates (classified as ''Csb'') are often referred to as "Mediterranean". Under the Köppen climate system, the first letter indicates the climate group (in this case temperate climates). Temperate climates or "''C''" zones have an average temperature above (or ), but below , in their coolest months. The second letter indicates the precipitation pattern ("''s''" represents dry summers). Köppen has defined a dry summer month as a month with less than of precipitation and as a month within the high-sun months of April to September, in the case of the Northern Hemisphere and October to March, in the case of the Southern Hemisphere, and it also must contain exactly or less than one-third that of the wettest winter month. Some, however, use a level. The third letter indicates the degree of summer heat: "''a''" represents an average temperature in the warmest month above , while "''b''" indicates the average temperature in the warmest month below . Under the Köppen classification, dry-summer climates (''Csa'', ''Csb'') usually occur on the western sides of continents. ''Csb'' zones in the Köppen system include areas normally not associated with Mediterranean climates but with
Oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also called "Pacific Islander(s)" Places *Oceanic, British Columbia, a settlement on Smith Island, Br ...
climates, such as much of the
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western North America bounded by its coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains to the east. Though no official boundary exists, the most common co ...
, much of southern
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
, parts of west-central
Argentina Argentina (), officially the Argentine Republic ( es, link=no, República Argentina), is a country located mostly in the southern half of South America South America is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasse ...

Argentina
, and parts of
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ''Aotearoa'' (; commonly pronounced by English English usually refers to: * English language English is a West Germanic languages, West Germanic language first spoken in History of Anglo-Saxon Engl ...

New Zealand
. Additional highland areas in the subtropics also meet ''Cs'' requirements, though they, too, are not normally associated with Mediterranean climates, as do a number of
oceanic island image:MODIS - Great Britain and Ireland - 2012-06-04 during heat wave.jpg, upright=1.15, Ireland (left) and Great Britain (right), are large islands of north-west Europe image:Small Island in Lower Saranac Lake.jpg, A small island in Lower Sara ...
s such as
Madeira Madeira ( , , ), officially the Autonomous Region of Madeira ( pt, Região Autónoma da Madeira), is one of the two autonomous Regions of Portugal, autonomous regions of Portugal, the other being the Azores. It is an archipelago situated in t ...

Madeira
, the
Juan Fernández Islands The Juan Fernández Islands ( es, Archipiélago Juan Fernández) are a sparsely inhabited island group in the South Pacific Ocean reliant on tourism and fishing. Situated off the coast of Chile Chile (, ; ), officially the Republic of C ...
, the western part of the
Canary Islands The Canary Islands (; es, Islas Canarias, ), also known informally as ''the Canaries'', is a Spanish archipelago An archipelago ( ), sometimes called an island group or island chain, is a chain, cluster or collection of island ...
, and the eastern part of the
Azores The Azores ( , also ; pt, Açores ), officially the Autonomous Region of the Azores (), is one of the two autonomous regions of Portugal The two Autonomous Regions of Portugal ( pt, Regiões Autónomas de Portugal) are the Azores (''Região ...

Azores
. Under
Trewartha Trewartha and Andrewartha are Cornish people, Cornish family names (and placename, Dexter). There are places called Trewartha in the parishes of Merther, St Agnes, Cornwall, St Agnes, St Neot, Cornwall, St Neot and Veryan. According to the ''Hand ...
's modified Köppen climate classification, the two major requirements for a ''Cs'' climate are revised. Under Trewartha's system, at least eight months must have average temperatures of or higher (
subtropical The subtropical zones or subtropics are geographical Geography (from Greek Greek may refer to: Greece Anything of, from, or related to Greece Greece ( el, Ελλάδα, , ), officially the Hellenic Republic, is a country locat ...

