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Different types of Climate

Updated on November 7, 2013

Tropical Climate

These climates are the ones where the mean monthly temperature remains generally above 22 deg. C. and they occur in the tropical zone. They do not have a perceptible winter season. The major sub types of this type are the tropical rain-forest, tropical monsoon and the tropical savanna climates.

The rain-forest climates are characterized by all the year round precipitation and they support dense evergreen forests of tall trees. The basis of the dense and tall forests is the high temperature and a large amount of precipitation, generally over 250 cms. The climates of the equatorial regions such as Zaire Basin and Amazon are of this type.

In the monsoon type of tropical climates the rainfall is seasonal and generally it occurs in the summer season. Due to this the vegetation in these regions is of deciduous type, i.e. the trees shed their leaves during the dry season. India and her neighbors in the southeast Asia constitute a major area of this type of climate.

The tropical savanna climate is the one in which the total amount of rainfall is lesser unlike the former two types where it is generally more than 200 cm. Due to lack of rainfall the typical type of vegetation in these regions is the open thorn type of forests and grasslands with occasional clumps of trees. Savanna type of climate is transitional between the tropical wet climates towards the equator and the dry climates towards the poles. Parts of northern Australia, Veld region of Africa and Venezuela are among the typical areas of this type.

Dry Climate

This climate is characterized by a general situation of water deficit and generally no permanent streams originate from such regions. It has two major sub types, tropical and subtropical deserts and the tropical and subtropical steppes.

The typical areas of desert type of climate are the Sahara, Atacama, Thar, Gobi, Arabian and Kalahari deserts. This type of climate covers a vast area in Australia also. Most of the tropical deserts occupy western margins of the continents near the tropics and the subtropical deserts are usually in the interiors of the continents where the moisture bearing winds fail to reach. Due to a lack of rainfall the deserts have very limited plant and animal life. Thorny bushes and patches of grass are the typical vegetation of these regions. The tropical deserts are also called the hot deserts.

The steppes are the areas of comparatively lower temperature and slightly more precipitation and the temperate grasses are the chief vegetation of these regions. They occupy poleward margins of the tropical and subtropical deserts. Much of the precipitation of these regions is provided by the cyclonic storms. American Prairies and Eurasian Steppes are the major areas of these grasslands. These regions are ideally suited for the cultivation of grain crops such as wheat.

Polar Climate

This climate is also known as the tundra type of climate and it is experienced in the polar regions. This climate is characterized by a long season of severe winter and even the summer season is cold. The precipitation is very low, generally below 30 cm. and due to low temperatures the vegetation is practically missing. Only during the short summer season some very lowly plants may grow only in the areas away from the polar ice caps. These regions are known for blizzards, high velocity winds carrying ice particles with them. These regions are called the cold deserts and they occupy areas of the Arctic margins of North America and Eurasia and the Antarctic continent.

The Highlands Climate

This type of climate is experienced in the mountainous regions such as the Himalayas, Tibetan Plateau, Rockies, Andes and the Alps. The climate of such regions is significantly modified by the altitude and the aspect of the slope and these regions have a variable climate. The temperature conditions vary according to altitude and the precipitation varies according to the aspect of the slope. Vegetation also has a vertical zonation. Generally such regions also suffer from a high diurnal range of temperature.


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