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Geography

Graph skills

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Graphs 4: climate graphs

Climate graphs are a combination of a bar graph and a line graph. Temperature is shown on a line graph, with the figures being shown on the right side of the graph. Rainfall is shown by a bar graph, with the figures being shown down the left side of the graph.

Climate graph

The climate graph below shows average annual rainfall and temperature throughout the year for a particular area.

Climate graph

Climate graph

Interpreting climate graphs

In the exam you may be asked to look at the information in a graph and describe the area's climate.

  1. Look for patterns in the temperature data
    • Is the temperature the same all year round? If it is different, how many seasons does the location experience?
    • Which season is the warmest? Is it warm (10 to 20°C), hot (20 to 30°C) or very hot (above 30°C)?
    • Which season is the coolest? Is it mild (0 to 10°C), cold (-10 to 0°C) or very cold (below -10°C)?
    • What is the range of temperature? (Subtract the minimum temperature from the maximum temperature).
  2. Look for patterns in the rainfall data
    • Does the rainfall occur all year round?
    • What is the pattern of the rainfall? Check which season(s) is/are drier or wetter than others.
    • What is the total annual rainfall? Add each month's total together to get the annual total.
    • Then put the rainfall and temperature information together - what does it tell you about this area?
  3. Describe the patterns in temperature and rainfall, including how they relate to each other. You now have a description of the climate.
    • Now look again at the climate graph above. What can you deduce about the climate?

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