subtropical
), and the average annual precipitation must not exceed . Normally, climates that have eight or more months with a mean temperature over , are located in the southern portions of the temperate zone (latitudes 25 to 35 north and south), and have mean temperatures around in the coldest months, and warmer than in the warmest months. In the Trewartha climate classification system, the cooler summer ''Csb'' zones in the Köppen system become ''Do'' or temperate
oceanic climate An oceanic climate, also known as a maritime climate or marine climate, is the Köppen classification of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the deg ...
. Under
Holdridge life zones 600px, Holdridge life zone classification scheme. Although conceived as three-dimensional by its originator, it is usually shown as a two-dimensional array of hexagons in a triangular frame. The Holdridge life zones system is a global bioclimatic s ...
classification, the Mediterranean climates are either temperate or subtropical climates. They are frequently found within the Warm Temperate region as defined by
Leslie Holdridge Leslie Ransselaer Holdridge (September 29, 1907 – June 19, 1999) was an American botanist and climatologist. He was the father of composer Lee Holdridge. Career Image:Lifezones Pengo.svg, 300px, Diagram of life zone classifications. In his f ...
with a mean annual
biotemperature 600px, Holdridge life zone classification scheme. Although conceived as three-dimensional by its originator, it is usually shown as a two-dimensional array of hexagons in a triangular frame. The Holdridge life zones system is a global bioclimatic s ...
between and the frost line or critical temperature line, (depending on locations in the world but often "simplified" as (= 2(log212+0;5) ≈ )). Biotemperature is based on the growing season length and temperature. It is measured as the mean of all temperatures, with all temperatures below freezing and above adjusted to 0 °C, as plants are dormant at these temperatures. The frost line separates the warm temperate region from the subtropical region. It represents the dividing line between two major physiological groups of evolved plants. On the warmer side of the line, the majority of the plants are sensitive to low temperatures. They can be killed back by frosts as they have not evolved to withstand periods of cold. On the colder temperate side of the line, the total flora is adapted to survive periods of variable length of low temperatures, whether as seeds in the case of the annuals or as perennial plants which can withstand the cold. Only the warmest Mediterranean climates with a biotemperature between to and are subtropical climates in Holdridge classification.


Precipitation

During summer, regions of Mediterranean climate are strongly influenced by the subtropical ridge which keeps atmospheric conditions very dry with minimal cloud coverage. In some areas, such as coastal
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
, the cold
current Currents or The Current may refer to: Science and technology * Current (fluid) A current in a fluid In physics, a fluid is a substance that continually Deformation (mechanics), deforms (flows) under an applied shear stress, or external force. ...
has a stabilizing effect on the surrounding air, further reducing the chances for rain, but often causing thick layers of marine
fog Fog is a visible aerosol consisting of tiny water drop (liquid), droplets or ice crystals suspended in the air at or near the Earth's surface. Reprint from Fog can be considered a type of low-lying cloud usually resembling stratus cloud, s ...

fog
that usually evaporates by mid-day. Similar to
desert A desert is a barren area of landscape where little precipitation occurs and, consequently, living conditions are hostile for plant and animal life. The lack of vegetation exposes the unprotected surface of the ground to the processes of ...

desert
climates, in many Mediterranean climates there is a strong
diurnal Diurnal ("daily Daily or The Daily may refer to: Journalism * Daily newspaper A newspaper is a Periodical literature, periodical publication containing written News, information about current events and is often typed in black ink with a ...
character to daily temperatures in the warm summer months due to strong heating during the day from sunlight and rapid cooling at night. In winter, the subtropical ridge migrates towards the equator, making rainfall much more likely. As a result, areas with this climate receive almost all of their precipitation during their winter and spring seasons, and may go anywhere from 4 to 6 months during the summer and early fall without having any significant
precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the (which include and ), with a major focus on . The study of meteorology dates back , though significant progress in meteorology did not begin until the 18th century. The 19th century saw mod ...
. In the lower latitudes, precipitation usually decreases in both the winter and summer. Toward the polar latitudes, total moisture usually increases; for instance, the Mediterranean climate in
Southern Europe Southern Europe is the southern region In geography Geography (from Greek: , ''geographia'', literally "earth description") is a field of science devoted to the study of the lands, features, inhabitants, and phenomena of the Earth a ...

Southern Europe
has more rain. The rainfall also tends to be more evenly distributed throughout the year in Southern Europe, while in places such as the
Eastern Mediterranean Eastern Mediterranean is a loose definition of the eastern Eastern may refer to: Transportation *China Eastern Airlines, a current Chinese airline based in Shanghai *Eastern Air, former name of Zambia Skyways *Eastern Air Lines, a defunct Amer ...

