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2.0: CLIMATE AND NATURAL CLIMATE REGIONS

2.0: CLIMATE AND NATURAL CLIMATE REGIONS

  


2.0: CLIMATE AND NATURAL CLIMATE REGIONS

2.1: World climatic types and their characteristics

Concepts from this subtopic

·     Describe major climatic types of the world and their characteristics

·     Explain different geographical factors influence climate

The concept of climate and natural climate region

Climate refers to the average weather condition recorded over a long period of time about thirty 30 years.

 Natural climate regions refer to the area with specific temperature, rainfall, relief, natural vegetation, soil type and cultural environment conditions which are more or less similar.

Types of world climate

         I.   Equatorial climate (tropical rainforest climate)

       II.   Tropical climate

     III.   Dry climate

     IV.   Temperate climate

       V.   Polar climate

     VI.   Mountain climate

Equatorial climate (tropical rainforest climate)

This type of climate occurs between 0˚ to 5˚ North and South of the equator. Examples of equatorial climate are Congo basin, South America in Amazon Basin

Characteristics of Equatorial climate

(a)   The average temperature is 27˚C

(b)   The temperature range is about 3˚C

(c)   Convectional rainfall is common

(d)   Relative humidity is very high

(e)   Mean annual rainfall is about 1500mm

(f)    Heavy rainfall throughout the year

(g)   It found between 0˚ to 5˚ North and South of the equator.

Tropical climate

This type of climate lies between 5˚ to 20˚ on the side of the equator. For example Central America, Central Brazil, East and central Africa.

Characteristics of tropical climate

(a)   Average temperature in tropical climate is 21˚C to 32˚C.

(b)   It has two seasons which are dry and wet season.

(c)   Annual range temperature is 11˚C.

(d)   Low humidity during dry season

(e)   The annual rainfall is around 762mm.

(f)    Convectional rainfall is common

Dry climate

This type of climate experiences very little rainfall and has no permanent source of streams. Dry climate are most found between 15˚ to 35˚ North and South of the equator. Dry climate is divided into semi-arid and arid. Examples of area are western part of northern America, South America, central and southern Africa and middle Asia.

Characteristics of dry climate

(a)   Average precipitation is less than 35mm per year

(b)   There is greater evaporation

(c)   There is no cloud cover

(d)   Temperature varies from 29˚C in ho season to 10˚C in cool season.

Temperate climate

This is environment with moderate rainfall spread across the year or portion of the year with sporadic drought,mild to warm summer cool to cool winter.

It found between 30° and 60° North and south of the equator. Examples are western Europe and western north America

Characteristics of temperate climate

a)      Temperature ranges between 17°C and 24°C.

b)      Summer tend to be warm with little rainfall about 610mm.

c)      Winter are moderate wet

Polar climate

This is a place with temperature below freezing and covered in snow.

It found across the continent that border the Arctic Ocean, Greenland and Antarctica. Part of the world where polar climate exists are northern Canada, Siberia and Antarctica.

Characteristics of polar climate

(a)    The land is most covered by thick ice sheets.

(b)    during winter the region is entire dark and extreme cold

(c)    during summer the days are long but receive very small insolation make the region to be cool

(d)    The average temperature during warmest day is 10°C

(e)    The annual temperature ranges between -40°C and 0°C

(f)     Annual precipitation is less than 25mm

(g)    Precipitation inform of snow and blizzards

Mountain climate

This type of climate is common in mountain region. Increase of altitude and position of slope create unique climate. For example of mountain experiences this climate are Mount Kilimanjaro, Atlas Mountain and Alps Mountain.

Characteristics of mountain climate

(a)    temperature decrease increases of altitude

(b)    orographic rainfall is common

(c)    windward side receive high rainfall than leeward side

(d)    Maximum rainfall received is about 2500mm.

(e)    Local winds are associated with temperature inversion.

Factors affecting climate

(a)    latitude

(b)    altitude

(c)    distance from the sea

(d)    prevailing winds

(e)    ocean currents

(f)     aspects

(g)    vegetation

(h)    human activities

(i)      soil

Latitude

-The area near to the equator experience higher temperature than those away from equator.

-latitude influence pressure system of the world and wind behavior

Altitude

-Increase of altitude decrease of temperature

-The region with low temperature experience high pressure while the region of high temperature experience low pressure

- Highland area experience high rainfall due to prevailing of moist wind

Distance from the sea

-coastal area has high humidity that influenced by evaporation of water bodies

_ Temperature of the coast region also influenced by water bodies due to heating specific capacity.

Prevailing winds

-wind is medium of transfer of heat and moisture over the land.

-The moving wind carries specific character will affect certain area of blowing.

Ocean currents

-Ocean currents tend to modify a climate of certain area along the coast.

-The area where the wind blows over cold ocean current, the wind moisture condenses and form precipitation over the area.

