Weather means what is happening now. Climate means what the weather is usually like at this time of year.

external image Treeline.jpg

Mountains can be very difficult places for people and wildlife to live because of their climate.

The tops of mountains are extremely cold (usually below freezing all year round) so they are covered in snow. Even though hot air rises, the tops of mountains are nearly always colder than the bottoms.

Because it is so cold near the top, there is no water (except ice) and no plants can grow. As you go down lower, the first things to be able to grow are usually grasses and trees. Often, you can see a line around the mountain where this happens. It is called the tree line.

external image flowery-field.jpg

The valleys between mountains are usually much warmer. Plants can grow, and people and animals can live.

The weather in the mountains can change very suddenly, so it is important to always take clothes that will keep you warm and dry.