Competitive Exams: Natural Regions of the World

Introduction: A natural region is a group of areas where the conditions of relief, temperature, rainfall, natural vegetation and consequently the cultural environment are more or less similar. There are 7 regions of the world:

  1. Equatorial Region

  2. Savanna Region

  3. Hot Desert Region

  4. Mediterranean Region

  5. Temperate Grassland

  6. Coniferous Forests

  7. Tundra Region

Equatorial Region

Location: It stretches along the equator in the form of a belt roughly between the latitude of 10° Nand 10° S. It includes the Amazon lowlands and the coast of Guyana in S. America; Congo basin and Guinea coast of Africa and Malayasia, Indonesia, New Guinea and South Philippines of the Asian Continent.

Natural Environments

  1. Climate: It is a hot wet climatic region, temperature about 27° c throughout the year. Diurnal ranges are also not significant. It is a humid region where the humidity is very high. Rainfalls throughout the year but is heavier after the position of Equinoxes on two occasions after 21st March and 23 Sept. No change in the season. Average annual rainfall between 150300 cm. Rain is of conventional type.

  2. Natural Vegetation: Forest is the natural vegetation and are the world's densest forests, also known as Selvas.

  3. Animal life: The tsetse fly is dangerous because of its poisonous sting. The Hippopotamus, Rhinocerous and the Elephants are found in abundance. Hippos are found in swampy areas. Other animals are the Gorillas, Chimpanzees, Monkeys, Apes, Sloths, Lizards and Jaguars are also found.

Savanna Region

Location: The Savanna regions are located on either side of the Equatorial Forest Region. They lie between 10° 20° latitudes in both the hemispheres. The biggest area of Savanna is found in Africa and Sudan. Savanna region is also called sudantype region. The Savannas are the grasslands of the tropical zones and are also called Tropical Grasslands.

Natural Environments

  1. Climate: It is generally hot and the average temperature is about 37° c and is generally dry. Diurnal ranges are generally higher, rainfall is seasonal and is received mostly in summers. It is a region TradeWind Belt and the trade wind winds are Dry Belts. Average rainfall is between 25150 cms.

  2. Natural Vegetation: It is a region of seasonal rainfall and the main vegetation is the grass. Trees of medium height, belonging to the deciduous variety, are also found here. The trees shed their leaves during winter. The Savannas are natural grasslands and look like Park Lands. Average height of the grass is 4mts. e. g. Elephant grass. Other types of grasses are Campos in Brazil; Llanos in the Orinico basin and Parkland in Africa.

  3. Animal Life: Native animals are of two types\

    1. Grasseaters Giraffe, Zebra, Gazelle, Bear and Antelopes, Elephants, Wild Bufalloes and Rhinoes.

    2. Flesheaters Lion, Tiger, Leopard, Panther, Hyena, Jaguar and Puma. Other animals are Ostrich, Kangroo found in Australia, Chinchilla, Capybra, Viscacha etc.

Hot Desert Region

Location: Hot desetrts are located between 20° 30° latitude in both the hemisphere on the western coast of the continents. They are also called Tropical Deserts. They are different from the midlatitude deserts and cold deserts, hot deserts are found in High pressure belts along the Tropics in the trade winds region. Distribution Of Hot Deserts:

  1. Asia Thar desert and the Arabian Desert

  2. Africa The Sahara and the Kalahari

  3. N. America Lower California and Arizona states of USA

  4. S. America Atacama desert

  5. Australia The Great Australian desert. The Sahara desert of Africa is the biggest hot desert of the world. The Hot desert regions are located in the subtropical high pressure belts, which are not favourable regions for rainfall.

Natural Environments

  1. Climate: Very high temperature because of dryness of air, cloudless sky, intense insolation and high rate of evaporation. Coastal strips don't have high temperature because of seabreezes and cool currents. Trade winds are dry, relative humidity is low. Rain is of conventional type.

  2. Natural vegetation: Xerophytic type plants Cactus, grass, scrubs, weeds and bulbous plants are found here. Treesdate plants are found in Oasis. The desert plants have leaves of needle shape, hairy and waxy

  3. Animal Life: Camel is the most common animal found in the desert. Other animals like Antelops, Jackals, Foxes, Hyenas, Badgers and Rabbits. Burrowing animals Snakes, Lizards, Ants are also found here.