-The area with warm or cold ocean currents will affect the temperature of that area.

Aspects

-This is direction where the slope face.

-windward slope receive higher rainfall than leeward slope. For example Mount Kilimanjaro south eastern slope are wetter than north western slope.

 

Vegetation

-Area with dense vegetation receive less insolation towards the earth make the area to be cooler.

-Also vegetation influence rainfall due to the process of Eva-transpiration that lead to rainfall formation.

Human activities

-Human activities such as settlement, agriculture, industries and construction of dams affect the climate. For example deforestation that affect hydrological cycle.

Soil

-Light soil reflects more heat than darker soil which are better heat absorber. Such soil may lead to variation of temperature over a region.

2.2: Natural climate regions of the world

Concept from this subtopic

(a) identify different types of natural regions

(b) Draw a world map showing different natural regions

(i)      Equatorial climate

(ii)    Tropical (Savannah) climate

(iii)  Tropical maritime climate

(iv)  tropical desert climate

(v)    Tropical monsoon

(vi)  Mediterranean

(vii) Warm temperate eastern margin (China type)

(viii)  Warm temperate eastern interior (steppe type)

(ix)   Cool temperate west coast margin (British type)

(x)    Cool temperate eastern margin (Laurentian type)

(xi)   Cool temperate continental (Siberian type)

(xii) Cool temperate interior

(xiii)  Polar (Tundra climate and Ice cap climate)

(xiv)  Mountainous

Equatorial climate region

This region found between 0˚ to 5˚ North and South of the equator. It extends more than 10 ˚ north and south of the equator.  Examples of equatorial climate are Congo basin, South America in Amazon Basin

Characteristics of Equatorial climate region

(a)   The average temperature is 24˚C to27˚C

(b)   The temperature range is about 3˚C

(c)   Convectional rainfall is common

(d)   Relative humidity is very high

(e)   Mean annual rainfall is about 1500mm to 2500mm

(f)    Heavy rainfall throughout the year

(g)   It found between 0˚ to 5˚ North and South of the equator.

Vegetation

-It comprises evergreen trees that yield tropical hard wood such as mahogany, ebony, greenheart, rosewood and cabinet wood.

Human activities

(i)      Agriculture. For example, Rubber and Oil palm in Malaysia, Cocoa in Ghana and sugar cane in Cuba. Other crops are maize, banana and groundnuts.

(ii)    Lumbering. Due to presence of mahogany, ebony, greenheart, rosewood and cabinet wood.

(iii)  Fishing and Water transportation. Presence of large rivers like Amazon and Congo

(iv)  Hunting and food collection. They collect fruits and animals hunting like gorilla and monkey

(v)    Tourism. The presence of attractive environment (animals and trees)

Tropical climatic region or grassland

This region found between 5˚ to 15˚ on the side of the equator. For example, Central America, Central Brazil, East and central Africa.

Characteristics of tropical climate

(a)   Average temperature in tropical climate is 21˚C to 32˚C.

(b)   It has two seasons which are dry and wet season.

(c)   Annual range temperature is 11˚C.

(d)   Low humidity during dry season

(e)   The annual rainfall is range 500mm to 1500mm.

(f)    Convectional rainfall is common

Vegetation

-It characterized by tall grass with scattered trees

-Their vegetation consists of thorny bushes, low shrubs and thorny trees.

Human activities

(i)      Crops production. For example, millet, beans, maize, rice and groundnuts.

(ii)    Livestock keeping. For example, Maasai in East Africa

(iii)  Hunting and gathering. For example, animals, birds and fruits.

(iv)  Tourism. For example, Serengeti, Mikumi and Manyara

Tropical Maritime climate region

This region experiences tropical climate influenced by ocean and coastal area between 10˚C and 25˚C north and south of the equator. For example, Central America, the west Indies, East coastal low land of Brazil and East Africa (Zanzibar Island).

Characteristics of Tropical maritime climate region

(i)      There are two seasons of the year. (Wet and dry season).

(ii)    Total annual rainfall ranges from 1000mm to 2000mm.

(iii)  Temperature ranges from 21˚C to 29˚C.

(iv)  The trade winds blow all the year and are moist that bring rainfall.

Vegetation

-Deciduous forest is common.

- Example of trees are Sal, acacia and eucalyptus.

Human activities

(i)      Agriculture. For example, rice, and sugar cane in South Africa and West Indies.

Other crops produced are coffee in eastern Brazil.

Tropical monsoon climate region

-It is located in southern Asia where strong monsoon wind blows.

Characteristics of monsoon climate region

(a)   Average rainfall is similar to equatorial climate 1500mm to 2500mm.

