TWO EXTREME ENVIRONMENTS
Hot, arid environments
- hot deserts
- semi-arid areas
Cold and high-altitude environments
- polar areas
- glacial areas
- periglacial areas
- high mountains in non-tropical latitudes
Distribution refers to the way something is spread out or arranged over a geographic area.
Describe the distributions using the words below to help you. Check your answers by hovering over the images.
north/south/east/west named continents/regions coastal/inland highest/lowest hemisphere tropics/mid latitude/polar
EXPLAINING the GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF HOT, ARID ENVIRONMENTS
EXPLAINING GLOBAL DISTRIBUTION OF COLD AND HIGH ALTITUDE ENVIRONMENTS
Cold and high-altitude environments are generally found along constructive plate margins, where fold mountains form, or polar regions.
Constructive plate margins
Mountainous regions have a high elevation, where atmospheric pressure is lower which causes lower temperatures.
The sun's rays are received more easily, however, more solar radiation is reflected due to the high reflectivity of snow.
At higher latitudes less heat penetrates the atmosphere as it is thicker and spread across a greater area.
Hot, arid environments are found in the tropics. These areas receive direct sunlight in summer and winter.
Hadley cells in the atmosphere also cause aridity as the warm moist air rises from the equator.
This condenses and precipitates and the cooler air sinks over the tropical latitudes. The air is drier as cool air cannot hold as much moisture. The air then heats as it spreads over tropical regions and rises again.
Hot, arid climates can also be found in rain shadows, mountainous regions with arid areas behind them. The mountains cause relief rainfall and then the dry air blows across the landscape drying it out.