18.2 - Africa Climate and Vegetation
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18.2 - Africa Climate and Vegetation



Climate and vegetation in Africa, focusing on deserts and rain forests.

Climate and vegetation in Africa, focusing on deserts and rain forests.



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18.2 - Africa Climate and Vegetation 18.2 - Africa Climate and Vegetation Presentation Transcript

  • Africa: Climate and Vegetation
  • Africa, in case you forgot what it looks like:
  • It’s a warm place with warm climates.
  • Compare
    • Deserts
    • The big one is the Sahara Desert (‘Sahara’ means ‘desert’ in Arabic).
    • It’s the largest non-polar desert in the world; it covers nearly 1.8 million square miles.
    • That’s about 60% the size of the continental United States.
    • Temperatures can get up to around 140 degrees during the daytime in the summer and yet still dip below freezing at night in the winter.
      • While it looks pretty sandy, only 20% of the desert is actual sand. The rest rocky or gravely.
      • Rain is scarce. It averages less than an inch of rain per year and many places get nothing.
        • It does, however, have massive underground aquifers that give rise to oases. This one is in Libya.
      • The Sahara was actually one of the earliest places to be farmed. Thousands of years ago, it wasn’t as dry as it is now. It only really turned into a desert about 5,000 years ago.
      • Sand and dust storms can be a problem. In fact, the dust can blow nearly all the way to the Americas.
        • The locals dress in long loose robes that help cooling and wear head coverings that keep out the sand and dust. They also ride camels, which can conserve water, and have other specialized structures for the desert.
          • Tourists ride them too.
    • There’s also the Kalahari, which is only kind of a desert. It actually gets sporadic rainfall and has some vegetation and animal life.
  • Adorable meerkats live here too.
    • Grasslands
    • Tropical grasslands cover most of the continent.
    • These areas aren’t good for trees (they’re too dry and the soil can be hard), but they are ideal for grasses.
    • The Serengeti Plain is a good example of these grasslands.
    • Rain forest
    • The rain forests in Africa are mainly located along the equator in the Congo Basin.
    • Like all rainforests, it has thick, diverse vegetation and trees.
      • The trees form a canopy that blocks out the sun to the area below it.
      • The canopy can be 150 feet in the air.
  • Bridges through the canopy
    • Critters
      • Among the animals that live in the rainforest are…
    • The flying fox, which is actually a bat.
    • Birds – this is the African Grey Parrot
    • And the Gaboon viper.
      • It can weigh 18 pounds, have fangs two inches, be nearly 6 feet long.