What's a Temperate Climate?

Temperate Climate is often difficult to define, and then often, by default, it is defined by what it is not.  It is not tropical.  It is not polar.  It is just in between.  It is a place where there are typically four well defined seasons.

Scientifically, temperate climates fall in the range of latitudes between 23.5 degrees and 66.5 degrees. The north temperate zone extends from the Tropic of Cancer to the Arctic Circle, and the south temperate zone extends from the Tropic of Capricorn to the Antarctic Circle.

Within the temperate latitudes are six general categories of climate types: 
  1. Oceanic (Maritime)
  2. Continental
  3. Mediterranean
  4. Humid Subtropic
  5. Semi-Arid
  6. Arid

Most people, myself included, do not really consider half of this area to be Temperate even though it is by strict definition.

The layperson typically considers Temperate Climates to include:
  1. Oceanic (Maritime)
  2. Continental
  3. Parts of the Mediterranean

This blog is truly focusing on Permaculture in the layperson's understanding of Temperate Climate, and is therefore going to focus on the non-arid and non-semi-arid climates of North America (any other areas of the world with similar climates should find good information here as well).