climates of latin america
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Climates of Latin America

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Climates of Latin America. Both latitude and elevation dictate climates of Latin America Most of Latin America is located between the Tropic of Capricorn and Cancer In this region you will find mostly tropical rain forests & tropical savannas

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Both latitude and elevation dictate climates of Latin America
  • Most of Latin America is located between the Tropic of Capricorn and Cancer
    • In this region you will find mostly tropical rain forests & tropical savannas
    • The exception comes in the form of highlands climate
      • In the low latitudes, mountains provide more moderate temps (Vertical Zonation)
vertical zonation
Vertical Zonation
  • Three “zones” on a mountain
    • Tierra Fria – cold temps – highest section of mountain
    • Tierra Templada – moderate temps – middle section of mountain
    • Tierra Caliente – hot/warm temps – lowest section of a mountain
  • As elevation increases, temperatures drop, which leads to more precipitation
vertical zonation cont
Vertical Zonation cont.
  • Vegetation is affected by Vertical Zonation
    • Lower elevation = dry – limited vegetation
    • Higher elevation = cold – limited vegetation
  • The middle, Tierra Templada, is where most vegetation can be sustained
  • Read handout on Vertical Zonation & complete questions on last page
climates of latin america cont
Climates of Latin America cont.
  • Drier climates (steppe & desert) prevail south of the Tropic of Capricorn & north of Cancer
  • Humid Subtropical climate can be found in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, & northern Argentina (Tropic of Capricorn & south)
the amazon rain forest

The Amazon Rain Forest

The world’s most diverse ecosystem

facts about the rainforest
Facts about the Rainforest
  • Takes up ¼ of South America
  • Over half of the rainforest can be found in Brazil (54%)
  • Other countries containing the Amazon Rainforest include: French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia
  • Rainfall averages 7 ½ feet per year, with some regions experiencing up to 20 ft./yr.
  • Half of the year the rainforest is flooded, which causes water levels to rise up to 65 ft above normal and flood 30-50 miles from the main channel.
vegetation in the rainforest
Vegetation in the Rainforest
  • Consists of palm, fern, teak, bamboo, mahogany, and evergreen trees; mangroves found along rivers
  • Vegetation must be resistant to flooding
  • The canopy is created by a thick network of tree branches & leaves forming a barrier between the sun & forest floor; highest part of the rainforest
    • Because of the density of the canopy, only about 1/3 of the precipitation becomes a part of the Amazon Basin
    • Approximately half of the precipitation gets caught in the canopy and evaporates back in to the atmosphere to start the water cycle all over
    • Additional amounts of precipitation get released back into the atmosphere through transpiration
    • The canopy fuels the continuous flow of the water cycle
deforestation in the amazon
Deforestation in the Amazon
  • Brazil alone destroys approximately 5. 4 million acres per year (football field = 1 acre)
  • In 1500, 6-9 million natives lived in the rainforest; Today, there are less than 200,000
  • 18 species become extinct each day in the Amazon; 137 species are lost each day amongst the world’s rainforests
why is the amazon rainforest being destroyed
Why is the Amazon Rainforest being destroyed?
  • Cattle ranching/grazing of animals
  • Agriculture/farming (subsistence & commercial)
  • Logging (hardwoods, paper products, charcoal)
  • Hydroelectric dams
  • Medical research/medicines
  • Highway construction (Transamazoninan Highway)
  • Gold mining
  • Oil drilling
results of deforestation
Results of Deforestation
  • Additional amounts of CO2
  • Climate change
  • Erosion of the soil
  • Desertification
  • Less oxygen produced
  • Loss of habitat = migration and extinction of inhabitants (animal, human, and plant)
  • Destruction of possible medical cures