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In geography, the temperate climates of Earth occur in the middle latitudes (23.5° to 66.5° N/S of Equator), which span between the tropics and the polar regions of Earth. These zones generally have wider temperature ranges throughout the year and more distinct seasonal changes compared to tropical climates, where such variations are often small and usually only have precipitation changes.
In temperate climates, not only do latitudinal positions influence temperature changes, but sea currents, prevailing wind direction, continentality (how large a landmass is) and altitude also shape temperate climates.
The Köppen climate classification defines a climate as "temperate" C, when the mean temperature is above −3 °C (26.6 °F) but below 18 °C (64.4 °F) in the coldest month to account for the persistency of frost. However, some adaptations of Köppen set the minimum at 0 °C (32.0 °F). Continental climates, classified separately as "continental" D according to Köppen, are considered as a variety of temperate climates but have more severe temperatures, with mean temperatures of the coldest month usually being below −3 °C (26.6 °F).