Asia - Climate, Vegetation and Wildlife

•    Asia is the largest continent of the earth, that’s why it has regions of a wide variety of climates; some of the coldest, hottest, wettest and some of the driest places on earth.
•    Factors that influence climate, are latitudes, distance from the sea, monsoon winds, direction of mountain ranges, and ocean currents.
a.    Asia lies between 10° South and 80° North latitudes. It extends from Equator to the Arctic Circle.
b.    A large part of Asia lies more than 1500 km away from the sea. The interior parts of the continent experience extremes of temperature.
c.    Monsoon winds shed their moisture to the south of the Himalayas and mountains of Central Asia.
•    Ocean currents act much like a conveyer belt, transporting warm water and precipitation from the equator toward the poles and cold water from the poles back to the tropics.
•    All the three components i.e. climate, vegetation and wildlife are interwoven to create a fabric of natural region or climatic region.
a.    Equatorial Type of climate is found between 10° north and south of the Equator. Evergreen forest are found in this region. Most of the animals found in this type of climate live on trees.
b.    Monsoon Type of climate is found in South and South East Asia. The most important tree of these forests are teak, sal, deodar, rosewood and bamboo. Tiger, elephant, various types of snakes, monkey, leopard and rhinoceros, etc., are some important animals of this region.
c.    Tropical Desert type of climate is found in Arabian Desert in Saudi Arabia and Thar Desert in India and Pakistan. Some of the plant that are in the desert are cacti, small shrubs, and dryed up grass. The most important animal found here is camel.
d.    Mediterranean type of climate is found in a small part of west Asia in Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Mediterranean vegetation is composed of broad-leaved evergreen shrubs, bushes, and small trees. Not much wild life is found in this type of climate.
e.    Temperate grasslands are also known as Steppes. They are found in the belt extending from Ukraine in Europe to South-West Siberia and Eastern Mongolia. The region is covered with short grass. The wildlife of this area consists of horses, antelopes, mules and wolves.
f.    Temperate desert covers the plateau of Mongolia. The temperature remains below freezing for several months during winter. Vegetation is sparse and only scattered tufts of coarse grass and shrubs are found. Some lizards, rodents and insects are found.
g.    China Type of Climate is experienced in Central and eastern China, Southern Japan and Korea. Mixed and evergreen forests are found in some areas due to high temperature and heavy rain. Monkeys, Apes, Foxes, Pheasants, Peacocks, Parrots, Cranes and Herons, etc., are found in this region.
h.    The Manchurian type of climate is found in northeast China and the northern parts of Japan. Thick coniferous forests are found on the mountains region. Fur bearing animals like squirrel, bear and fox are found.
i.    The taiga climate is for the most part dominated by cold arctic air. It stretches in a broad belt through Northern Russia and Northern Siberia, between latitudes 55° North and 70° North. Vegetation in Taiga region mainly consists of coniferous trees and evergreen trees. Small and fur bearing animals like lynx, mink, sable and squirrel are found.
j.    Tundra climate is usually found between the 60-75 degree latitudes along the coast of the Arctic Ocean in the northern parts of Russia. Mosses and lichens are found as they can survive in winters and less moisture. Reindeer is most important animal of the tundra region. Other animals with thick fur and wooly undercoat like Arctic fox, musk ox, polar bear and sable are found here.

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  • Q1

    Name the region where Monsoon Forests are found? What kind of vegetation and wildlife is found in this region?


    i. Monsoon forests are found in Myanmar, Cambodia, Vietnam and India.
    ii. In areas of heavy rain natural vegetation is dense broad leaved deciduous forests. Teak, sal, rosewood, deodar and bamboo are important trees.
    iii. A variety of animals are found in this region like elephants, tigers, lions, monkeys, leopards, rhinoceros and snakes.

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  • Q2

    What type of climate is found in Malaysia and Indonesia? State the features of such climate.


    The Equatorial type of climate is found in Malaysia and Indonesia.

    i. The temperature remains high throughout the year.
    ii. The summer temperature may be as high as 30°C and winter temperature may go down to 27°C.
    iii. There is a heavy rainfall throughout the year.

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  • Q3

    “Ocean Currents have a considerable effect on the climate of east Asia.” Give reasons.


    i. The cold Oyashio current which comes from the north and washes the east coast of the mainland and the west coast of Japan makes the cold winters colder.
    ii. The east coast of Japan on the same latitude is washed by the warm Kuroshio Current making the winter milder.

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  • Q4

    How the monsoon winds affect the climate of Asia?


    i. In summer the land mass of Asia gets intensely heated and a low pressure is created. There is high pressure over the Indian Ocean as the air is relatively cooler. Monsoon winds blow from high pressure to low pressure so the winds blow from sea to the land causing heavy rainfall.
    ii. In winter, the interior of Asia becomes extremely cold, resulting in high pressure. The ocean is relatively warmer with a low pressure over it. Winds blow from the land to the sea. These are dry winds so there is no rain.

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  • Q5

    How the climate of Asia is affected due to the lack of moderating influence of sea?


    i. Due to the lack of moderating influence of sea the interiors of Asia experiences extremes of temperatures.
    ii. This is also the reason for low amounts of rainfall in the interior regions of Asia.

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