Cultural ecology studies the relationship between a given society and its natural environment, the life-forms and ecosystem (a system of interdependent organisms which share the same habitat, in an area functioning together with all of the physical factors of the environment.) that support its lifeways.
The central argument is that the natural environment, in small scale or subsistence societies dependent in part upon it - is a major contributor to social organization and other human institutions.


It is this assertion - that the physical and biological environment affects culture - that had proved controversial, because it implies an element of Environmental determinism (also known as climatic determinism or geographical determinism, is the view that the physical environment, rather than social conditions, determines culture) over human actions, which some social scientists find problematic, particularly those writing from a Marxist perspective.
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Environmental Possiblism__ implies that ecological locale plays a significant role in shaping the cultures of a region but does not determine behavior.

Possibilism is accepted but determinism is not considered an acceptable way of thinking about cultural ecology.

Cultural Ecology
-wealth can determine behavior. If you have a tractor, the hill is not as big as a problem as someone who does not have it.
-the carrying capacity of the environment and how that affects your population
-your ability to farm may affect your ability to develop. Think GGS


Koppen Climate System - by classifying climates we can understand the ease of farming and development
GROUP A: Tropical/megathermal climates
GROUP B: Dry (arid and semiarid) climates
GROUP C: Temperate/mesothermal climates
GROUP D: Continental/microthermal climate
GROUP E: Polar climates



Köppen climate classification scheme divides the climates into five main groups and several types and subtypes. Each particular climate type is represented by a 2 to 4 letter symbol.

You can skim the area below

GROUP A: Tropical/megathermal climates
Tropical climates are characterized by constant high temperature (at sea level and low elevations) — all twelve months of the year have average temperatures of 18 °C (64 °F) or higher. They are subdivided as follows:

* Tropical rainforest climate (Af): All twelve months have average precipitation of at least 60 mm (2.4 in). These climates usually occur within 5-10° latitude of the equator. In some eastern-coast areas, they may extend to as much as 25° away from the equator. This climate is dominated by the Doldrums Low Pressure System all year round, and therefore has no natural seasons.
o Examples:
+ Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia
+ Belém, Brazil
+ Hilo, Hawaii, United States
+ Singapore
o Some of the places that have this climate are indeed uniformly and monotonously wet throughout the year (e.g., the northwest Pacific coast of South and Central America, from Ecuador to Costa Rica, see for instance, Andagoya, Colombia), but in many cases the period of higher sun and longer days is distinctly wettest (as at Palembang, Indonesia) or the time of lower sun and shorter days may have more rain (as at Sitiawan, Malaysia).
o A few places with this climate are found at the outer edge of the tropics, almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere; one example is Santos, Brazil.
Note. The term aseasonal refers to the lack in the tropical zone of large differences in day light hours and mean monthly (or daily) temperature throughout the year. There are annual cyclic changes in the tropics, not as predictable as those in the temperate zone, albeit unrelated to temperature but to water availability whether as rain, mist, soil, or ground water. Plant response (e. g., phenology), animal (feeding, migration, reproduction, et cetera), and human activities (plant sowing, harvesting, hunting, fishing, et cetera) are tuned to this seasonality. Indeed, in tropical South America and Central America, the rainy season (and the high water season) is called Invierno or Inverno, even though it could occur in the northern hemisphere summer; likewise, the dry season (and low water season) is called Verano or Verão and can occur in the northern hemisphere winter.
* Tropical monsoon climate (Am): This type of climate, most common in southern Asia and West Africa, results from the monsoon winds which change direction according to the seasons. This climate has a driest month (which nearly always occurs at or soon after the "winter" solstice for that side of the equator) with rainfall less than 60 mm, but more than (100 − total annual precipitation {mm}/25).
o Examples:
+ Conakry, Guinea
+ Chittagong, Bangladesh
+ Miami, Florida, United States
+ Cairns, Australia
o There is also another scenario under which some places fit into this category; this is referred to as the trade-wind littoral climate because easterly winds bring enough precipitation during the "winter" months to prevent the climate from becoming a tropical wet-and-dry climate. Nassau, Bahamas is included among these locations.
* Tropical wet and dry or savanna climate (Aw): These climates have a pronounced dry season, with the driest month having precipitation less than 60 mm and also less than (100 − total annual precipitation {mm}/25).
o Examples:
+ Mumbai, Maharashtra, India
+ Jakarta, Indonesia
+ Rio de Janeiro, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
+ Veracruz, Veracruz, Mexico
+ Lagos, Lagos State, Nigeria
+ Darwin, Northern Territory, Australia
+ Honolulu, Hawaii, United States

