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Climate types and plant landscapes of the American continent
In America, the factors influencing climate interact in different combinations, constituting different types of climate that spread throughout the American continent.
In the far north of America, where the polar climate is dominant, average annual temperatures are negative, with snow almost all year round. For this reason, the ground is always covered with ice and snow. During the polar summer months the tundra, moss and lichen vegetation develops.
To the north of the American continent, in the high latitudes, to the south of the polar region of Canada, prevails the cold climate. In these areas the winters are long and temperatures are always below freezing. As a result, most of the year the ground is covered with snow. Summers provide average temperatures around 10 ° C.
In these regions is developed the taiga, consisting mainly of conifers, very economically exploited.
Cold mountain weather
The cold mountain climate dominates in the west of the continent, where the Rocky Mountains and the Andes range. In these areas average annual temperatures range from 5 ° C to 15 ° C.
In regions with these temperatures, altitude vegetation prevails, which presents variable characteristics according to the altitude of the terrain.
Areas of temperate climate provide well-defined seasons with hot summers and very cold winters. This type of climate occurs mainly in North America, where it occupies a large area. In South America it manifests itself only in small areas to the south.
The predominant vegetation of these areas is temperate forest, with large trees and dense foliage that fall in winter. This vegetation was practically destroyed and gave way mainly to areas intended for agriculture.
In temperate regions there are also prairies, consisting mainly of grasses and some shrubs. In Brazil, the prairies are called fields and occur especially in Rio Grande do Sul. In Rio Grande do Sul and Argentina, the fields are also known as pampas.
The subtropical climate occurs in areas passing between temperate and tropical zones. Winters are pleasant and summers are hot, with average temperature of 18 ° C. The rains well distributed throughout the year. It occurs in southern Brazil and the southeastern United States.
The regions in Brazil where this climate type occurs present vegetation of araucaria forests or pine forests.
In areas where the tropical climate predominates, the average annual temperature is usually higher than 200 ° C, usually with concentrated summer rains and dry winters.
This type of climate is influenced by the moist air masses coming from the ocean. Humidity allows the increase of tropical forests, as in Brazil and in areas of Central America. In the interior of South America, where the humidity is lower we find the savannas, a type of vegetation that has been destroyed and suppressed by commercial agriculture.
The equatorial climate type, typical of areas close to the equator, has high temperatures and high rainfall rates well distributed throughout the year.
In these regions predominates the equatorial forest, or Amazon forest, which is differentiated by the diversity of animals and plants.
The semi-arid climate type has high high temperatures, usually above 25 ° C, with insufficient and poorly distributed rainfall.
In the northeastern region of Brazil, the semi-arid climate favored the development of Caatinga, a type of steppe vegetation that features small trees with twisted and thorny trunks and cacti, which store water on their stem.
In North America there is a large area of semi-arid climate in the midwestern United States. Also in the south-central portion of South America, in Argentina, we find a large area of this climate type, with steppe-covered regions.
Arid or desert climate
This climate type has as its main characteristics the scarcity of rainfall, high temperatures during the day and very low at night. This climate appears in areas of the United States, Mexico, and Chile.
The vegetation of these regions is insignificant, sometimes consisting of thorny and deep-rooted plants; sometimes it is nonexistent.