(IGP) GS Paper 1 - India & World Geography - "World Climatic Types"

Integrated Guidance Programme of General Studies for IAS (Pre)

Subject - India & World Geography
Chapter : World Climatic Types

The Hot, Wet Equatorial Climate (Af)


  • It is found between 5º and 10º north and south of the equator.

  • It is dominantly found in the lowlands of the Amazon, the Congo, Malaysia and the East Indies.


  • There is great uniformity of temperature throughout the year.

  • The mean monthly temperatures are always around 24 to 27ºC, with very little variation.

  • There is no winter.

  • The diurnal and annual range of temperature is small.

  • Precipitation is heavy between 6o inches and 10 inches, and well distributed throughout the year.

The Tropical Monsoon & Tropical Marine Climates (Am)


  • It is found in the zones between 5º and 30 º and 30º latitudes on either side of the equator.

  • It is best developed in the Indian sub-continent, Burma, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia, parts of Vietnam and South China and northern Australia.

  • Tropical Marine climate is found in Central America, West Indies, the Philippines, parts of East Africa, Madagascar, the Guyana coast and eastern Brazil.


  • Though mean annual temperature is fairly high but summer and winter seasons are sharply differentiated due to northward and southward movement of the sun.

  • Average temperature of warm dry summer months ranges between 27ºC and 32ºC.

  • Most of their annual rainfall occurs through cyclonic and orographic types of rains.

The Savanna or Sudan climate


  • It is found between 5º and 10º north and south of the equator.

  • It is transitional type of climate found between the equatorial forests and the semiarid and subtropical humid climate.

  • The most characteristic areas of savanna climate include the Llanos of Orinico valley, the Campos of Brazil, hilly areas of central America, southern Zaire, etc.


  • The Savanna climate is characterized by distinct wet and dry seasons.

  • Mean high temperature throughout the year is between 24ºC and 27º C.

  • The annual range of temperature is between 3ºC and 8ºC.

  • The extreme diurnal range of temperature is a characteristic of Sudan type of climate.

  • The average annual rainfall ranges between 100 cm and 150 cm.

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The Hot Desert and Mid-latitude Desert Climates


  • Deserts are regions of scanty rainfall which may be hot like the hot deserts of the Saharan type or temperate as are the mid-latitude deserts like the Gobi.

  • The major hot deserts of the world are located on the western coasts of continents between latitudes 15º and 30ºN and S.


  • The relative humidity is extremely low, decreasing from 60 per cent in coastal districts to less than 30 per cent in the desert interiors.

  • Rain normally occurs as violent thunderstorms of the convectional type.

  • The deserts are some of the hottest spots on earth and have high temperatures throughout the year.

Mediterranean Climate


  • A Mediterranean climate is one that resembles the climate of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin.

  • This climate type prevails in much of California, in parts of Western and South Australia, in south western South Africa and in parts of central Chile.

  • The climate is characterized by hot, dry summers and cool, wet winters.

  • Mediterranean climate zones are associated with the five large subtropical high pressure cells of the oceans, the Azores High, South Atlantic High, North Pacific High, South Pacific High, and Indian Ocean High.


  • All regions with Mediterranean climates have relatively mild winters, but summer temperatures are variable depending on the region. For instance, Athens, Greece experiences rather high temperatures in the summer (48.0 ºC has been measured in Eleusina), whereas San Francisco has cool, mild summers due to the upwelling of cold subsurface waters along the coast.

The Temperate Continental (Steppe) Climate


  • Bordering the deserts, away from the Mediterranean regions and in the interiors of continents are the temperate grasslands.

  • In the northern hemisphere, the grasslands are far more extensive and are entirely continental.

  • In Eurasia, they are called the Steppes.

  • There are isolated sections in the Pustaz of Hungary and the plains of Manchuria.

  • In North America, the grasslands are also quite extensive and are called prairies.

  • In the case of the Pampas of Argentina and Uruguary, the grasslands extend right to the sea and enjoy much maritime influence.

  • In South Africa, the grasslands are sandwiched between the Drakensberg and the Kalahari Desert, and are further subdivided into the more tropical Bush-veld in the north, and the more temperate High Veld in the South.


  • Their climate is continental with extremes of temperature. Summers are very warm.

The China Type Climate


  • This type of climate is found on the eastern margins of continents in warm temperate latitudes, just outside the tropics.

  • It is, in fact, the climate of most part of China a modified form of monsoonal climate. It is thus also called the (Temperate Monsoon) or China Type of climate.


  • The Warm Temperate Eastern Margin Climate is typified by a warm moist summer and a cool, dry winter.

  • The mean monthly temperature varies between 40ºF and 78ºF and is strongly modified by maritime influence.

  • Rainfall is more than moderate, anything from 25 inches to 60 inches. The Warm Temperate Eastern Margin Climate supports a wide range of crops.

The Cool Temperate Western Margin Climate


  • The cool temperate western margins are under the permanent influence of the Westerlies all round the all round the year.

  • From Britain, the climatic belt stretches far inland into the lowlands of North-West Europe, including such regions as northern and western France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark, western Norway and also northwestern Iberia.


  • The mean annual temperatures are usually between 40°F and 60°F.

  • The warmest month is 63°F and the coldest month is just around 40°F, thus giving an annual temperature range of only 24°F.

  • The British type of climate has adequate rainfall throughout the year with a tendency towards a slight winter or autumn maximum from cyclonic sources.

The Cool Temperate Continental Climate


  • The Cool Temperate Continental (Siberian) Climate is experienced only in the northern hemisphere where the continents within the high latitudes have a broad east-west spread.

  • On its pole ward side, it merges into the Arctic tundra of Canada and Eurasia at around the Arctic Circle.


  • The climate of the Siberian type is characterized by a bitterly cold winter of long duration, and a cool brief summer.

  • The isotherm of 50°F for the warmest month forms the pole ward boundary of the Siberian climate and the winter months are always below freezing.

  • An annual range of 54°F is common in the Siberian type of climate.

The Cool Temperate Eastern Margin


  • The Cool Temperate Eastern Margin (Laurentian) Climate is an intermediate type of climate between the British and the Siberian type of climate.

  • It has features of both the maritime and the continental climates.

  • Laurent Ian type of climate is found only in two regions. One is north-eastern North America, including eastern Canada, north-east USA. This may be referred to as the North American region. The other region is the eastern coastlands of Asia, including eastern Siberia, North China, Manchuria, Korea and northern Japan. It may be referred to as the Asiatic region.


  • The Laurentian type of climate has cold, dry winters and warm, wet summers.

  • Winter temperatures may be well below freezing-point and snow falls to quite a depth.

  • Summers are as warm, as the tropics (70º- 80ºF).

  • Though rain falls throughout the year, there is a distinct summer maximum from the easterly winds from the oceans.

  • Of the annual precipitation of 30 to 60 inches, two-thirds come in the summer.

The Arctic or Polar Climate


  • The polar type of climate and vegetation is found mainly north of the Arctic Circle in the northern hemisphere.
  • The ice-caps are confined to Greenland and to the highlands of these high-latitude regions, where the ground is permanently snowcovered.
  • The lowlands, with a few months ice-free, have tundra vegetation.


  • The polar climate is characterized by a very low mean annual temperature and its warmest month in June seldom rises to more than 50°F.

  • The ground remains solidly frozen for all but four months, inaccessible to plants. Frost occurs at any time and blizzards, reaching a velocity of 130 miles an hour are not infrequent.

  • Precipitation is mainly in the form of snow, falling in winter.

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