The Relationship Between Climate And One Or More Biomes
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Outline the relationship between climate and one or more biomes. (10 marks). One biome which is part of the cold zone of the Earth where the latitude of the sun is from 60-90° is Tundra. Tundra is a treeless, level, or gently undulating plain characteristic of the Artic and sub-Artic regions characterised by low temperatures and short growing seasons. The polar areas between 60 and 90° latitude receive less heat from solar radiation as the angle of the sun is at a much lower angle towards the ground. The day length varies considerably in this zone due to the changing positon of the Earth axis angle to the Sun. This means that in the summer, polar days occur. Vegetation is only possible for a couple of months of the year and even then it is very difficult. The conditions of this climatic zone are very difficult in which to live. Tundra, is a biome which is part of the cold zone as it fits the criteria for this climatic zone. It is the coldest and driest biome on the Earth. It has an annual average temperature of -28° which is the coldest of any biome.
In winter, its temperature can drop all the way down to -70°. Nights can also last for weeks during the winter when the sun barely rises. However, in the summer, the sun can shine for 24 hours a day. The warmest is the Scandinavian tundra, which has an average winter temperature of -8°. The temperatures in summer can range from 3 to 16°. The tundra has little precipitation with only 6-10 inches (mostly snow) falling on average each year, which is almost similar to a desert. Tundra is also a very windy area with winds ranging from 30-60 miles per hour. Due to the difficult conditions of the tundra, it makes it difficult for anything to live. This is why there are only 1,700 different species of plants living on the tundra which isn’t very much.
There are also 400 different types of flowers. Trees are not found on the tundra as their roots cannot percolate through the permafrost underneath the soil. Permafrost is thick frozen soil which cannot be broken and has built up over many years. The growing season for vegetation on the tundra is only around 40 to 60 days long which just about gives it enough time to grow and reproduce. In the summer, when the temperatures are higher, the top part of the permafrost can thaw a bit meaning lakes and marshes are formed as the water from melting snow or permafrost can’t go anywhere else. Due to climate change, the rising temperatures in the tundra are causing the permafrost to melt at an increased rate which is not good for the environment or the climate.