(b)   Characterized by seasonal reversal of blowing wind

(c)   Three seasons (cool, wet and hot season)

Vegetation

-         In wettest area there are evergreen forests especially in Burma and Sri Lanka

-         Most of trees are deciduous and lose their leaves in the dry season

-         Trees are not dense covered each other due to long dry season.

-         The height of tree is high as 30m 

Human activities

Agriculture. For example, of crops are wheat, cotton, sugar cane and maize.

Tropical desert climate region

It is located in the western margins of the continents in the trade wind belt 20˚C and 30˚C south and north of the equator. Example of desert are Kalahari, Arabian, Iranian, Australian, Californian, Atacama and Namib desert.

Characteristics of Tropical desert climate region

(a)   Temperature ranges from 10˚C to 35˚C

(b)   Annual rainfall is less than 250mm

(c)   Cloud cover contribute to high diurnal range of temperature.

(d)   Rainfall may fall once in five to six years

Vegetation

Examples of trees are cacti and thorny bushes

Desert vegetation develop its characteristics to resist from drought as follows:

(a)   Presence of long tap root to tap underground water.

(b)   Some trees have few or no leaves to reduce loss of water.

(c)   Presence of waxy or needle leaves to reduce transpiration.

(d)   Many plants produce seeds which lie dormant for year but germinate as soon as they get rainfall

(e)   Leave shading during dry season

Human activities

(i)         Crop production. Especially oasis area

(ii)       Animal keeping. For example, camel

(iii)     Hunting and gathering

(iv)     Handcraft and trading activities

Mediterranean climate region

It is located in northern hemisphere between 30˚ and 45˚ in southern hemisphere 30˚ and 40˚.

It is developed around Mediterranean Sea. For example Egypt, Italy, Spain and Israel and South Africa.

Characteristics of Mediterranean climate region

(a)    It has relative mild winter

(b)    Annual rainfall ranges from 500mm to 760mm

(c)    Temperature range from 10˚C to 21˚C

Human activities

-         Agriculture activities. The crops produced are grains and citrus.

-         Animals kept are goats, sheep, lynx

Warm temperate eastern coast margin climate region (china type)

It is found between latitude 23˚ and 35˚ North and South of the equator. For example, of countries are Central China, South eastern Africa and South Eastern Australia.

The coast margin climate is typified by a warm moist summer and cool dry winter.

Characteristics of Warm temperate eastern coast margin climate region (china type)

(a)    The temperature in this region are about 26 ˚ C in summer and 13 ˚ in winter. This area is strongly influenced by maritime.

(b)    Rainfall ranges between 635mm to 1524mm. Total rainfall is about 1000mm annually.

(c)    It is dominated by convectional and topographical rainfall in summer and cyclonic rain in winter.

(d)    It experiences local storms as typhoons and hurricanes.

 

Vegetation

-It supports evergreen forest. The forest are not dense as tropical forest

-There are variety of plant and tree species which are evergreen with broad leaves, deciduous trees in lowlands and coniferous in highland.

-Common trees are oak, maples, camellias and palm trees.

Human activities

(a)    Crop production.

Warm temperate interior climate region (steppe type)

This region is located between 20° and 35° north and south of the equator.

It found in North America in the grasslands of the prairies in Canada, western Oklahoma and Texas in the United states of America and northern Mexico.

Climate characteristics

a.       It experiences significance of extreme temperature. This is due to not moderated by water bodies. In a summer are very hot with 29°C while in winter are very cold below 0°.

b.       Convectional rainfall is common

c.       Rainfall ranges from 250mm to 750mm depending on distance from sea.

d.       The interior part is relatively drier than near coast

Vegetation

-They dominated by grassland due to low rainfall.

- Tall grasses are often in wet area and short grasses are from drier area.

Human activities

(a)    crop production: they are most produce wheat in this region. Other crops are maize, vegetable and fruits. Especially in veld of south Africa.

(b)    Animals keeping; most of animals are cattle and sheep

Cool temperate western coast margin climate region (British type).

It is experienced in area bordering the western coasts of continents. Includes British Isles, southern Scandinavia and western Europe.

It is located in western sides of continents between 45° and 60° north and south of the equator.

It lies within the westerly wind belt, which prevail on shore through the year.

Characteristics of Cool temperate western coast margin climate region (British type).

(a)    The region has warm summer and mild winter. During winter temperature ranges between 2°C to 7°C and during summer temperature ranges 13°C to 15°C.

(b)    Annual temperature range is 8°C

(c)    During the summer mean temperature is 18°C

(d)    Climate in the coast area is influenced by ocean.

(e)    Total annual rainfall is about 760mm. though could reach 2500mm in mountain area.

(f)     The region receives cyclonic and topographical rainfall.

Vegetation

The common vegetation is broad leafed deciduous trees.

Example of trees are oak, elm, ash and birch.