Eastern Mediterranean
, or in
Southern California Southern California (sometimes known as SoCal; es, Sur de California) is a geographic and cultural region that generally comprises the southern portion of the U.S. state of California California is a in the . With over 39.3million resi ...

Southern California
, the summer is nearly or completely dry. In places where
evapotranspiration Evapotranspiration (ET) is the sum of water evaporation and transpiration from a surface area to the Atmosphere of Earth, atmosphere. Evaporation accounts for the movement of water to the air from sources such as the soil, canopy interception, and ...

evapotranspiration
is higher, steppe climates tend to prevail, but still follow the basic pattern of the Mediterranean climate.


Temperature

The majority of the regions with Mediterranean climates have relatively mild winters and very warm summers. However, winter and summer temperatures can vary greatly between different regions with a Mediterranean climate. For instance, in the case of winters,
Los Angeles Los Angeles ( ; xgf, Tovaangar; es, Los Ángeles, , ), commonly referred to by the initialism An acronym is a word In linguistics, a word of a spoken language can be defined as the smallest sequence of phonemes that can be u ...

Los Angeles
experiences mild to warm temperatures in the winter, with frost and snowfall almost unknown, whereas
Tashkent russian: Ташкент , other_name = , settlement_type = Capital city, Capital , image_skyline = , image_caption = Clockwise from top: Skyline of Tashkent, Hilton ...
has cold winters with annual frosts and snowfall; or, to consider summer,
Seville Seville (; es, Sevilla, Castilian Spanish , Andalusian Spanish (with yeísmo) ) is the capital and largest city of the Spain, Spanish autonomous communities of Spain, autonomous community of Andalusia and the province of Seville. It is situate ...

Seville
experiences rather high temperatures in that season. In contrast,
San Francisco San Francisco (; Spanish Spanish may refer to: * Items from or related to Spain: **Spaniards, a nation and ethnic group indigenous to Spain **Spanish language **Spanish cuisine Other places * Spanish, Ontario, Canada * Spanish River (dis ...

San Francisco
has cool summers with daily highs around due to the continuous
upwelling Upwelling is an oceanographic phenomenon that involves wind Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On the surface of the Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. Winds are commonly classified by their scale (spatial), spatial ...

upwelling
of cold subsurface waters along the coast. Because most regions with a Mediterranean climate are near large bodies of water,
temperature Temperature ( ) is a physical quantity that expresses hot and cold. It is the manifestation of thermal energy Thermal radiation in visible light can be seen on this hot metalwork. Thermal energy refers to several distinct physical concept ...

temperature
s are generally moderate, with a comparatively small range of temperatures between the winter low and summer high (although the daily range of temperature during the summer is large due to dry and clear conditions, except along the immediate coasts). Temperatures during winter only occasionally fall below the freezing point and
snow Snow comprises individual ice Ice is water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). ...

snow
is generally seldom seen. Summer temperatures can be cool to very hot, depending on distance from a large body of water, elevation, and latitude, among other factors. Strong winds from inland desert regions can sometimes boost summer temperatures, quickly increasing the risk of
wildfires A wildfire, bushfire, wildland fire or rural fire is an unplanned, unwanted, uncontrolled fire BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction ...
. Notable exceptions to the usual proximity from bodies of water, thus featuring extremely high summer temperatures, include south-eastern Turkey and northern Iraq (
Urfa Urfa, officially known as Şanlıurfa (; ku, Riha, script=Latn; syr, ܐܘܪܗܝ, Ūrhāi; hy, Ուռհայ, Urrha; known in ancient times as Edessa and surrounding regions during the Early Christian The history of Christianity concer ...
,
Erbil Erbil, also called Hawler ( ku, ھەولێر ,Hewlêr ar, أربيل, Arbīl, syr, ܐܲܪܒܹܝܠ, or ''Arbel'') and known in ancient history as Arbela, is the capital and most populated city in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq. It has around 1.5 ...

