Oceans and Mediterranean Climate

Oceans produce mild weather in Mediterranean-climate regions like California.
Oceans produce mild weather in Mediterranean-climate regions like California. Image credit: Christopher Woodcock

Mellow weather is a hallmark of Mediterranean-climate regions. The warm, dry summers and cool, wet winters enjoyed by places like Cape Town and Los Angeles have a surprising origin: the oceans.

The oceans exert a moderating influence on many parts of the globe. But in Mediterranean-climate regions, the production of coastal fog, atmospheric cells, and even the rotation of the earth help keep thermostats solidly within the comfort zone. A new video, Oceans and Mediterranean Climate, explains how geography, the atmosphere and the oceans interact to produce temperate weather in every season.

Oceans and Mediterranean Climate is the third in a five-part video series about Mediterranean-climate ecosystems. The series is being produced by the University of California Natural Reserve System in conjunction with University of California Television.

The first program, Lands of Two Seasons, gives an overview of the ecological similarities, economic stressors, and biological value of these regions. Shaping Life: The Geology of Mediterranean-Climate Ecosystems, explains how earth’s history has affected the evolution of native plant species. Subsequent programs will explore how species in these dry areas survive wildfires, and the impressive array of life that helps make each of the five regions a biodiversity hotspot.