How the Climate System Works

A weak high, a cut-off low, and rapid ocean warming conspired to dump torrential rains in Chile's Atacama Desert in late March 2015.

Friday, July 1, 2011

  • In the Arctic, an ocean is surrounded by continents, while Antarctica is continent surrounded by oceans. These differences in the arrangement of land and water contribute to differences in each polar region’s climate, oceanic and atmospheric circulation patterns, and seasonal and long-term sea ice patterns.