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Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536

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BuyFindarrow_forward

Fundamentals of Physical Geography

2nd Edition
James Petersen
ISBN: 9781133606536
Textbook Problem

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FIGURE 7.2 Thornthwaite climate regions in the contiguous United States are based on the relationship between precipitation (P) and potential evapotranspiration (ET). Where precipitation exceeds potential ET, the index is positive; where potential ET exceeds precipitation, the index is negative.

What is the moisture index, and what is the Thornthwaite climate type for coastal California?

To determine

The moisture index and the Thornthwaite climate type for coastal California.

Explanation

Thornthwaite system is a system used for climate classification at a local scale. The Thornthwaite system determines the availability of moisture (or shortages) at the sub-regional scale. This system is preferred for examining local climates. The Thornthwaite system is based on “potential evapotranspiration (potential ET), the amount of water that the combination of evaporation and transpiration (water loss from vegetation to the air) would transfer to the atmosphere with an unlimited water supply available”.

The Thornthwaite moisture index (MI) for a region is determined by the equation given below:

MI = 100× P - Potential E

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