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

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

Climate

  • 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

Precipitation

  • 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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