Human activities

(a)    Crop production; due to limited land and advanced agro-technology. Example of crops are wheat, oats, vegetables and fruits especially apples.

(b)    Lumbering; especially in British Columbia

(c)    Animal keeping, especially dairy farming

(d)    Manufacturing; most of area are industrialised.

Cool temperate eastern margin climate region (Laurentian type).

It is experienced in the eastern sides of North America and Asia.

It is located between 35°N and 50°N and south of 40°S.

 It has both continental and maritime climates.

Characteristics of Cool temperate eastern margin climate region (Laurentian type).

(a)    Winter temperature ranges from -13° to -7°C

(b)    Summer temperature ranges from 15°C to 24°C

(c)    The average temperature is about 24°C. while in western margin is about 11°C.

(d)    Precipitation is mainly in form of snow and rain with annual mean of between 530mm and 1000mm

Vegetation

It consists of coniferous forest. Example of trees are maple of eastern Canada and oak, beech of Asia.

Human activities

(a)      Crop production; for example, are millet, maize and beans

(b)      Animal keeping; example is sheep rearing

(c)      Lumbering; deciduous and coniferous forests of northern and southern Canada are mostly used those produce paper products.

Cool temperate continental climate region (Siberia type)

It is located in the Northern hemisphere along latitude 60° North and stretching across the continental interior of northern Siberia, North America and Alaska through much of Canada.

Characteristics of Cool temperate continental climate region (Siberia type)

(a)    it experiences mild summer with about 20°C but winter are very cold about -15°C.

(b)    In winter the cold dry wind from artic region blow from north west bring with them low temperature.

(c)    In Canada winter temperature are not as low as in Siberia because of the continental effect are modified by relative distance from ocean. This distance contributes to warmer summer and cold winter

(d)    During summer days are longer than night and during winter night are longer than a day.

(e)    Total annual rainfall is about 300mm

Vegetation

Coniferous forest of Taiga extends over a large area of Alaska, Scandinavia and Russia

The conifers are evergreen and they have small leaves.

Trees have long tap roots to absorb water internal of the earth.

Human activities

The region is sparsely inhabited because of severe long and cold winters. Crop production is not common because of short summers.

(a) Lumbering

(b) Crop production; for example, Cocoa and coffee

(c) Hunting; for example, fox, egimine and skunk

Polar climate region

This climate occurs in the interior of Iceland, Greenland ad Antarctica. It characterised by lack of warm summer.

Most of areas are covered by ice

Region with polar climate cover more than 20% of the earth’s surface.

Characteristics of polar climate

(a) Permanent low temperature below 0°C

(b) Precipitation is in form of snow and blizzards

(c)  During winter nights are continuous while during summer days are continuous.

(d)  Annual precipitation is below 250mm.

vegetation

-it has very little vegetation because the growing season is very short less than two months.

Some of vegetation are lapps, Sanoyeds and Yakuts

Human activities

-They rely on hunting, oil, gas and mining industries

 

Mountainous climate region

The main mountain areas in the world are found in North and south America, southern Europe, Central Asia, Eastern Australia and North- East Africa. It is most developed in young fold mountain such as Rocky mountain, andes, Himalaya and Tanzania there are Urugulu and Udzwangwa mountain.

Characteristics of mountainous climate region

(a)    Temperature decrease with increase of altitude. Every 100m temperature decrease to 0.6°C.

(b)    The lower slope of mountain has thick forest.

(c)    At highest level glacier is formed

(d)    orographic rainfall is common

(e)    windward side receive high rainfall than leeward side

(f)     Maximum rainfall received is about 2500mm.

(g)    Local winds are associated with temperature inversion.

Human activities

(a)    Crop production; Crops produced in this region include tea, coffee and pyrethrum

(b)    Mountain region attracts tourists; for example, Kilimanjaro

Relationship between human activities and climate

Climate plays a great role to human activities. Most of activities depend on rainfall and temperature, therefore climate can be favourable and unfavourable to certain activities. The following are human activities depend to climate.

(a)    Livestock keeping;

(b)    Lumbering

(c)    Crop production

Ways of solving climate problems

(a)    Use of renewable energy

(b)    Use sustainable and environmental friendly means of transport

(c)    Waste management and recycling

(d)    Limiting overfishing

(e)    Provide education for environmental conservation

(f)     Afforestation and reforestation

(g)    Initiatives of laws and regulation

 

Sample of questions

1.         Vegetation do not grow well in desert area because of harsh conditions. With five points explain how such vegetation adapt survive in desert.

2.       “Having a good climatic conditions and high fertile soil doesn’t necessary mean a better livehoods for people”. Using six points support this statement.

3.       Climate has led to a significance on the current expansion of human activities. Using six points, explain the importance of studying climate condition of the world.

4.       With example use six points to explain why irrigation is necessary for crop cultivation in some part of the world.

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