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Michael Rocha G 355 Geosciences for Elementary Educators Cape Lookout, Tillamook County, Oregon But that’s a good thing, Fran the Frog! But first… What exactly is a micro-climate ? Climates Micro- meaning “very small” Now Introducing… Leonardo da Lizard Northern Alligator Lizard (Elgaria coerulea) Microclimates • Microclimates are small atmospheric areas or zones that are somewhat different from the larger surrounding climate. • Microclimates can occur anywhere on land, ocean, glaciers, in a city, in a park & small even to be in your back yard. They can be small enough to be under a trees, in a stack of rocks or even in the shadow of your house. Microclimates • Microclimates can vary in temperature, humidity, precipitation, evaporation and wind turbulence. One microclimate may be wetter and colder while another microclimate could be drier and warmer. Oregon Silver Falls Microclimates • There are three main factors that cause microclimates: Topography Urban Areas Bodies of water Oregon Wallowa County - Eagle Cap Wilderness Microclimates - Water • Microclimates particularly occur near pools of water like ponds and lakes where they cool the surrounding area and increase humidity. Photo Credit: John Reuter - Klamath Microclimates - Topography • Mountains and hills block and change wind currents creating cooler temperatures and increasing moisture in the valleys below. Since cold air is also heavier than warm air, colder air will sink into the valleys of hills and mountains. Microclimates - Topography • Another factor that causes microclimates on a large scale is the south facing slope of a mountain. • The south side of the mountain will be warmer than the north side because it is the south side is being exposed to more direct sunlight. Microclimates – Urban Areas • Microclimates also occur in large urban city areas during the day when the sun’s energy is absorbed by brick, stone buildings, concrete sidewalks and asphalt roads. At night the energy is released into the air and causes the city to be warmer than the countryside. This is called an urban heat island. Microclimates – Urban Areas • Buildings do however provide protection from winds that can cause plants to dry out. • Since buildings and driveways absorb heat that can also provide warmth for small animals and plants. Microclimates – Weather • Microclimates influence the water cycle by contributing the rate and levels of precipitation. • The interaction between humidity, evaporation and transpiration in these environments are influenced by microclimates. Microclimates - Rock and Soil Formation • Microclimates create weathering of rocks which affect soil and minerals distribution. • The freezing of water in the rocks causes them to breakdown. • Microclimates help speed up or in some cases slow down the process. Microclimates – Agriculture & Food • Many species live and depend on microclimates. • The conditions in these relatively small environments create a more suitable environment for many species thrive. • Soil, plants and animals are all affected in these regions. • Microclimates can also be useful in growing crops and even a garden in the backyard. • You can move your plants to an area where the microclimate might benefit these plants. • Microclimates can be created. • A building or home that has air conditioning creates a microclimate inside the building. • A greenhouse is a microclimate that increases the temperature and humidity for plants to grown. Activity References, Pictures and Clip Art • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • http://www.ruf.rice.edu/~sass/UHI.html http://www.livescience.com/php/multimedia/imagegallery/igviewer.php?gid=40 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microclimate http://itotd.com/articles/223/microclimates/ http://www.gardening.cornell.edu/weather/microcli.html http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/380278/microclimate http://www.ocs.oregonstate.edu/index.html http://www.wrh.noaa.gov/mesowest/mwmap.php?map=pqr http://www.ocs.oregonstate.edu/index.html http://cmug.com/chintimp/Willamette.vineyards.htm www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ormultno/Land/maps.htm http://www.northwestherps.com/Northwest_Herps/coerulea.html http://apesnature.homestead.com/chapter2.html http://www.grantspassoregon.gov/Modules/ShowImage.aspx?imageid=2873 http://www.worldart.com.au/artist-profiles/ http://wallpapers.free-review.net/42__Oregon_Wallowa_County_-_Eagle_Cap_Wilderness.htm http://www.school-clip-art.com http://www.freeclipartnow.com/animals/frogs/ http://webclipart.about.com/gi/dynamic/offsite.htm?zi=1/XJ/Ya&sdn=webclipart&zu=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.carto oncottage.com%2Fhtml%2Ffrogs.html http://www.meteorologyclimate.com/ http://community.seas.columbia.edu/weatherstation/glo/images/diag_water_cycle.gif Thanks Leo!