Erbil
), surrounded by hot deserts to the south and mountains to the north. Those places routinely experience summer daily means of over , while receiving enough rainfall in winter not to fall into arid classifications. As in every climatologic domain, the highland locations of the Mediterranean domain can present cooler temperatures in winter than the lowland areas, temperatures which can sometimes prohibit the growth of typical Mediterranean plants. Some Spanish authors opt to use the term
Continental Mediterranean Climate A continentalized Mediterranean climate is a variant of the temperate mediterranean climate with influences of a typical continental climate. It is found inland in the mediterannean region, far away from coasts. This climate is common in inland ...
for some regions with lower temperature in winter than the coastal areas (direct translation from ), but most climate classifications (including Köppen's ''Cs'' zones) show no distinction. Additionally, the temperature and rainfall pattern for a ''Csa'' or even a ''Csb'' climate can exist as a microclimate in some high-altitude locations adjacent to a rare tropical ''As'' (
tropical savanna climate Tropical savanna climate or tropical wet and dry climate is a type of climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meanin ...
with dry summers, typically in a rainshadow region, as in Hawaii). These have a favourable climate, with mild wet winters and fairly warm, dry summers.


Mediterranean biome

The
Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub Mediterranean forests, woodlands, and scrub is a biome defined by the World Wide Fund for Nature. The biome is generally characterized by dry summers and rainy winters, although in some areas rainfall may be uniform. Summers are typically hot in ...
biome A biome is a collection of plants Plants are predominantly photosynthetic Photosynthesis is a process used by plants and other organisms to Energy transformation, convert light energy into chemical energy that, through cellular respi ...
is closely associated with Mediterranean climate zones, as are unique freshwater communities, though vegetation native to the Mediterranean climate zone can also be found in the approximate climate zones, which usually tend to be the
humid subtropical A humid subtropical climate is a zone of climate characterized by hot and humid summers, and cold to mild winters. These climates normally lie on the southeast side of all continents, generally between latitudes 25° and 40° (sometimes 45°) a ...
,
oceanic Oceanic may refer to: *Of or relating to the ocean *Of or relating to Oceania **Oceanic climate **Oceanic languages **Oceanic person or people, also called "Pacific Islander(s)" Places *Oceanic, British Columbia, a settlement on Smith Island, Br ...
and/or
semi-arid A semi-arid climate, semi-desert climate, or steppe climate is the climate Climate is the long-term pattern of weather Weather is the state of the atmosphere An atmosphere (from the greek words ἀτμός ''(atmos)'', meaning ' ...
zones, depending on the region. Particularly distinctive of the climate are
sclerophyll Sclerophyll is a type of vegetation that has hard leaves A leaf (plural leaves) is the principal lateral appendage of the vascular plant Vascular plants (from Latin ''vasculum'': duct), also known as Tracheophyta (the tracheophytes , ...
shrublands, called maquis in the Mediterranean Basin,
chaparral Chaparral ( ) is a shrubland Shrubland, scrubland, scrub, brush, or bush is a plant community characterized by vegetation dominance (ecology), dominated by shrubs, often also including grasses, Herbaceous plant, herbs, and geophytes. Shrublan ...

chaparral
in California,
matorral image:Matorral Octubre.JPG, 300px, Springtime in Chilean matorral a few kilometers north of Santiago along the Pan-American Highway Matorral is a Spanish language, Spanish word, along with ''tomillares'', for shrubland, thicket or bushes. It is us ...
in Chile,
fynbos Fynbos (; meaning fine plants) is a small belt of natural shrubland or Heath (habitat), heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. This area is predominantly coastal and mountainous, with a M ...

fynbos
in South Africa, and
mallee Mallee may refer to: *Mallee (habit), the habit of woody plants that grow with multiple stems from underground lignotubers Places *Mallee (biogeographic region), a biogeographic region in southern Western Australia *Mallee (Victoria), an informal ...
and
kwongan Kwongan is plant community found in south-western Western Australia Western Australia (abbreviated as WA) is a States and territories of Australia, state occupying the western percent of the land area of Australia excluding external territori ...
shrublands in Australia. Aquatic communities in Mediterranean climate regions are adapted to a yearly cycle in which
abiotic
abiotic
(environmental) controls of stream populations and community structure dominate during floods,
biotic components Biotic components, or biotic factors, can be described as any living component that affects another organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any individual contiguous system th ...
(e.g. competition and predation) controls become increasingly important as the discharge declines, and environmental controls regain dominance as environmental conditions become very harsh (i.e. hot and dry); as a result, these communities are well suited to recover from
droughts A drought is an event of prolonged shortages in the water supply, whether atmospheric (below-average precipitation In meteorology Meteorology is a branch of the atmospheric sciences which includes atmospheric chemistry and atmospheric ...
,
floods A flood is an overflow of water that submerges land that is usually dry. In the sense of "flowing water", the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide Tides are the rise and fall of sea level Mean sea level (MSL) (often ...