o Most places that have this climate are found at the outer margins of the tropical zone, but occasionally an inner-tropical location (e.g., San Marcos, Antioquia, Colombia) also qualifies. Actually, the Caribbean coast, eastward from Urabá gulf on the Colombia–Panamá? border to the Orinoco river delta, on the Atlantic ocean (ca. 4,000 km), have long dry periods (the extreme is the BSh climate (see below), characterised by very low, unreliable precipitation, present, for instance, in extensive areas in the Guajira, and Coro, western Venezuela, the northernmost peninsulas in South America, which receive 300 mm total annual precipitation, practically all in two or three months). This condition extends to the Lesser Antilles and Greater Antilles forming the Circumcaribbean dry belt. The length and severity of the dry season diminishes inland (southward); at the latitude of the Amazon river — which flows eastward, just south of the equatorial line — the climate is Af. East from the Andes, between the dry, arid Caribbean and the ever-wet Amazon are the Orinoco river' Llanos or Savannas, from where this climate takes its name.
o Sometimes As is used in place of Aw if the dry season occurs during the time of higher sun and longer days. This is the case in parts of Hawaii, East Africa (Mombasa, Kenya) and Sri Lanka (Trincomalee), for instance. In most places that have tropical wet and dry climates, however, the dry season occurs during the time of lower sun and shorter days because of rainshadow effects during the 'high-sun' part of the year.


GROUP B: Dry (arid and semiarid) climates
These climates are characterized by the fact that precipitation is less than potential evapotranspiration. The threshold is determined as follows:

* To find the precipitation threshold (in millimeters), multiply the average annual temperature in °C by 20, then add 280 if 70% or more of the total precipitation is in the high-sun half of the year (April through September in the Northern Hemisphere, or October through March in the Southern), or 140 if 30%-70% of the total precipitation is received during the applicable period, or 0 if less than 30% of the total precipitation is so received.
* If the annual precipitation is less than half the threshold for Group B, it is classified as BW (desert climate); if it is less than the threshold but more than half the threshold, it is classified as BS (steppe climate). If it's more than the threshold, the area does not have a Group B climate.
* A third letter can be included to indicate temperature. Originally, h signified low latitude climate (average annual temperature above 18 °C) while k signified middle latitude climate (average annual temperature below 18 °C/64 °F), but the more common practice today (especially in the United States) is to use h to mean that the coldest month has an average temperature that is above 0 °C (32 °F), with k denoting that at least one month averages below 0 °C.
o Examples:
+ Yuma, Arizona, United States (BWh)
+ Mexicali, Mexico (BWh)
+ Almería, Spain (BWh)
+ Cobar, New South Wales, Australia (BSh)
+ Murcia, Spain (BSh)
+ Boise, Idaho, United States (BSk)
+ Medicine Hat, Alberta, Canada (BSk)
+ Punta Arenas, Chile (Bsk)
+ Mossoró, Rio Grande do Norte, Brazil (BSh)
+ Dubai, United Arab Emirates (BWh)
+ Jodhpur, Rajasthan, India (BWh)
+ Tijuana, Mexico (BSh)
o Desert areas, situated along the west coasts of continents at tropical or near-tropical locations, are characterized by cooler temperatures than encountered elsewhere at comparable latitudes (due to the nearby presence of cold ocean currents) and frequent fog and low clouds, despite the fact that these places rank among the driest on earth in terms of actual precipitation received. This climate is sometimes labelled BWn and examples can be found at Lima, Peru and Walvis Bay, Namibia. The BSn category can be found in foggy coastal steppes.
* On occasion, a fourth letter is added to indicate if either the winter or summer is "wetter" than the other half of the year. To qualify, the wettest month must have at least 60 mm (2.4 in) of average precipitation if all twelve months are above 18 °C (64 °F), or 30 mm (1.2 in) if not; plus at least 70% of the total precipitation must be in the same half of the year as the wettest month — but the letter used indicates when the dry season occurs, not the "wet" one. This would result in Khartoum, Sudan being reckoned as BWhw, Niamey, Niger as BShw, El Arish, Egypt as BWhs, Asbi'ah, Libya as BShs, Ömnögovi Province, Mongolia as BWkw, and Xining, China as BSkw (BWks and BSks do not exist if 0 °C in the coldest month is recognized as the h/k boundary). If the standards for neither w nor s are met, no fourth letter is added.



