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Climates of Latin America. Both latitude and elevation dictate climates of Latin America Most of Latin America is located between the Tropic of Capricorn.

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Presentation on theme: "Climates of Latin America. Both latitude and elevation dictate climates of Latin America Most of Latin America is located between the Tropic of Capricorn."— Presentation transcript:

1 Climates of Latin America

2 Both latitude and elevation dictate climates of Latin America Most of Latin America is located between the Tropic of Capricorn and Cancer –In this region you will find mostly tropical rain forests & tropical savannas –The exception comes in the form of highlands climate In the low latitudes, mountains provide more moderate temps (Vertical Zonation)

3 Vertical Zonation Three “zones” on a mountain –Tierra Fria – cold temps – highest section of mountain –Tierra Templada – moderate temps – middle section of mountain –Tierra Caliente – hot/warm temps – lowest section of a mountain As elevation increases, temperatures drop, which leads to more precipitation

4 Vertical Zonation cont. Vegetation is affected by Vertical Zonation –Lower elevation = dry – limited vegetation –Higher elevation = cold – limited vegetation The middle, Tierra Templada, is where most vegetation can be sustained Read handout on Vertical Zonation & complete questions on last page

5 Climates of Latin America cont. Drier climates (steppe & desert) prevail south of the Tropic of Capricorn & north of Cancer Humid Subtropical climate can be found in southern Brazil, Paraguay, Uruguay, & northern Argentina (Tropic of Capricorn & south)

6 The Amazon Rain Forest The world’s most diverse ecosystem

7 Facts about the Rainforest Takes up ¼ of South America Over half of the rainforest can be found in Brazil (54%) Other countries containing the Amazon Rainforest include: French Guiana, Suriname, Guyana, Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador, Peru, and Bolivia Rainfall averages 7 ½ feet per year, with some regions experiencing up to 20 ft./yr. Half of the year the rainforest is flooded, which causes water levels to rise up to 65 ft above normal and flood miles from the main channel.

8 Vegetation in the Rainforest Consists of palm, fern, teak, bamboo, mahogany, and evergreen trees; mangroves found along rivers Vegetation must be resistant to flooding The canopy is created by a thick network of tree branches & leaves forming a barrier between the sun & forest floor; highest part of the rainforestcanopy –Because of the density of the canopy, only about 1/3 of the precipitation becomes a part of the Amazon Basin –Approximately half of the precipitation gets caught in the canopy and evaporates back in to the atmosphere to start the water cycle all over –Additional amounts of precipitation get released back into the atmosphere through transpiration –The canopy fuels the continuous flow of the water cycle

9 CANOPYCANOPY

10 Deforestation in the Amazon Brazil alone destroys approximately 5. 4 million acres per year (football field = 1 acre) In 1500, 6-9 million natives lived in the rainforest; Today, there are less than 200, species become extinct each day in the Amazon; 137 species are lost each day amongst the world’s rainforests

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12 Year Deforestation [sq mi] Deforestation [sq km] Change [%] 19945,75114,8960% ,22029,05995% 19967,01218,161-38% 19975,10713,227-27% 19986,71217,38331% 19996,66417,259-1% 20007,03718,2266% 20017,01418,1650% 20028,18721,20517% 20039,71125,15119% ,59027,4299% 20057,25618,793-31% 20065,42114,040-49% 20073,86510,010-47% Deforestation in Brazil

13 Why is the Amazon Rainforest being destroyed? Cattle ranching/grazing of animals Agriculture/farming (subsistence & commercial) Logging (hardwoods, paper products, charcoal) Hydroelectric dams Medical research/medicines Highway construction (Transamazoninan Highway) Gold mining Oil drilling

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15 Results of Deforestation Additional amounts of CO2 Climate change Erosion of the soil Desertification Less oxygen produced Loss of habitat = migration and extinction of inhabitants (animal, human, and plant) Destruction of possible medical cures

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