Definitions of Climate

What is the Climate

What is the Climate?

Climate is the set of atmospheric conditions typical of an area.

The elements of the climate include aspects such as temperature, rainfall, humidity and wind. One can speak, for example, of ‘tropical climate’ and of ‘equatorial climate’. In this sense, it is associated with other words like ‘atmosphere’ and ‘atmospheric weather’.

Figuratively, the word ‘climate’ is also used to refer to the set of conditions or circumstances that characterize a situation. It is used in a similar way to the word ‘environment ‘. It is usually identified especially with the perception, attitude and relationships existing in a group of people. For example, ‘climate of discomfort’, ‘climate of tension’ or ‘climate of confusion’. With this meaning, in addition to the word ‘environment’, the following words have a similar meaning: situation, atmosphere, circumstance and state.

It comes from the Latin clima, -atis. In turn, it comes from the Greek κλίμα ( klima ), a word formed by κλίνω (klī-, ‘bow down’, ‘lie down’) and -ma which is used to form nouns. In Greek klima means ‘inclination’ and also ‘region, latitude’, a concept related to the inclination of the sun. The adjective would be ‘climatic’ (for example, ‘climate change’) and not ‘climatological’, which refers to something related to climatology.

Organizational climate

The term organizational climate refers to the characteristics of the work environment existing in an organization or a group of people. The organizational climate is influenced by the characteristics of the organizational system. For example, the type of leadership and supervision or communication systems. It also depends on the characteristics of the workers themselves (for example, the degree of motivation towards a certain task) and their perceptions of the environment. These factors give rise to a response (emotions, attitudes and behaviors) on the part of the workers that affect the development of their work and the functioning of the organization itself (for example, productivity). It is a subjective concept since the climate of an organization can be perceived in various ways depending on each person and can also vary within each work group within the same company.

Types of organizational climate

There are several classifications to establish the different types of climate within an organization. One of them establishes that two types of climate, related to leadership styles and that in turn contain two subtypes: authoritarian type climate (exploitative and paternalistic) and participatory type climate (consultative and group participation). On many occasions, also related to the concept of work culture, other terms such as ‘competitive climate’ and cooperative climate are used.

Types of weather

The existing climate on Earth can be classified into several types:

  • Warm climate: equatorial, tropical, arid subtropical, desert and semi-desert climate.
  • Temperate climate: humid subtropical climate, Mediterranean, oceanic climate and continental climate.
  • Climate cold: polar climate, mountain and high mountain.

What is the Climate