Ocean Climate Lesson for Kids

Instructor: Elizabeth Foster

Elizabeth has been involved with tutoring since high school and has a B.A. in Classics.

This lesson will teach you all about oceanic climates. Oceanic climates are also called maritime or marine climates. Learn what oceanic climates are like, where you can find them, and what causes them.


A climate is how the weather usually is over the whole year in a particular place. It's not the same as weather. You can think about it in terms of clothes. Weather is how you decide what you're going to wear today. If it's warm, you might wear shorts and a T-shirt, but if it's cold, you might wear long pants and a sweater. Climate is how you decide what kinds of clothes you have in your whole closet. If you live in a temperate climate, then you have a hot summer and a cold winter. So you'll have shorts and T-shirts in your closet, but also long pants and sweaters. But if you live in a desert climate, where it's hot all year round, you won't have any sweaters in your closet.

There are many kinds of climates around the world. In this lesson, we're going to discuss oceanic climates.

Oceanic Climates

An oceanic climate is a type of climate. It's also called a maritime climate. Here are some ways to identify an oceanic climate:

  • Not much temperature change between summer and winter. Seasons are mild. Summers are cool and winters are cooler but not very cold.
  • Rain and snow throughout the year with no dry season
  • Lots of clouds

A boy dressed for an oceanic climate in a raincoat and pants

Oceanic climates are created by two wind patterns, the jet stream and the gulf stream. The jet stream blows all around the world from west to east. It blows clouds and rain from the sea onto the land. That's why oceanic climates have a lot of rain. The gulf stream blows warm air from tropical areas up to more northern areas. Warm air from the gulf stream makes the winters in oceanic climates mild, so they are cool but not very cold.

Subpolar Oceanic Climates

Subpolar oceanic climates are further north than other oceanic climates. That makes them a little bit colder. In general, subpolar oceanic climates have a little bit more snow than other oceanic climates, and they don't get as warm in the summer. But they still have rain and snow year-round and they still have milder winters than other climates.

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