- Education and Science
Climate of the world
We know that the world can be divided into many climatic regions (or areas that have a similar climate). The world is divided into six climatic regions and we know the Islamic countries situated in those regions.
Equatorial climatic region
Land areas up to 5o north and 5o south of the equator receive direct rays of the sun all the year round. This means that there no seasons, since its always summer in the day and winder at night!
The areas having this kind of a climate are including in the equatorial climatic region. It includes Malaysia and Indonesia in Asia, parts of Africa such as: guinea and the Congo Basin, parts of South America such as; Colombia and parts of the Amazon basin mainly Brazil.
Because of intense heat there is a lot of evaporation and the winds become very humid. As a result, the winds rise and become cold. Hence, there is rainfall after 3:00 p.m., almost daily. The average annual rainfall in Padang (Indonesia) is above 3700 mm, which is considered a very high amount of rainfall (the average rainfall in Karachi is a little over 200 mm).
Flora means vegetations or plants. The soil in these regions is not very fertile, because there no rivers to deposit silt. However, plants have grown here for millions of years and the excessive rainfall has supported them so much that almost the entire area was covered with thick forest at the beginning of the 20th century. These forests, known as the equatorial rainforests, are so thick that many areas remain dark even during the day. Some of the trees in this region grow higher than 50m (165 ft). These are evergreen trees, which mean that they do not shed their leaves; since the season never changes!
The equatorial rainforests are the largest forest in the world, and they are a great source of fresh air for the planet. It is though that 60% of all plant species (or types) are present in these forests, and any of them are not found anywhere else.
Fauna means animal life. Over 30 million different species of insect are found in the equatorial rainforest, almost 90% of all species of primates (animals such as monkeys, gorillas, and chimpanzees) are also found here, in addition to a great variety of other animals including elephants, hippopotamus, crocodiles and serpents. This climatic region is a paradise for all kinds of wildlife.
As stated above, the soil in this region is not very fertile. However, many of the people living there are poor and need to grow crops. The easiest method for growing crops is to burn a part of the forest (cutting down such dense forest is not always possible) and clear it for agriculture. However, once the protective cover of the trees is gone, the soil is easily washed away by rain and what is left after two or three years is a rocky desert.
The farmers then have to move on the burn another part of the forest. This is called “Shifting cultivation” and it has caused serious damage to the rainforest.
World Climate Map
Monsoon Climatic region
Monsoons are those winds that appear in particular seasons. In South Asia, the monsoons come from the Indian Ocean in the summers; some parts of South America receive monsoons from the Atlantic Ocean. All areas that receive monsoon from any ocean are including in the monsoon climatic region. Most of these areas are sutured on the eastern sides of the continents
Since the monsoon areas are situated between 5o and 30o on both sides of the equator they have two major season; hot, wet summers and dry, mild winters rain falls in the summer, because at that time the winds is blowing from the sea towards the land and therefore carries water vapours.
Trees in this region shed leaves in the winder when sunlight and heat is limited. Some areas in the region that receive as much as 2000 mm rainfall (such as Bangladesh and the Himalayas) have dense forests of coniferous trees (such as pine).
Typical wildlife of this region includes elephants, tiers, leopards and deer, camel, donkeys, horses, cows goats and sheep also live here as domesticated animals. Indian python and black cobra are perhaps the most famous among the reptiles.
This region is very suitable for agriculture. Not only is there heavy rainfall, but also great rivers, like the Indus, Ganges, these rivers are also formed due to the rainfall in the mountains. Agriculture has remained the main occupation of the people in these regions since thousands of years.
Major crops are rice, jute, sugarcane, cotton, oil seeds and pulses. Main fruits of the region include banana, coconuts, guava, mango and pineapple.
Mediterranean climatic region
You know that the Mediterranean Sea lies between Europe, Asia and Africa. Winds carrying water vapours blow from this sea every year during winters and cause rainfall in the surrounding areas. However, since this region is situated at a distance of 30o and 45o north of the equator, it has a short summer (unlike the monsoon climatic region, which has a long summer). All such areas are called the Mediterranean climatic region and they include Spain, France, Italy, in Europe, turkey, Lebanon, Syria and Palestine in Asia, Algeria and morocco and some southern parts in Africa, California in North America, Chile in South America, and some southern parts of Australia.
As stated above, the region has a short, dry summer and a long, pleasant winter with moderate rainfall. Average rainfall in this region is between 400 to 500 mm every year.