GROUP C: Temperate/mesothermal climates
These climates have an average temperature above 10 °C (50 °F) in their warmest months, and a coldest month average between −3 °C (26.6 °F) and 18 °C (64 °F).

Some climatologists, particularly in the United States, however, prefer to observe 0 °C (32 °F) rather than −3 °C (26.6 °F) in the coldest month as the boundary between this group and Group D; this is done to prevent certain headland locations in or near New England — principally Cape Cod — and such nearby islands as Nantucket and Martha's Vineyard, from fitting into the Maritime Temperate category noted below; this category is alternately known as the Marine West Coast climate, and eliminating the aforementioned locations indeed confines it exclusively to places found along the western margins of the continents, at least in the Northern Hemisphere. This also moves some mid-latitude areas – such as parts of the Ohio Valley and some areas in the Mid-Atlantic? States, plus parts of east-central Asia – from humid subtropical to humid continental.

* The second letter indicates the precipitation pattern — w indicates dry winters (driest winter month average precipitation less than one-tenth wettest summer month average precipitation; one variation also requires that the driest winter month have less than 30 mm average precipitation), s indicates dry summers (driest summer month less than 30 mm average precipitation and less than one-third wettest winter month precipitation) and f means significant precipitation in all seasons (neither above mentioned set of conditions fulfilled).
* The third letter indicates the degree of summer heat — a indicates warmest month average temperature above 22 °C (72 °F) with at least 4 months averaging above 10 °C (50 °F), b indicates warmest month averaging below 22 °C, but with at least 4 months averaging above 10 °C, while c means 3 or fewer months with mean temperatures above 10 °C.
* The order of these two letters is sometimes reversed, especially by climatologists in the United States.
* Group C climates are subdivided as follows:
o Dry-summer subtropical or Mediterranean climates (Csa, Csb): These climates usually occur on the western sides of continents between the latitudes of 30° and 45°. These climates are in the polar front region in winter, and thus have moderate temperatures and changeable, rainy weather. Summers are hot and dry, due to the domination of the subtropical high pressure systems, except in the immediate coastal areas, where summers are milder due to the nearby presence of cold ocean currents that may bring fog but prevent rain.
+ Examples:
# Antalya, Turkey (Csa)
# Athens, Greece (Csa)
# Cape Town, South Africa (Csa)
# Izmir, Turkey (Csa)
# Lisbon, Portugal (Csa)
# Los Angeles, California, United States (inland) (Csa)
# Los Angeles, California, United States (coast) (Csb)
# Madrid, Spain (Csa)
# Malaga, Spain (Csa)
# Marseille, France (Csa)
# Medford, Oregon, United States (inland) (Csa)
# Palermo, Italy (Csa)
# Perth, Australia (Csa)
# Porto, Portugal (Csb)
# Risan, Montenegro (Csb)
# Sacramento, United States (Csa)
# San Francisco, California, United States (Csb)
# San Jose, California, United States (Csa)
# Sanremo, Italy (Csa)
# Santiago, Chile (Csb)
# Split, Croatia (Csa)
# Tel Aviv, Israel (Csa)
o Under the Koeppen-Geiger? classification, dry-summer subtropical (Csb) extends to additional areas not typically associated with a typical Mediterranean climate, such as much of the Pacific Northwest, much of southern Chile, parts of west-central Argentina, and northern Spain and Portugal. Many of these areas would be Oceanic (Cfb), except dry-summer patterns meet Koeppen's Cs minimum thresholds. Additional highland areas in the subtropics also meet Cs requirements, although they too are not normally associated with Mediterranean climates.
+ Examples:
# Seattle, Washington, United States (Csb sometimes Cfb )
# Victoria, British Columbia, Canada (Csb sometimes Cfb )
# Puerto Montt, Chile (Csb sometimes Cfb )
o Humid subtropical climates (Cfa, Cwa):These climates usually occur in the interiors of continents, or on their east coasts, mainly in the high 20s and 30s latitude (although they may occur as far north as 46°N in Europe). Unlike the Mediterranean climates, the summers are humid due to unstable tropical air masses, or onshore Trade Winds. In eastern Asia, winters can be dry (and colder than other places at a corresponding latitude) because of the Siberian high pressure system, and summers very wet due to the Southwest Asian monsoonal influence.
