climatic and vegetation regions of africa

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An introductory overview of elements of weather, climate and climatic regions, determinants of the type and distribution of climate and vegetation, the links between climate and vegetation

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GEOE 111: The Climatic and Vegetation Regions of Africa:

GEOE 111: The Climatic and Vegetation Regions of Africa Dr.TM Ruhiiga, Geography & Environmental Science, F.A.S.T, Mafikeng Campus, North West University, Mmabatho 2735, South Africa. 15 th Feb 2011 Climatic region defined Vegetation region defined Elements of weather Determinants of type & distribution: climatic regions Determinants of type & distribution: vegetation regions Methods of characterization

1. Climatic Region:

1. Climatic Region An area that displays similar characteristics in terms of mean annual and seasonal rainfall , annual and seasonal temperature regimes, relative humidity regimes, wind circulation patterns, sunshine intensity & variance and seasonal variations in evaporation & evapo -transpiration rates

2. Vegetation Region:

2. Vegetation Region An area that displays similar characteristics in terms of types of dominant plant cover , plant cover density , plant cover distribution , seasonal variations in plant cover density, individual plant species , extent of non- indigenous plants, extent of human induced threats , responses to climate change and seasonal variations in evapo -transpiration rates

3. Elements of Weather:

3. Elements of Weather Rainfall Temperature Wind Humidity Sunshine Emphasis on standard techniques and units of measurement. Seasonality of occurrence, mean-range-variance. Problems of predicting weather. Problems of scale in regional weather. Time and weather

4. Type & Distribution: Climatic Regions :

4. Type & Distribution: Climatic Regions Refer to google.com and search for “Climate of Africa Maps”. Download a suitable map Note: The labels used in describing some of the categories are often confusing especially when no distinction is made between climatic and vegetation regions. Savanna –for example describes a type of vegetation. We can infer certain expected climatic conditions but still savanna is NOT a climatic classification! Discuss determinants..location?

5. Type & Distribution: Vegetation Regions:

5. Type & Distribution: Vegetation Regions Refer to google.com and search for “Climate of Africa Maps” Proceed to “Printable maps of Africa” Download as suitable map Biota…organisms in biosphere excluding man Climate, Soil, Topography, Groundwater, Time…measure of duration, change Environmental change…rate/time Humans…impact on soil, landscape, plant species

6(i): Characterization of Climatic Regions:

6(i): Characterization of Climatic Regions January & July temperature regime Seasonal rainfall & reliability..wet/dry seasons Seasonal changes in relative humidity Dominant seasonal wind local & regional circulation patterns Occurrence of major weather events..storms, drought, floods, cyclones Transition zones between climatic regions Differences between climatic regions

6(ii): Characterization of Vegetation Regions:

6(ii): Characterization of Vegetation Regions Rainforest, Savanna, Grassland, Desert, Mediterranean…compare this classification with downloads. Dominant plant types, mean height, density, canopy, seasonal changes, response to local terrain, response to underground water sources, response to humidity, response to altitude, vegetation zones,

7. Relations in time-scale-space:

7. Relations in time-scale-space 1. Climatic regions and vegetation regions are related 2. Control factors for climate and vegetation are not the same 3. Vegetation is partly dependent on climate and set of other factors 4. Climatic regions and vegetation regions are not fixed entities: they are continually changing

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