Citrus fruits, such as grape fruit and lemons are the most typical vegetation of this climate. Other trees include olive and nuts. Most of these trees are small, but spread their roots far and wide in the ground. Naturally, the most common occupation in this region is growing fruits, but livestock and farming is also practiced.
Agriculture is carried out in the areas irrigated by river water, such as turkey. Most common crops in such areas are wheat, cotton, barely and millet. Rice is cultivated around the rivers.
Tropical climatic region
This region may also be called the temperature grassland. The winds rising from the sea do not reach there. Therefore they do not receive much rainfall, and there is no sea breeze to make the weather pleasant. This type of climate is called a tropical climate, as most of the inner territories of the continents lie around the tropics (of Cancer or Capricorn). Such areas include Russia (some parts), Germany, Poland, Hungary, Sweden and Romania in Europe; the northern; Argentina in southern America and some areas of Africa and Australia.
The summers are hot and the winters are cold. Rainfall is sparse, and usually ranges between 250 and 500 mm.
Since there is little rainfall, the most common vegetation is grass. Sometimes no trees are seen up to several miles and the land stretching out as far as the eye can see consists of vast plains of grass( hence the name “temperate grasslands”). Naturally, the most common occupation in these regions is livestock there is enough grass to feed the cattle.
Antelope, rabbit, goat and sheep are the most common animals in this region. Many of these animals can run very fast over vast stretches of land.
With the development of irrigation systems wheat, oats and mustard is grown in some parts of this region, and many such areas in the US and Canada are famous for exporting wheat all over the world.
Hot and Dry Climatic Region
There are some areas in the world that receive strong winds, but those winds do not bring rain. Why? Most of the moisture carrying winds enter the continents from the seas on the eastern side. If they are not stopped by the mountains and reach the western sides of the continents, they are usually free of moisture by that time; as a result, there is little or no rainfall on the western sides of a continent. You must have noticed that most of the desert regions are situated on the western sides of the landmass, such as the Sahara, the Arabian Desert and the Thar (Rajasthan). Now you can include some other names to your list: southern California, Colorado, Arizona and northwestern Mexico in North America; southern Peru in South America; Kalahari in Africa; and the western desert in Australia.
If you look at the map carefully, you will see that most of these regions lie from 20o to 30o on the north and south of the Equator.
The summers are very hot; temperature may rise up to 51o centigrade! In fact, at a place called Aziza in Africa, temperature as high 58o C has been recorded. However, temperatures usually fall at night. The winters are not so cold. Rainfall is very low less than 250 mm per year, while some areas may not receive any rainfall for as many as 3 or 4 years.
Xerophytes are the most common types of plants. They store water in their stems and their roots dig deep into the ground to search for underground water. A common example of this plant is the cactus, which is found widely in such areas.
Camel is the most common animal of this region. It is usually thought that the dromedary (one hump) camel originated from the deserts of Thar or Arabia and was introduced into the Sahara at a later stage. It is not found in the other deserts of the world. Horses and donkeys are also reared in the deserts of Arabia, while the Arabian horse has been famous for its speed for a very long time in history. Ostriches are found in the Kalahari Desert of Africa.
There is little or no agriculture in these regions. People sometimes grow crops if rain is expected, but this is called” subsistence farming”, which means that the crops are eaten by the farmers themselves and there is not enough to sell. The most common occupation of the people in this region is livestock.
Tundra climatic region
It has some very interesting features. The tundra region is situated in the north of this planet and it is covered with ice and all times. The people of this region were called Eskimos, which means “the eaters of the raw meat.” Actually, they doo no eat raw meat and it is considered impolite to call them Eskimo. The proper word for them is Inuit, which means “Human being” in their own language. They build igloos or houses of snow, which you must have seen in many movies.
Winters are extremely cold and long. During the short summer the snow melts in some areas which become marshy. However, the seas remain frozen.
This area is also known as the frozen desert, because vegetation is very rate due to extreme cold. There is no proper rainfall, only snowfall!
Reindeer are the most famous animals of this region. It is used for pulling the sledges, and its meat is used for food. Dresses are also made from its hide. While its’ bones and horns are used for making tools, such as hooks for catching fist. Dogs, foxes and seals are also common in this region.
Obviously, there is no agriculture in this region. The most common occupation is catching fish, cutting wood and hunting animals.