Climate map Temperature and precipitation are its most important expressions and vegetation is its most visible expression. Animal life adapts to both climate and vegetation.
climate A climograph that combines monthly precipitation and temperature statistics on a single graph. Precipitation is shown using a bar graph and temperature is shown using a line graph. Climate influences vegetation, soils, landforms, and water resources, and many human activities as well. A climate region is a portion of the earth's surface over which the climate characteristics are similar. average condition of the weather based upon statistics collected over a period of 30 years.
precipitation Rainfall amounts in North America range from over 150 cm in the rain forests to less than 50 cm in the mountainous areas of the West.
Though broadleaf temperate forests are found along the Gulf Coast, a substantial amount of southern pine forest are found in Southeastern United States as well.
population map Which part of the United States is the most heavily populated?
night lights Black – sea level, Light Gray – over 10,000 ‘ Based upon satellite measurements of city lights, this image is a map of the urban population density of North America. Most major cities are in level areas along an ocean, bay, large lake, or navigable river .
Each land cover type plays a different role in carbon, climate, and water cycles. Land cover maps help scientists understand how human and natural activities affect the Earth system. Land cover Vegetation types that cover the United States in different colors.
North America biomes Biomes are defined as "the world's major communities, classified according to the predominant vegetation and characterized by adaptations of organisms to that particular environment" (Campbell).
Eight world biomes The orange area is tundra, purple is taiga, green is grassland, black is temperate forest, yellow is desert, blue is tropical rain forest, brown is chaparral and the white is ocean. Windows Original
tundra The Arctic tundra is a cold, vast, treeless area of low, swampy plains in the far north around the Arctic Ocean. It includes the northern lands of Alaska and Canada. Since the sun does not rise for nearly six months of the year, it is not unusual for the temperature to be below -30°F in winter. The earth’s coldest biome
Alaska’s denali The Alaskan denali is a treeless tundra with only mosses and lichen vegetation in the summer, and covered with snow the rest of the year.
denali glaciers At the left-center of the picture is North America's highest peak, the 20,320 foot summit of Mt. McKinley. It's also known as Denali (the Great One). To the west is Mt. Forager (17,400 ft), and in the foreground are several of the dozens of large glaciers emanating from the Alaska Range. This unusually clear wintertime aerial photo shows a portion of the Alaska Range in south central Alaska.
ridge bedded glacier Glaciers can Be subdivided according to substrate over which they flow. This in turn affects their characteristics, including their speed, their ability to erode and deposit and consequently their landform record.
Alaska wildlife The Brown Bear (right) lives throughout the North American continent, particularly in the colder climes. Arctic birds converge along the islands
The southern part of the denali tundra gives way to the hardy trees of the taiga
Taiga (or Boreal Forests) represent the largest terrestrial biome. Occurring between 50 ° and 60 ° north latitudes, boreal forests can be found in the broad belt of Eurasia and North America. At left is the hardy jack pine species common in the poor, sandy soils, mostly in Canada. Taiga
Great Lakes 1991 L. Michigan L. Superior L. Huron L. Erie L. Ontario N Milwaukee Chicago Detroit Convection Lake Effect
climographs All climates in the Northern Boreal Forest tend to have cold, long winters, short cool summers, and low precipitation. The graphs on the left show average annual temperature and precipitation for two localities at the margins of this biome.
Marine West Coast The marine or humid west coast climate is found on the west coast of mid-latitude climates and is very humid through most of the year. Westerly winds from the ocean bring cloudy skies, much precipitation, and mild temperatures.
Marine climate compared to Europe The significant difference between climate characteristics of Vancouver and London, both Marine West Coast climates, arises from location, local topography, and ocean current influence. The dry summer in Vancouver is due in part to subsiding, subtropical high pressure lying to the south. Precipitation is nearly double that of London due to local orographic uplift of air.
deciduous forest Deciduous forests can be found in the eastern half of North America, and the middle of Europe.
temperature, precipitation graphs Differences in the species of the Eastern Deciduous Forest ecosystem result from local differences in climate and soil types. The graphs indicate the trends shown on the previous slide.
prairie The prairie biome is a plant community dominated by grasses and non-grassy herbs with some woody shrubs and occasional trees.
Temperate grasslands are characterized by hot summers and cold winters. Evaporation rate is high, so little rain makes it into the rich soil. Mid-grass prairie near Manhattan, Kansas Great Plains grasslands
Great Plains In the Prairies ecozone, rivers and streams are slow moving, usually with muddy bottoms. There are few lakes, but many marshes and small shallow ponds.
desert Although most deserts occur at low latitudes, cold deserts occur in the basin and range area of Utah and Nevada. sparse vegetation, very low plant diversity
Sonoran Desert This is the hottest of our North American deserts, its rainfall pattern produces a high biological diversity. The Sonoran Desert is an arid region covering 120,000 square miles in southwestern Arizona and southeastern California, Baja California and the western half of the state of Sonora, Mexico.
Californian chaparral A chaparral is a shrubby coastal area that has hot dry summers and mild, cool, rainy winters. Annual rainfall in a chaparral ranges from 15–40” per year. The word chaparral comes from "chaparro," which means scrub oak in Spanish.
Rain forest Tropical rain forests are mainly the product of climatic interactions, particularly temperature and rainfall. They occur where monthly temperature of 20 - 28 ° C combines with an annual rainfall of 1.5 -10m, evenly distributed throughout the year.
Central American rain forest The tropical rain forest is a forest of tall trees in a region of year-round warmth with an annual average of 50- 260” of rain. These forests belong to the tropical wet climate group .