+ Examples:
# Houston, Texas, United States (Cfa — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Milan, Italy (Cfa — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Varna, Bulgaria (Cfa)
# Odessa, Ukraine (Cfa)
# Tbilisi, Georgia (Cfa)
# Buenos Aires, Argentina (Cfa — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Porto Alegre, Brazil (Cfa — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Brisbane, Queensland, Australia (Cfa — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Durban, KwaZulu-Natal?, South Africa (Cfa — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Luodian, Guizhou, China (Cwa)
# Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico (Cwa)
# São Paulo, São Paulo, Brazil (Cwa)
# Lucknow, Uttar Pradesh, India (Cwa)
# Hong Kong (Cwa)
o Maritime Temperate climates or Oceanic climates (Cfb, Cwb, Cfc): Cfb climates usually occur on the western sides of continents between the latitudes of 45° and 55°; they are typically situated immediately poleward of the Mediterranean climates, although in Australia this climate is found immediately poleward of the humid subtropical climate, and at a somewhat lower latitude. In western Europe, this climate occurs in coastal areas up to 63°N latitude. These climates are dominated all year round by the polar front, leading to changeable, often overcast weather. Summers are cool due to cloud cover, but winters are milder than other climates in similar latitudes.
+ Examples:
# Limoges, France (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Langebaanweg, South Africa (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Prince Rupert, British Columbia, Canada (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Bergen, Norway (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Castro, Chile (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Melbourne, Victoria, Australia (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Hobart, Tasmania, Australia (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
+ Cfb climates are also encountered at high elevations in certain subtropical and tropical areas, where the climate would be that of a subtropical/tropical rain forest if not for the altitude. These climates are called "Highlands". Examples include:
# Curitiba, Brazil (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Boone, North Carolina, USA (Cfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Parts of Tamil Nadu, India
# Crkvice, Montenegro (Cfsb —perhumid Mediterranean mountain climate without summer dryness, Crkvice on Orjen also holds Europe's precipitation record – averaging 4927 mm/m² 1931–1960).
+ The temperate climate with dry winters (Cwb) is a type of climate characteristic of the highlands inside the tropics of Mexico, Peru, Bolivia, Madagascar, Zambia, Zimbabwe and South Africa but it is also found in the Argentine province of Córdoba, outside the tropics. Winters are noticeable and dry and summers very rainy. In the tropics the rainy season is provoked by the tropical airmasses and the dry winters by subtropical high pressure. Temperate temperatures are the consequence of altitude which become cooler year-round.
# Examples:
* Cuzco, Peru
* Addis Ababa, Ethiopia
* Bogotá, Colombia
* Mexico City, Mexico
* Campos do Jordão, São Paulo, Brazil
* La Paz, Bolivia
* Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa
* Gangtok, Sikkim, India
o Maritime Subarctic climates or Subpolar Oceanic climates (Cfc):} These climates occur poleward of the Maritime Temperate climates, and are confined either to narrow coastal strips on the western poleward margins of the continents, or, especially in the Northern Hemisphere, to islands off such coasts.
+ Examples:
# Monte Dinero, Argentina (Cfc — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Reykjavík, Iceland (Cfc — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Tórshavn, Faroe Islands (Cfc — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Harstad, Norway (Cfc — uniform precipitation distribution)



