Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 20 – Warm Temperate Continental (Steppe) Climate YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Watch Video Lecture on YouTube: Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 20: Warm Temperate Continental (Steppe) Climate

Goh Cheng Leong Chapter 20: Warm Temperate Continental (Steppe) Climate

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Image of Arctic or Polar Type

Image of Arctic or Polar Type

  • Border desert and lie in interior of continents: Temperate Grasslands

  • Lie on Westerly belt

  • Away from maritime influence and are treeless

  • South Hemisphere: Moderate climate

  • North hemisphere: extensive and continental

  • Steppes: Black Sea to Altai Mts (broken, isolated area of Pustaz in Hungary & Manchurian plains)

  • Prairies: Rockies & Great Lakes

  • Pampas: Argentina & Uruguay

  • S. Africa: b/w Drakensburg & Kalahari (Bushveld in north & Highveld in south)

  • Downs: Australia (Murray Darling Basin)


  • Continental

  • Temperature extremes

  • Summers are warm (upto 66-76)

  • Winters are cold (negative temperatures) – snow covered

  • South hemisphere – temperature is mild – moderating effect of ocean on climate


  • Rainfall will be light

  • Varies from 10 to 30 inches- average 20 inches

  • Convectional sources of rainfall – intense heat

  • Occasional depression of Westerlies (as snow)

  • South Hemisphere: More rain than north hemisphere due to warm ocean currents that wash shores of steppes – average 26 inches

  • South Hemisphere: June, July & August (rain free), Nov to Feb (rainfall)

  • Drought is dangerous for sheep rearing industry in S.H.

  • Mildura: fringe of Mallee scrub of Great Australian Desert

  • Winds: Chinook (USA) from SW direction of Prairies & depression in winters ascending in Rockies & descending in Prairies – hot wind, melt snow covered areas; Fohn (Switzerland)

Natural Vegetation

  • Scanty vegetation

  • Grass covered with differences in density and quality of grass

  • Treeless with short grasses

  • If rain >20 inch – tall grass – Prairies (wheatland in N. America) or chernozem in Russian Ukraine & Asiatic Steppes

  • Rain < 20 inch – short steppes – discontinuous clump and bare soil

  • Grass dormant in prolonged drought

  • Spring: green, fresh and blooming with small flowers – herdsman are busiest

  • Summer: heat & evaporation, grass turns yellow and brown

  • Autumn: grass dies, roots alive

  • Winter: harsh and long

  • Few trees: willows, poplar, alder

  • Precipitation as transitional zone – conifers appear

  • Double rows of trees around houses to avoid strong winds

Economic Development

  • Home to grazing animals

  • Steppes: wild horse, Kirghiz (roamed with herds)

  • Prairies: Swift-footed bison, Red Indians, most sparsely populated area of world, extensive mechanized wheat cultivation and granaries of world (wheat & maize)

  • Pampas: untamed buffaloes, alfalfa grass or lucerne grass, leading ranching region of world

Nomadic Herding

  • Kirghiz, Kazakh & Kalmuk

  • Travel long distance for grass and water

  • Domesticate animals

  • Wool: tent and garment

  • Leather: boots, saddles and belts

  • Bones & horns: tools, utensils and weapons

  • Trading post and exchange of commodities – gum, canned food, tea, coffee, sugar etc.

  • Collective and state farms for ranching

  • Kirghiz as tough and fearless people (Tartars)

Extensive Mechanized Wheat Cultivation

  • Extensive wheat cultivation

  • Cool moist spring – early growth and light showers for ripening yield

  • Warm & sunny summer: harvesting and straw to be dried

  • Levelness – ploughing and harvesting easy

  • Mechanized plough – loosen the soil

  • Combine-harvesters, winnows etc. are used

  • Low yield (Prairies: 23 bushel/acre, one bushel = 60 lb. in weight and 8 gallons by volume); Pampas: 20 bushel/acre; UK: 50 bushel/acre; Netherlands: 59 bushel/acre

  • Yield per man is higher in extensive farms

  • Greatest quantity of wheat per capita amongst world’s wheat growing nations – greatest exporter of wheat

  • 3/4th of wheat from Canada is exported to Europe

  • 3/4th of world’s wheat is winter wheat (sown in winter) – hard wheat – low moisture & ripened in hot summer – best for bread making & is traded, Great Lakes in USA

  • Spring Wheat: Moving polewards winter temperature are too cold, soft wheat for cakes, biscuits, Canadian Prairies

  • Maize in warm area

  • Wheat upto Peace river in Canada

Pastoral Farming

  • Initially few animals

  • Cattle, sheep, pig, horse

  • Development of refrigerated ships in 19th century

  • Export beef, mutton, wool and hides

  • Dairy products: milk, butter and cheese

  • Tuft grass ploughed up and replaced by sown alfalfa

  • Semi-wild cattles crossed with imported pedigree stock from Europe

  • Pampas: lead world in export of beef, estancias (ranches) were established & linked to frigorificos (meat processing factories) in coastal ports – towns like Buenos Aires, Bahia Blanca, Fray Bentos & Monteviedeo

  • Australia: world’s leading wool exporter (one third of total production)

  • Steppes: ranching for meat production

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