Boundaries The subregion is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean in the West, the Red Sea in the East and the Mediterranean Sea to the North.
Countries in the North Africa:
the Maghrib, Arabic meaning “where the sun sets” (the western sub region that includes Morocco/Western Sahara, Algeria, and Tunisia) the Mashriq meaning “where the sun rises” (the eastern sub region including Libya and Egypt)
Climate The subregion is characterized, in general, by a hot and dry to very dry climate. Its northern part falls under the temperate influence of the Mediterranean, while the central and southern regions are desert. Owing to the latitude range from 19° to 37° N and altitude of up to 4 165 m in the High Atlas of Morocco, the rainfall regime is quite variable. The average annual precipitation is below 100 mm in the Sahara but as high as 1 500 mm in the regions of Ain Draham and Djebel El Ghorra in Tunisia and up to 2 000 mm in the mountains of Morocco. However, less than 10 percent of the subregion receives more than 300 mm per year. A hot, dry sirocco wind blowing north from the Sahara is frequent during the summer season, bringing blinding sand and dust storms to the coastal regions.
Physical Map of North Africa
SAHARA DESERT Covering almost one-third of the continent, the Sahara is the largest desert in the world at approximately 3,500,000 sq. miles (9,065,000 sq. km) in total size.
Sand dunes – winds blowing across sahara
NUBIAN DESERT - is in the eastern region of the Sahara Desert, spanning approximately 400,000 There is virtually no rainfall in the Nubian, and there are no oases. The traditional inhabitants of the area are the Nubians.
ATLAS MOUNTAINSThis mountain system runs from southwestern Morocco along the Mediterraneancoastline to the eastern edge of Tunisia. Several smaller ranges are included, namelythe High Atlas, Middle Atlas and Maritime Atlas. The highest peak is Mt. Toubkal inwestern Morocco at 13,671 ft. (4,167m). ATLAS MOUNTAINS
NILE RIVER SYSTEMThe longest river in theworld (flows north), risingfrom the highlands ofsoutheastern Africa andrunning about 4,160 miles(6,693 km) in length, tothen drain in theMediterranean Sea. Insimple terms its a seriesof dams, rapids, streams,swamps, tributaries andwaterfalls. Numerous(major) rivers comprisethe overall system,including the Albert Nile,Blue Nile, Victoria Nileand White Nile.
NILE DELTA As the river nears the Mediterranean, it separates intosmall streams.
ResourcesMain livelihood: Farming (arable land) and Exporting mineralsProducts: Wheat, Barley, Citrus Fruits, Olives, Dates, Tomatoes,Onions, Pepper, CottonMinerals: iron ore, silver, zinc, copper, lead, manganese, barytine, gold,salt, limestone, gypsum, coal, petroleum and natural gas exports• North Africa also produces forest products, including furniture and cabinet wood• Western Sahara is a major phosphate producer• a leading producer of cork.Livestock: cattle, sheep, camels
Religion100%90%80%70%60%50%40%30%20%10% 0% Islam 90.5 % Christianity 5.20 Traditional Bahai 0.1 % Judaism 0.1 % % Religion 4.10 %
CurrenciesDinar (Algerian, Libyan, Tunisian)
Dirham (Morocca, Western Sahara)
Drought Many people in Africa suffer greatly because of the hot dry climate. Countries such as Chad, Burkina Faso and Nigeria can often go for many weeks without rain. The land becomes dusty and infertile, and crops cannot be grown. Thousands of families are forced to leave their homes in search of food and aid.
Overgrazing occurs when plants are exposed to intensive grazing for extended periods of time, or without sufficient recovery periods. It can be caused by either livestock in poorly managed agricultural applications, or by overpopulations of native or non-native wild animals. Overgrazing reduces the usefulness, productivity, and biodiversity of the land and is one cause of desertification and erosion. Overgrazing is also seen as a cause of the spread of invasive species of non-native plants and of weeds.
Stripping of vegetation For fuel food and animal fodder This has reduced the already limited amount of land available for farming
Desertification is the degradation of land in any dry land. It is caused by a variety of factors, such as climate change and human activities, desertification is one of the most significant global environmental problems. The Sahara is currently expanding south at a rate of up to 48 kilometers per year. Desertification in the Sahel is progressing at an alarmingly rapid rate, with 2,500 hectares, an area the size of Luxemburg, being desertified each year.