GROUP D: Continental/microthermal climate
These climates have an average temperature above 10 °C (50 °F) in their warmest months, and a coldest month average below −3 °C (or 0 °C in some versions, as noted previously). These usually occur in the interiors of continents, or on their east coasts, north of 40° North latitude. In the Southern Hemisphere, Group D climates are extremely rare due to the smaller land masses in the middle latitudes and the almost complete absence of land south of 40° South latitude, existing only in some highland locations.

* The second and third letters are used as for Group C climates, while a third letter of d indicates 3 or fewer months with mean temperatures above 10 °C and a coldest month temperature below −38 °C (−36.4 °F).
* Group D climates are subdivided as follows:
o Hot Summer Continental climates (Dfa, Dwa, Dsa): Dfa climates usually occur in the high 30s and low 40s latitudes, with a qualifying average temperature in the warmest month of 22°C. In eastern Asia Dwa climates extend further south due to the influence of the Siberian high pressure system, which also causes winters here to be dry, and summers can be very wet because of monsoon circulation.
+ Examples:
# Chicago, Illinois, United States (Dfa — summer wetter than winter)
# Toronto, Ontario, Canada (Dfa — summer somewhat wetter than winter)
# Santaquin, Utah, United States (Dfa — summer drier than winter)
# Belgrade, Serbia (Dfa)
# Bucharest, Romania (Dfa/Cfa/Cfb) (Dfa — summer wetter than winter)
# Seoul, South Korea (Dwa)
# Beijing, China (Dwa)
# Tabriz, Iran (Dsa)
+ Dsa exists only at higher elevations adjacent to areas with hot summer Mediterranean (Csa) climates, such as Cambridge, Idaho and Saqqez in Iranian Kurdistan.
o Warm Summer Continental or Hemiboreal climates (Dfb, Dwb, Dsb): Dfb and Dwb climates are immediately north of Hot Summer Continental climates, generally in the high 40s and low 50s in latitude in North America and Asia, and also in central and eastern Europe and Russia, between the Maritime Temperate and Continental Subarctic climates, where it extends up to high 50s and even lowest 60 degrees latitude.
+ Examples:
# Moncton, New Brunswick, Canada (Dfb — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Minsk, Belarus (Dfb — summer wetter than winter)
# Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada (Dfb; summer wetter than winter)
# Revelstoke, British Columbia, Canada (Dfb — summer drier than winter)
# Fargo, North Dakota, United States (Dfb — winter drier than summer)
# Helsinki, Finland (Dfb — winter somewhat drier than summer)
# Växjö, Sweden (Dfb — winter somewhat drier than summer)
# Vladivostok, Russia (Dwb)
+ Dsb arises from the same scenario as Dsa, but at even higher altitudes or higher latitudes, and chiefly in North America since here the Mediterranean climates extend further poleward than in Eurasia; Mazama, Washington is one such location.
o Continental Subarctic or Boreal (taiga) climates (Dfc, Dwc, Dsc): Dfc and Dwc climates occur poleward of the other Group D climates, mostly in the 50s and low 60s North latitude, although it might occur as far north as 70° latitude.
+ Examples:
# Sept-Îles, Quebec, Canada (Dfc — uniform precipitation distribution)
# Anchorage, Alaska, United States (Dfc — summer wetter than winter)
# Mount Robson, British Columbia, Canada (Dfc — summer drier than winter)
# Irkutsk, Russia (Dwc)
# Kirkenes, Finnmark, Norway (Dfc – summer wetter than winter)
+ Dsc, like Dsa and Dsb, is confined exclusively to highland locations near areas that have Mediterranean climates, and is the rarest of the three as a still higher altitude is needed to produce this climate. Two examples are Zubački kabao, Montenegro (Dfsc perhumid Mediterranean snow climate) and Galena Summit, Idaho.
o Continental Subarctic climates with extremely severe winters (Dfd, Dwd): These climates occur only in eastern Siberia. The names of some of the places that have this climate — most notably Verkhoyansk and Oymyakon — have become veritable synonyms for extreme, severe winter cold.



GROUP E: Polar climates
These climates are characterized by average temperatures below 10 °C (50 °F) in all twelve months of the year:

* Tundra climate (ET): Warmest month has an average temperature between 0 °C (32 °F) and 10 °C (50 °F). These climates occur on the northern edges of the North American and Eurasian landmasses, and on nearby islands.
o Examples:
+ Iqaluit, Nunavut, Canada
+ Provideniya, Russia
+ Nuuk, Greenland
+ Longyearbyen, Svalbard
+ Barrow, Alaska
+ ET is also found at high elevations outside the polar regions, above the tree line — as at Mount Washington, New Hampshire and Jotunheimen, Norway.
* Ice Cap climate (EF): All twelve months have average temperatures below 0 °C (32 °F). This climate is dominant in Antarctica (e.g., Scott Base) and in inner Greenland (e.g., Eismitte or North Ice).
* Occasionally, a third, lower-case letter is added to ET climates if either the summer or winter is clearly drier than the other half of the year; thus Herschel Island ('Qikiqtaruk', in Inuvialuit) off the coast of Canada's Yukon Territory, becomes ETw, with Pic du Midi de Bigorre in the French Pyrenees acquiring an ETs designation. If the precipitation is more or less evenly spread throughout the year, ETf may be used, such as for Hebron, Labrador. When the option to include this letter is exercised, the same standards that are used for Groups C and D apply, with the additional requirement that the wettest month must have an average of at least 30 mm precipitation (Group E climates can be as dry or even drier than Group B climates based on actual precipitation received, but their rate of evaporation is much lower). Seasonal precipitation letters are almost never attached to EF climates, mainly due to the difficulty in distinguishing between falling and blowing snow, as snow is the sole source of moisture in these climates.