What are the main factors that contribute to the temperature fluctuations/cycles of a location? Is the earth's temperature cycle dictated mainly by the temperature cycle of the ocean? How does the ocean's heat storage affect the temperature of the atmosphere and thus the seasonality that we human's feel?
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The oceans have a huge effect on the climate and temperature of the various regions of the world. Climates fall into two categories: marine and continental. In Britain we have a marine climate, which protects us from the extremes of the European continental climate. Our winters are milder, our summers cooler, because of the proximity of the Atlantic and the warm Gulf Stream coming up from the Gulf of Mexico. It also gives us a damper climate, with more mist and rain. This moderating effect and increased dampness and humidity is characteristic of marine climates. In the S.Pacific they have El Nino, a strange subtropical current which reverses every ten years or so, causing droughts and other adverse effects for the countries of the region.
The Galapagos archipelago is another example of a marine climate, in this case cooled by the Humboldt Current coming up the coast of Chile from the Southern Ocean. The Galapagos Islands are on the equator, yet the climate is only subtropical and the waters are cool enough for penguins to thrive. These cold currents, like the Benguela current coming up the west coast of S.Africa, are rich in nutrients and in fish. The Benguela Current has strange effects on the climate of Namibia.