marine climate[mə′rēn ′klī·mət]
the climate that forms in conditions where the ocean is the dominant influence on the atmosphere. This climate is most pronounced above the oceans, but it also extends to continental regions that are subject to frequent influences by maritime air masses. Therefore the term “marine climate” is also applied to some land areas (for example, the marine climate of Western Europe and of numerous ocean islands). The effect of the marine climate on land is realized primarily through the general atmospheric circulation. For example, for the climate of Western Europe the proximity to the Atlantic Ocean is not as important as the fact that air masses in this region tend to move from west to east (that is, toward the continent) throughout the year. Therefore, maritime air masses pass over Western Europe more frequently than do continental air masses.
A marine climate is characterized by comparatively small variations in yearly and daily temperature (in the temperate latitudes this climate is marked by intensive cyclonic activity, cool summers, and warm winters). Because water masses heat and cool more slowly than the land, August is frequently the warmest month above the oceans in the northern hemisphere and February is the coldest (in the southern hemisphere the opposite is true). In regions with a marine climate it is usually warmer in the autumn than in the spring. The moisture content of the air and annual precipitation above oceans are somewhat greater than they are in regions with a continental climate at the same latitudes, and most of the precipitation frequently falls in the winter. The air above the oceans is distinguished by a low dust content and a high content of particles of sea salts. Winds are usually stronger and more constant than above land. Summer breezes are frequent in coastal regions.
S. P. KHROMOV