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Sea-Level is over twice as high as Vanilla Minecraft. Moving from y=62 to y=145. Due to the sheer thickness of the solid rock layer, with the current Minecraft engine it may be normal to experience a fair amount of lag. This may get even worse in Mountainous regions.
Above sea-level, Ambient Temperature will start to drop, getting lower the higher the altitude. With this mechanic, snow capped mountains can generate almost anywhere in the world as long as they climb high enough. The decrease in temperature for each additional meter of elevation is scaled such that 255 blocks should be equivalent to ~4 km of altitude. The scale is exponential so that significant temperature changes aren't observed near sea level, but the higher the altitude, the faster the temperature will decrease. Temperature decreases at around 0.1ºC at sea level, while decreasing as quickly as half a degree near the height limit.
Below sea level, the temperature will slowly move toward 10°C as you near y = 75. At y = 75 and below, the temperature is always 10°C.
Food storage rooms may be built in mountain tops, since they're much colder; and food won't decay as fast.
Mountains are generated randomly across the map, and may show as tall cliffs or smooth hills making their way through the top; overhangs are common. The taller the mountain gets, the shorter the dirt layer is, until it's finally exposed rock. Exposed cliff-sides tend to have exposed Ores & Minerals, making them an early method of gathering materials after obtaining a pickaxe.
Some animals, like Sheep, prefer higher altitudes when spawning. Once "natural" animals on the surface are close enough to being finished, "monsters" will be moved down into spawning in cave systems below sea-level.