floods
, and
fires BBQ. Fire is the rapid oxidation of a material in the exothermic chemical process of combustion, releasing heat, light, and various reaction Product (chemistry), products. Fire is hot because the conversion of the weak double bond in molecula ...
. Aquatic organisms in these regions show distinct long-term patterns in structure and function, and are also highly sensitive to the
effects of climate change The effects of climate change span the physical environment A biophysical environment is a biotic and abiotic surrounding of an organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is ...
.


Natural vegetation

The native vegetation of Mediterranean climate lands must be adapted to survive long, hot summer droughts and prolonged wet periods in winter. Mediterranean vegetation examples include the following: *Evergreen trees:
bay laurel ''Laurus nobilis'' is an aromatic tree or large with green, smooth leaves, in the family . It is native to the and is used as for seasoning in cooking. Its common names include bay tree (esp. United Kingdom), bay laurel, sweet bay, true ...
,
eucalyptus ''Eucalyptus'' () is a of over seven hundred species of s, shrubs or in the , Myrtaceae. Along with several other genera in the , including ', they are commonly known as s. Plants in the genus ''Eucalyptus'' have bark that is either smooth, ...

eucalyptus
,
grevillea ''Grevillea'' is a diverse genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such classification. The term may also ...

grevillea
,
casuarina ''Casuarina'' is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including th ...

casuarina
,
melaleuca ''Melaleuca'' () is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including ...

melaleuca
,
pine A pine is any conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta () or Coniferae. The divi ...

pine
, and
cypress Cypress is a common name for various conifer Conifers are a group of conifer cone, cone-bearing Spermatophyte, seed plants, a subset of gymnosperms. Scientifically, they make up the phylum, division Pinophyta (), also known as Coniferophyta ( ...

cypress
*Deciduous trees:
sycamore Sycamore is a name which has been applied to several types of trees, but with somewhat similar leaf forms. The name derives from the ancient Greek ' (''sūkomoros'') meaning "fig-mulberry". Species of trees known as sycamore: * '' Acer pseudoplata ...
,
oak An oak is a tree In botany, a tree is a perennial plant with an elongated Plant stem, stem, or trunk (botany), trunk, supporting branches and leaves in most species. In some usages, the definition of a tree may be narrower, including on ...

oak
, and
buckeyes
buckeyes
*Fruit trees:
olive The olive, botanical name ''Olea europaea'', meaning "European olive", is a species In biology, a species is the basic unit of biological classification, classification and a taxonomic rank of an organism, as well as a unit of biodivers ...

olive
,
figs The fig is the edible fruit of ''Ficus carica'', a species of small tree in the flowering plant Flowering plants include multiple members of the clade Angiospermae (), commonly called angiosperms. The term "angiosperm" is derived from the Gr ...
,
walnuts A walnut is the nut Nut often refers to: * Nut (fruit), a fruit composed of a hard shell and a seed * Nut (food), collective noun for dry and edible fruits or seeds * Nut (hardware), a fastener used with a bolt Nut or Nuts may also refer to: ...
and
grapes A grape is a fruit In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in this field. The term ...

grapes
*Shrubs:
rosemary ''Salvia rosmarinus'', commonly known as rosemary, is a shrub with fragrant, evergreen, needle-like leaves and white, pink, purple, or blue flowers, native plant, native to the Mediterranean Region, Mediterranean region. Until 2017, it was known ...

rosemary
, ''
Erica Erica or ERICA may refer to: * Erica (given name) The given name Erika, Erica, Ericka, or Ereka is a feminine form of Eric, deriving from the Old Norse name ''Eiríkr'' (or ''Eríkr'' in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first ele ...
'', ''
Banksia ''Banksia'' is a of around 170 in the . These n s and popular s are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and heads. ''Banksias'' range in size from prostrate woody s to trees up to 30 metres tall. They ...

