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The Semiarid Climate Region
Transcript of The Semiarid Climate Region
The Semiarid Climate Region, also called a steppe climate, is a dry climate often found around a desert or to one side of a mountain range. In the US, the Great Plains are a major semiarid region. Semiarid climates are also known as prairies or grasslands.
The Semiarid Region
Semiarid regions are found on all of the continents except Antarctica, and are between the latitudes of 55 degrees North and 40 degrees South. They are mainly found around deserts, and can have a mountain range to one side of them. They are usually inland, away from bodies of water, therefore away from much precipitation. In the US, there are a lot of places with a semiarid climate, including the Great Plains, Utah, the Dakotas, and parts of Montana. In Asia and Europe, there is also a region with a semiarid climate stretching from Hungary to China.
Semiarid regions usually get about 25-50 cm or rainfall per year, making them less dry than a desert, but still fairly dry. They receive enough rain for low grasses and bushes, but not enough for many trees. The temperature varies greatly between summer and winter, with the summer temperature averaging 21-27 degrees Celsius, and usually no higher than 38 degrees, with the winter being around 10 degrees Celsius. The summers are long and dry, but the winters usually bring more rainfall. Oftentimes, they experience cycles of rains and droughts.
While the semiarid climate is too dry for most trees, there are a lot of short grasses and shrubs. Some specific plants include sagebrush, brittle brushes, white thorn, cat claw, lyceums, and tumbleweeds. Many of the plants have spines (like a cactus).
Some of the animals in the semiarid climates include kangaroo rats, skunks, and other rodents, snakes and lizards, insects like grasshoppers and ants, and burrowing owls. Also, things like cattle, sheep, and Angora goats do well in semiarid areas, because they can graze over multiple acres of land.
The plants and animals of semiarid regions have adapted in many ways to deal with the climate. Many of the animals burrow into the ground, to stay out of the heat and the sun. Some animals, and even insects, follow the shade of plants or sticks to stay cool. Plants can also be spiney or wooley (like a cactus) to shade the plant and reduce transpiration, or can reflect radiant energy with silvery or glossy leaves.
Animal and Plant Adaptations
In the past, humans have coped with the Semiarid climate by being nomadic and following the best source of water. Now, people drill deep wells and form irrigation systems. The climate is still too harsh, however, to house many major cities or industries.
How Humans Cope
Prentice Hall Earth Science Book
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In different parts of the semiarid climate in the US, plants have to be planted and harvested in different seasons. For example, in the southern Great Plains (Kansas, Nebraska, Colorado), wheat is planted in the fall and harvested in the spring, while in the northern Great Plains (the Dakotas and parts of Montana), the harsh winters necessitate planting in the spring and harvesting in the fall.
The dew that condensates overnight in places with semiarid climates can be very beneficial to the plants and animals, and there can sometimes be more dew than rainfall.
Another Fun Fact
The cooler nights in semiarid areas help both the plants and the animals, as they reduce moisture loss from things like transpiration, breathing, and sweating.
Yet Another Fun Fact
Move to Douglas County, Kansas, near Topeka, Kansas, and the home of the Kansas Jayhawks!
Your Dream Home in Douglas County, Kansas
Douglas County is the fifth most populated county in Kansas, with over 110,000 people. It was founded in 1854, and has many cities in it, like Lawrence and Eudora. There are many historic parks and areas, like the Courthouse and Black Jack Highway Park.
About Douglas County
Your Dream Home in Douglas County
There are many good schools in Douglas County, and there are three universities, including the University of Kansas. Go Jayhawks!
Also in Douglas County, there is Agritourism, a program where people can participate and visit different farms.
Education and Agritourism
Some Places to Visit in Douglas County