The Rainforest Essay

4024 words - 16 pages

Climate: Different places have different climates. The climate of a place depends on latitude, distance from the sea, direction of the prevailing wind and the relief of the area.The nearer to the equator one place is then the hotter it is. This is due to the curvature of the earth. At the equator the sun is overhead and shines straight down so the heat is concentrated on a small area and this gets very hot. Towards the poles, the sun shines at an angle so the heat is spread out over a larger area. This decreases the temperature. This diagram shows what happens at the equator: The climate in the Rainforest is called equatorial climate. This is when the weather is hot and wet all year. Rainfall is quite heavy and falls during most afternoons. There are no winters or summers and one day is very similar to the next.This map shows equatorial climate to be mainly limited to places within 5 degrees north and south of the equator. The two main areas where equatorial climate is found are the huge river basins of the Amazon, South America and Zaire in Africa. A major factor that affects this climate is latitude. The sun is overhead throughout the year and this gives high temperatures and is responsible for the convectional rainfall. There is no prevailing wind and the air is calm, apart from during thunderstorms.Convectional rainfall is the main type to be found in the rainforests around the world. Convectional rainfall happens (in summer) when the heated ground warms up the air next to it and the warm air rises. This will eventually cause a thunderstorm. Here is a diagram explaining convectional rainfall: This is the climate table for Manaus, Brazil in the Amazonian rainforest: Data: Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sept Oct Nov Dec Year Temperature: Daily max (deg C) 31 31 31 31 31 31 32 33 34 34 33 32 32 Daily min (deg C) 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 24 25 25 24 24 Average monthly 28 28 28 27 28 28 28 29 29 29 29 28 28 Rainfall: Monthly total mm 278 278 300 287 193 99 61 41 62 112 165 220 2096 Sunshine: Average monthly 3.9 4 3.6 3.9 5.4 6.9 7.9 8.2 7.5 6.6 5.9 4.9 5.7 duration Vegetation: In the rainforests around the world, the vegetation is plentiful and rich. But, what we do not realise is that it is actually very fragile. This means if we start destroying one species of plant, hundreds of others might die as well because that one plant was supporting all of the others in some way.One third of the world?s trees grow in the rainforests. There are over 1,000 different types so the vegetation has to adapt to the climate. By this we mean they have to learn to live with the heavy rainfall and high temperatures.These are the main ways that plants and trees have adapted to the climate: · Trees can grow to over 40 meters in order to reach sunlight.· The forest has an evergreen appearance due to the continuous growing season. This means trees can shed leaves at any time, but they always look green and leafy.· The leaves have drip tips to shed...

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