Climate and Vegetation: Chapter 2 Ms Kast This chapter talks about the climate and vegetation of the continent of Africa. It discusses factors that influence climate and what type of vegetation grows in Africa. It also discusses different geographic regions in Africa- such as rain forests, savannas and deserts,
Definitions Irrigate: To water crops from an artificial source (not rain) Verb Oasis: A part of the desert that is green and lush, unlike the rest of the desert. Noun
Definitions continued Savanna: An area of tall grassland- usually in a tropical region. Contains grass, low growing bushes and some trees that are resistant to drought. Noun Nomad: A person who moves from place to place without a permanent home. Usually is searching for food either by trade or by hunting and Gathering. noun
Identifications The Sahel is a savanna that is located on the southern border of the Sahara desert in northern Africa. It does not receive much rain (only 4-8inches of rain a year!), so only small bushes, grass and a few trees are able to grow there. This is important because it makes the Sahel a difficult region to live in- it is difficult to grow crops or raise animals because it is so hot and dry. One of the reasons why poverty exists in parts of Africa today is because of these geographic barriers.
Identifications continued… The Namib Desert is a desert located in Southern Africa in what is today the country of Namibia. Like most deserts, it is very difficult for vegetation to grow in the Namib desert. One journalist who traveled to the Namib desert described that “there was sand everywhere, an impossible amount of sand covering thousands of square miles and heaping into dunes ad high as 1,200 feet.” Similar to the Sahel, this hot and dry geography makes it difficult for people to live in the Namib desert.
Identifications The Kalahari Desert is also located in Southern Africa, in parts of what is today called Namibia, Botswana and South Africa. Similar to the Namib desert, the Kalahari only contains rocks, sand dunes and a few small areas of bushes and grass. It is very difficult to grow other plants here, which makes it a difficult place to live. The fact that there are many places on the continent of Africa that are so challenging to live in influences the amount of poverty we see on the continent today.
There are many factors that influence climate in Africa. Three of the factors are the distance from the equator, the elevation, and the amount of rain an area gets every year.
Because Africa is near the equator, much of the continent is warm. How close a place is in relation to the equator affects the seasons. Under the equator, the seasons are opposite of the seasons we have here in the United States ( When it is winter here, it is summer in South Africa)
The higher the elevation of a place is, the cooler it is. For example, even though Somalia and Ethiopia are neighbors, Somalia is hot and dry while Ethiopia is more mild and wet because Ethiopia is located on a plateau.
The amount of rain a place gets varies in Africa. For example, the west coast tends to get more rain than areas with deserts, like the Sahara or the Kalahari. This affects how easily people can farm and grow crops. Some places get rainy seasons, while other places stay dry all the time.
I think that rainfall affects farming more than temperature in Africa. Because Africa is located near the equator, it is warm in many parts of the continent year round. However, the amount of rain varies. Some places are dry all year, and farmers don’t know if they will get enough rain for their crops. These farmers may only get one successful crop a year. Other places get a lot of rain, and can grow a lot of crops. Therefore, the amount of rain can really affect how successful a farmer is.