Banksia
'', and
chamise ''Adenostoma fasciculatum'', the chamise (also known as greasewood or huutah), is a flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most diverse group of Embryophyte, land plants, with 64 Order( ...

chamise
*Sub-shrubs:
lavender ''Lavandula'' (common name lavender) is a genus Genus /ˈdʒiː.nəs/ (plural genera /ˈdʒen.ər.ə/) is a taxonomic rank In biological classification In biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living or ...

lavender
, ''
Halimium ''Halimium'' (rockrose, false sun-rose, or halimium) is a genus Genus (plural genera) is a taxonomic rank Taxonomy (general) is the practice and science of classification of things or concepts, including the principles that underlie such clas ...
'', and
sagebrush Sagebrush is the common name of several woody and herbaceous species of plants in the genus ''Artemisia (genus), Artemisia''. The best known sagebrush is the shrub ''Artemisia tridentata''. Sagebrushes are native to the North American west. F ...
*Grasses: grassland types, ''
Themeda triandra } ''Themeda triandra'' is a perennial tussock-forminggrass widespread in Africa, Australia, Asia and the Pacific. In Australia it is commonly known as kangaroo grass and in East Africa and South Africa it is known as red grass and red oat grass o ...
'', bunchgrasses;
sedges The Cyperaceae are a family of graminoid In botany Botany, also called , plant biology or phytology, is the science of plant life and a branch of biology. A botanist, plant scientist or phytologist is a scientist who specialises in t ...

sedges
, and rushes *Herbs:
Achillea ''Achillea'' is a group of flowering plant The flowering plants, also known as Angiospermae (), or Magnoliophyta (), are the most diverse group of Embryophyte, land plants, with 64 Order(biology), orders, 416 Family (biology), families, appro ...

Achillea
, Dietes, Helichrysum and Penstemon Much native vegetation in Mediterranean climate area valleys have been cleared for agriculture. In places such as the Sacramento Valley and Oxnard Plain in
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
, draining marshes and estuaries combined with supplemental irrigation has led to a century of intensive agriculture. Much of the Overberg in the southern Cape of South Africa, once covered with renosterveld, has likewise been largely converted to agriculture, mainly
wheat Wheat is a grass widely cultivated for its seed, a cereal grain which is a worldwide staple food. The many species of wheat together make up the genus ''Triticum''; the most widely grown is common wheat Common wheat (''Triticum aestivum'' ...

wheat
. In hillside and mountainous areas, away from urban sprawl, ecosystems and habitats of native vegetation are more sustained. The
fynbos Fynbos (; meaning fine plants) is a small belt of natural shrubland or Heath (habitat), heathland vegetation located in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape provinces of South Africa. This area is predominantly coastal and mountainous, with a M ...

fynbos
vegetation in the South-western Cape in South Africa is famed for its high floral diversity, and includes such plant types as members of the Restionaceae,
Erica Erica or ERICA may refer to: * Erica (given name) The given name Erika, Erica, Ericka, or Ereka is a feminine form of Eric, deriving from the Old Norse name ''Eiríkr'' (or ''Eríkr'' in Eastern Scandinavia due to monophthongization). The first ele ...
s (Heaths) and Proteas. Representatives of the Proteaceae also grow in Australia, such as
Banksia ''Banksia'' is a of around 170 in the . These n s and popular s are easily recognised by their characteristic flower spikes and fruiting "cones" and heads. ''Banksias'' range in size from prostrate woody s to trees up to 30 metres tall. They ...

Banksia
s. The palette of California native plants is also renowned for its species and cultivar diversity.


Hot-summer Mediterranean climate

This subtype of the Mediterranean climate (''Csa'') is the most common form of the Mediterranean climate, therefore it is also known as a "typical Mediterranean climate". As stated earlier, regions with this form of a Mediterranean climate experience average monthly temperatures in excess of during its warmest month and an average in the coldest month between or, in some applications, between . Also, at least four months must average above . Regions with this form of the Mediterranean climate typically experience hot, sometimes very hot and dry summers and mild, wet winters. In a number of instances, summers here can closely resemble summers seen in desert climate, arid and semi-arid climates. However, high temperatures during summers are generally not quite as high as those in arid or semiarid climates due to the presence of a large body of water. All areas with this subtype have wet winters. However, some areas with a hot Mediterranean subtype can actually experience very chilly winters, with occasional snowfall. ''Csa'' climates are mainly found around the Mediterranean Sea, southwestern Australia, southwestern South Africa, sections of Central Asia, northern sections of Iran and Iraq, the interior of northern
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
west of the Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada, and inland areas of southern Oregon west of the Cascade Mountains. Southern California's coasts also experience hot summers due to the shielding effect of the Channel Islands (California), Channel Islands. However, unshielded areas of that coastline can have warm-summer Mediterranean climates with hot-summer areas just a few kilometres inland.


