The Garden Guide

Book: Gardening Science - Soils, Manure and the Environment
Chapter: Chapter 4: Weather and Climate

The climate of the British isles

Previous - Next

1450. The climate of the British isles, relatively to others in the same latitude, is temperate, humid, and variable. The moderation of its temperature, and its humidity, are owing to our being surrounded by water; which, being less affected by the sun than the earth, imbibes less heat in summer; and, from its fluidity, is less easily cooled in winter. As the sea on our coast never freezes, its temperature must always be above 33ᆭ or 34ᆭ; and hence, when air from the polar regions, at a much lower temperature, passes over it, that air must be in some degree heated by the radiation from the water. On the other hand, in summer, the warm currents of air from the south necessarily give out part of their heat in passing over a surface so much lower in temperature. The variable nature of our climate is chiefly owing to the unequal breadths of watery surface which surround us: on one side, a channel, of a few leagues in breadth; on the other, the Atlantic Ocean. The temperature of the British seas rarely descends below 53ᆭ or 54ᆭ.