The different climatic zones on the Earth are demarcated by the important lines of latitudes. Heat zones are another name for climatic zones. These heat zones vary or change because of the temperature conditions that prevail in those regions or the amount of sunlight received by those regions.
The Earth has three main climatic zones namely the TORRID ZONE which is the very hot zone, TEMPERATE ZONE which is the moderate zone and FRIGID ZONE which is the very cold zone.
THE TORRID ZONE:
It is the hottest part or zone of the Earth; this is because it receives the vertical or direct rays of the Sun throughout the year. The Torrid Zone is comprised of two regions. These are the Equatorial Region, which is the one on or near to the equator; and the other one is the Tropical Region, which is on or near the tropics.
It rains almost every day all the year-round in the Equatorial Region. This region is characterized to have no winter.
Climatic conditions that prevail in the Tropical Region are as follows:-a) summers are hot and humid and b) rainfall occurs only in the summers.
Some parts or areas in the Tropical regions are on higher grounds. These areas are called uplands. These areas are made of hills and plateaus. These lands are characterized by cooler climate and this is because of their height. These lands also experience summer rain. Most of the deserts of the world lie in the tropical region of the earth. There occurs very little rainfall here.
Many African countries, parts of Southern India, Southern Asian countries, North Australian countries and Central America fall in the Torrid Zone.
THE TEMPERATE ZONE:
Temperate zones fall in two parts. One part lies in the northern hemisphere of the earth between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, and the other part lies in the southern hemisphere of the earth between the Antarctic Circle and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Sunray does not fall vertically or directly on this zone. But it falls in a slanting manner. These slanting rays of the sun help reduce the temperature in this region and therefore the climate in these areas is neither too hot nor too cold. Thus, this zone experiences a moderating climate which is neither too hot nor too cold. This zone is characterized with four distinct seasons. These are summer, autumn, winter and spring.
Almost all the major countries of Europe, Northern Asia and Northern America fall in the Northern Temperate Zone.
Southern Australia, New Zealand, Southern America and Southern Africa lie in the Southern Temperate Zone.
THE FRIGID ZONES:
There are two frigid zones on the earth. One lies in the northern hemisphere of the earth between the and North Pole the Arctic Circle. The other part of the Frigid Zone lies in the southern hemisphere between the Antarctic Circle and the South Pole.
These zones are characterized as the coldest regions on the earth. These zones lie far away from the equator and so the rays of the sun fall very slantingly. These areas are therefore covered with snow and ice throughout the year.
The Northern Frigid Zone of the earth is known as the Arctic region and the Southern Frigid Zone of the earth is known as the Antarctic region.
The Northern Frigid Zone or the Arctic region includes the states of Northern Canada, Alaska, Greenland, Northern Europe, Northern Russia and the Arctic Iceland.
The Southern Frigid Zone or the Antarctic region is formed by the continent of Antarctica; the next closest mainland is the southern tip of Chile and Argentina followed by New Zealand.
FACTORS AFFECTING THE CLIMATE OF A PLACE
There happens to be variations in the climatic conditions of one area on the earth to that of another. This is because of the different factors that affect the climate of a place. These factors are:
- LATITUDE – Latitudes play a decisive role in determining the climatic conditions of a place. As one moves towards the poles and away from the equator the amount of sunlight received by a place decreases. Moreover, the sun’s rays fall vertically or directly on the equatorial areas. The sun’s rays fall slantingly near the poles. Therefore, the climate in the equatorial areas is characterized to be hot, and as one moves away from the equator, the climate drops down and becomes cooler. The climate at the poles is the coldest.
[The sun radiates different types of rays such as Gama rays, X-rays, ultraviolet rays etc. The sun’s light consists of different colours like Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange and Red. This together is very well known as VIBGYOR.]
- ALTITUDE – The climate of a place drops and become colder and colder as one moves from the plains towards the hills or mountains which are located at great heights. Temperature drops and decreases with increasing height. At higher altitudes like the mountains the air is less dense and therefore, the heat cannot be felt easily. This is the reason why hills and mountains have colder climate than the plains.
Mount Kilimanjaro in Africa can be cited to be a good example for explaining the variation in climate with altitude. The mountain is located in the equatorial area but due to its altitude, Mount Kilimanjaro remains covered with snow throughout the year.
- WINDS – The climate of a place is also affected by winds. Winds, if it is blowing from a hot area increase the temperature of that area where they blow in to. In the same way, winds that are blowing from a cold area decrease the temperature of the area where they are blowing in to.
- DISTANCE FROM SEA – The areas which are near to the seas or oceans experience colder climate than the areas which are away from the seas and oceans. The coastal areas are cooler due to the sea breeze, which blows from the sea towards the land. It is all because of this that the coastal areas have moderating climate which is neither too hot nor too cold.
- The temperate zones are neither too hot nor too cold because sunrays do not fall vertically on this zone, but in a slanting manner. The slanting rays reduce the temperature and therefore this zone has moderate climate.
- The frigid zones enjoy six months of daylight and it is so because these zones are far away from the equator and the rays of the sun are very slanting.
- Temperature decreases with increasing height because the air at higher altitudes, like mountains, is less dense and therefore the heat is not easily felt.
- Coastal areas have moderate climate because sea breeze which blows from the sea towards the land makes the coastal areas cooler.
- The torrid zone is the hottest part on Earth because this zone receives the vertical rays of the Sun throughout the year.
Qs.1] How many climatic zones are there? Name them.
Ans. There are three climatic zones.
The three climatic zones are—-The Torrid , The Temperate and The Frigid zone.
Qs.2] What is the extent of the Torrid Zone?
Ans. The Torrid zone lies on both sides of the Equator between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn.
Qs.3]Which is the hottest part of the Earth?
Ans. The Torrid zone is the hottest part of the Earth.
Qs.4] Where do most of the world’s deserts lie?
Ans. Most of the world’s deserts lie in the tropical region.
Qs.5] Which climatic zone experience moderate climate?
Ans. The Temperate zone experiences moderate climate.
Qs.6] Which regions of the Earth are the coldest?
Ans. The Frigid zones are the coldest regions of the Earth.
Qs.7] What is the extent of the Frigid zones?
Ans. There are two frigid zones—-one in the Northern Hemisphere between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole. The other is in the Southern Hemisphere between the Antarctic Circle and the South Pole.
Qs.8] Why are the poles the coldest regions on the Earth?
Ans. The poles are the coldest regions because the sun’s rays fall slanting on them.
Qs.9] Name few rays of the Sun.
Ans. Some rays of the Sun are Gama rays, X-rays, Ultraviolet rays etc.
Qs.10] What is VIBGYOR?
Ans. The light of the sun consists of different colours—-Violet, Indigo, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, and Red. This colour band is called VIBGYOR.