Warm-summer Mediterranean climate

Occasionally also termed "Cool-summer Mediterranean climate", this subtype of the Mediterranean climate (''Csb'') is a less common form of the Mediterranean climate. As stated earlier, regions with this subtype of the Mediterranean climate experience warm (but not hot) and dry summers, with no average monthly temperatures above during its warmest month and an average in the coldest month between or, in some applications, between . Also, at least four months must average above . Cool ocean currents and upwelling are often the reason for this cooler type of Mediterranean climate. This is why it rarely occurs on the Mediterranean Sea shores, as it is a warm sea, from 3 to 6°C above the theoric value according to Jean Demangeot. The other main reason for this cooler type is the altitude. For instance, Menton on the French coast has a Csa climate while Castellar, Alpes-Maritimes, the adjacent town just north of Menton, with an altitude between , has a Csb climate. Winters are rainy and can be mild to chilly. In a few instances, snow can fall on these areas. Precipitation occurs in the colder seasons, but there are a number of clear sunny days even during the wetter seasons. ''Csb'' climates are found in northwestern Iberian Peninsula (namely Galicia (Spain), Galicia and the Northern Portugal, Norte region and west coast of Portugal), in coastal
California California is a state State may refer to: Arts, entertainment, and media Literature * ''State Magazine'', a monthly magazine published by the U.S. Department of State * The State (newspaper), ''The State'' (newspaper), a daily newspaper i ...

California
, in the
Pacific Northwest The Pacific Northwest (PNW) is a geographic region in western North America bounded by its coastal waters of the Pacific Ocean to the west and, loosely, by the Rocky Mountains to the east. Though no official boundary exists, the most common co ...
(namely western Washington (state), Washington, western Oregon and southern portions of Vancouver Island in British Columbia), in central
Chile Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a country in the western part of South America South America is a entirely in the and mostly in the , with a relatively small portion in the . It can also be described as the southern ...

Chile
, in parts of southern Australia and in sections of southwestern South Africa. Rarer instances of this climate can be found in relatively small high altitude areas of the Andes in Northern Ecuador, Columbia, and Western Venezuela.


Cold-summer Mediterranean climate

The cold-summer subtype of the Mediterranean climate (''Csc'') is rare and predominately found at scattered high-altitude locations along the west coasts of North and South America. This type is characterized by cool summers, with fewer than four months with a mean temperature at or above , as well as with cool winters, with no winter month having a mean temperature below (or ), depending on the isotherm used). Regions with this climate are influenced by the dry-summer trend (though briefly) that extends considerably poleward along the west coast of the Americas, as well as the moderating influences of high altitude and relative proximity to the Pacific Ocean. In North America, areas with ''Csc'' climate can be found in the Olympic Mountains, Olympic, Cascade Range, Cascade, Klamath Mountains, Klamath, and Sierra Nevada (U.S.), Sierra Nevada ranges in Washington, Oregon and California. These locations are found at high altitude nearby lower altitude regions characterized by a warm-summer Mediterranean climate (''Csb'') or hot-summer Mediterranean climate (''Csa''). A rare instance of this climate occurs in the tropics, on Haleakalā, Haleakalā Summit in Hawaii. In South America, ''Csc'' regions can be found along the Andes in Chile and Argentina. The town of Balmaceda, Chile is one of the few towns confirmed to have this climate. Small areas with a ''Csc'' climate can be found at high elevations in Corsica. In Norway, the small fishing village of Røst above the Arctic Circle has a climate bordering on ''Csc'' and is known as a climatic anomaly due to abnormally warm temperatures despite its location above 67°N latitude.


References


External links


Explanation of Mediterranean Climate (University of Wisconsin)
{{Authority control Environment of the Mediterranean, Climate Köppen climate types