Classification of climate and other terrestrial biomes

As we have discussed earlier in previous article(Forest Biomes), climate play an important role in the classification of biomes.Hence it would be better if we have little knowledge about them. So let’s discuss about major climates in the following passage.

Tropical climate: This type of climate is experienced in tropical areas that is areas surrounded by equator. It is not desert like area and average temperature of this region is above 18°C throughout the year.

Sub tropical climate: Sub tropic climate are experienced in region between tropic of cancer and 38th parallel in each hemisphere. Majority of the deserts in our planet are located in this climate. Average temperature observed in sub tropical regions are greater than 10°C at least for 8 months. Average rainfall observed in this climate is 750mm-1270 mm.

Mediterranean climate: It is a type of sub tropical climate and it is characterized by hot summers and cold winters.

1024px-Chile_(3),_Patagonia,_Road_Y-50_towards_Rio_Verde

Image of a grassland in chile. Credits: Vincent van Zeijist Licence: CC-3.0

Grassland Biomes: As the name implies, dominant vegetation of the grassland is Grasses. These biomes  are characterized by open canopy. In other words, unlike forest sunlight is directly received by the grasses. There are basically two types of Grassland based on the prevailing temperature: Tropical Grassland or Savanna and Temperature Grassland. Savannas have very few trees while temperature grassland has no trees in their vegetation. Grassland comprises of 20% of the total earth’s surface. Grasslands turn into desert due to overgrazzing, farming and poaching.

Desert Biomes: They also comprises 20% of the earth’s surface like grassland. They are characterized by very less annual rainfall. This biomes’ average annual rainfall is less gthan 50cm. Deserts experience hot days and very cold nights. Why desert experience cold nights? There is nothing in the desert to trap its heat. In other biomes, water vapour in the atmosphere traps the heat and prevents them from escaping back to space. There is no water vapour in the air in desert and hence all the heat are radiated back to space. Apart from this reason,desert has no clouds and hence there is nothing to prevent the escape of heat in the desert.Hence desert are very cold at night. As the climate in desert are hostile, only few fauna and flora do survive there.

1024px-Alpine_tundra_Copper_Mountain_Colorado

Image of Alphine tundra. Credits: John Holm under CC 2.0. Tundra biome: It is characterized by very cold climate, poor nutrient in soil, low vegetation, and short growing seasons. Most of the vegetation do occur in only selected period of the year and it is generally very short. Tundra can be classified into three types based on their location: Artic tundra, Antractic tundra and alphine tundra.  Vegetation of tundra includes shrubs, grasses and scattered trees. Artic tundra is in northern hemisphere and permanently frozen subsoil or Premafrost is a major feature of Artic tundra as it provides moisture for the vegetation. Antractic tundra is in Antarctica.There are characterized by very dry and very cold climate. Aphine tundra is located in high altitude mountains and hence no trees exist in this region.Plants that can survive in a biome that has less water are called as xerophyte.  Hence xerophytes referes to class of fauna that survive in Tundra and Desert.

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