Mediterranean type Region

Location: This region is located on the western margins of the continents between 30° 40° latitudes in both hemispheres. Shifting of wind belts is the basic cause of this type of climate. Rainfall is in winters. This region is also called Winter Rain Temperate Region. The Mediterranean coast land is the single biggest area of this climate and hence the region is known as the Mediterranean Type. Areas: Europe Coastal regions of Spain, Portugal, France, Italy and Greece; Asia Coastal regions of Turkey, Israel, Syria and Lebanon; Africa Coastal region of Algeria, Tunisia and Morocco in the North and South Western tip of Cape Province of S. Africa in South; Australia Southern and Southwestern Coastal regions of Australia; N. America Western margin of California; S. America Central Chile.

Natural Environments

  1. Climate: This region is transitional between the Dry Sub Tropical Trade Wind belt and the Rainy Cool Temperate Maritime Westerlies belt. During summers, the wind belts shift Poleward and the area comes under the influence of Dry Trade Winds and during winters it shifts Equatorwards and comes under the influence of Rainy Westerlies. The average summer temp, is between 20° c to 26° c, relative humidity is low. Rainfall is received during winters from the OnShore Westerlies with temperate cyclones. The normal rainfall is between 3575 cm. Sunshine is always abundant and winters are mild. Local Winds: Sirocco also known as Chili in Tunisia; Ghibli in Libya; Leveche in Spain; Khamsin in Egypt and Malta; Gharbi in the Adriatic and Aegean sea; Mistral and Bora.

  2. Natural Vegetation: It is of evergreen type. Vegetation types are:

    1. Evergreen broad leaved forests: Eucalyptus in Australia, Evergreen Oaky in S. Europe, Red Wood in California, Jarra and Karri.

    2. Bushes and Scrubs: Laurel, Myrtle, Lavender etc. Are bushes. Maquis, Chaparral and Mallee are the scrubs.

    3. Evergreen Coniferous trees: Found in highland areas, are tall and have needle shaped leaves Pines, Firs, and Cedars etc.

Temperate Grassland

Location: Are situated in the interiors of the Continent between 40° and 55° latitude in both hemispheres; are known by different names in different regions: Steppes (Eurasia); Pampas (S. America); Velds (S. Africa); Downs (Australia). Areas: Asia: Manchuria and Russian Turkestan; Europe: Southern part of European Russia and Hungary; N. America: South Central Canada and North Central USA; S. America: North Argentina and Uruguay; Africa: Transvaal state of S. Africa; Australia: Murray Darling Basin of the Province of Southem Australia.

Natural Environments: Climate: Temperate Grassland of North have a different climate compared to that in the Southern hemisphere, because of the location.

Coniferous Forests

Location: It is found only in Northern hemisphere between55 − 70° latitude and is bordered by temperate grasslands in South and Tundra region in North.

Areas: Asia: Northern Siberia; Europe: Northern part of European Russia, Poland, Finland and Sweden; N. America: Northern Canada from Labrador coast to the Eastern boundary of Alaska. These forests are also known as Taiga (Russia).

Natural Environments

Climate: Temperature below freezing point (45° c) during winters. During summers average temp. Is 15° c. Rainfall between 25 − 75 cm.

Tundra Region

Location: Arc cold deserts situated roughly beyond 65° N latitudes. Summer isotherms of 10° c and 0 degree C denotes the limits of Tundra.

Areas: N. America: Northern coastal region of Alaska and Canada and islands near coastal fringe of Greenland; Europe: Northern Scandinavia, Iceland, Spitsbergen Islands and North coastal region of European Russia; Asia: Northern coastal region of Siberia.

Natural Environments

  1. Climate: Very low temperature; winters are long and severe while summers are short and cool, the Sun does not set for 2 to 3 months in summer. Average summer temp, is 12° c, rainfall is light and hardly 25 cm.

  2. Natural vegetation: Temp, is too low for germination of seeds and the area is marshy where soil is permanently frozen. Xerophytic vegetation is found: Bush tundra scrubby bushes like Alders, Birches, Willows and Junipers; grass tundra Moss, Lichens and Sedge; flowering plants Poppies, Lillies, Buttercups and Violets.

  3. Animals: Reindeer. Caribou, MuskOx, Blue Fox, Sable, Polar Bear and Lemmings. Marine Animals like Seals, Walruses, Whales and variety of Fishes like Salmon, Halibut etc. Insects: Many mosquitoes and insects.