Continental climate description, temperature, features

The continental climate is one of the common species of climate, which is characterized by a stable warm summer, cold winter and a small amount of precipitation throughout the year. The formation of the continental climate is due to the influence of large arrays of land on the atmosphere. This type of climate is found in the internal regions of many continents.

The territory of distribution

The continental climate prevails on the territory of Eurasia, Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Mongolia, internal regions of the USA and Canada. The main mainland with the continental climate is Eurasia. It contributes to the formation of steppes and deserts, due to the lack of moisture with the seas and oceans, which does not reach intracontinental areas.


The continental climate is characteristic of moderate latitudes, tropics and polar latitudes. Consider each of them in more detail.

Continental climate of temperate latitudes

This type of climate is formed only on the territory of the northern hemisphere. It is characteristic of such regions of Eurasia as Eastern France, Mountain Yakutia, Magadan, Siberia, Transbaikalia. On the territory of North America, areas with a continental climate are separated from regions with sea climate using mountain ranges. Sea air from the Atlantic Ocean penetrates into Europe, thanks to the plain landscapes. However, as the air from the Atlantic Ocean is deepened, it is converted into continental and more severe.

Moderate latitudes of the continental climate is characterized by high temperature fluctuations, which led to hot summer and cold winters. During the day, the temperature in temperate latitudes with a continental climate can vary significantly.

The main difference between the continental climate and the sea is a reduced average annual temperature, as well as a slight dustiness of the air masses. Also, a small amount of precipitation and small cloud cover are characteristic of continental air. Basic precipitation occurs in the summer. Another feature is a frequent and strong wind, as well as dusty storms in arid regions.

Continental climate of tropics

It is found in regions such as:

  • African deserts sugar and namib;
  • Arabian deserts-non-foot, rubles-el-Khali;
  • Australian deserts a large sandy desert, a large desert Victoria, Simpson, the desert of Gibson;
  • California deserts Sonoro, Nizhnekalifornia desert.
  • These areas make up entire belts of tropical deserts.

    The tropics with a continental climate are characterized by small temperature fluctuations in air and a very small amount of precipitation. As a rule, semideserts and deserts become the territory of this climate. In the summer, temperature can reach 55 degrees Celsius, and winter is only sometimes with frosts. The average temperature of the cold month does not exceed 15 degrees Celsius, and in the summer 40 degrees Celsius.

    Continental climate of polar latitudes

    It is common in Yakutia, Evenkia and some areas of the Magadan region. Differs in a large fluctuation in air temperature, as well as a short warm summer. Winter in polar latitudes with continental climate is very long and frosty. For example, in the areas of Yakutia, the air temperature may drop to65 degrees Celsius. The average temperature in the cold season per year is54 degrees Celsius.

    Continental climate and vegetation

    The climate determines the temperature and light regime, as well as the provision of soil with moisture. The development of plants and their distribution depends on all these factors. The most optimal climate for the growth of various vegetation is the temperature of +5 degrees Celsius. At negative temperatures, many plants do not survive. For hotter regions, plant growth is determined by the level of humidity in the soil. Light affects the process of photosynthesis. The last important factor is the wind that contributes to a change in humidity and temperature.

    The type of vegetation depends on the climate, since their distribution is largely associated with natural conditions. For the continental climate of moderate latitudes, large and thick forests are characteristic. The main areas of wet continental climate are also populated by forests. In tropics with a continental climate, plants are significantly different. They adapt to a hot and dry climate, forming low or sparse wood tiers. Desert areas are almost completely devoid of vegetation.

    Continental climate and animals

    In the process of evolution, animals adapted to a wide range of various natural conditions. For example, animals living on the territory of the continental climate with cold winters are endowed with warm fur. The main criterion for the vast majority of mammals is to have quick access to food and water.

    In the absence of this in their territory everything necessary for survival, animals migrate to other areas. Animals that live in the continental climate of the tropics have developed a number of specific features, thanks to which they can survive in harsh conditions. So camels can withstand several weeks without water, and the desert feneck is endowed with large ears that help him survive in extreme conditions.

    Fox Fenec

    Continental climate and man

    The climate has a direct impact on human health and its living conditions. The human body loses heat due to radiation, thermal conductivity and evaporation of moisture. As a rule, in the conditions of the continental climate of moderate latitudes, these losses are high during the cold period, and small in the hot season. Due to low humidity and fast wind, the effect of cooling occurs. Due to long periods without sunlight, biorhythms are disturbed in people, appetite spoils and stress disorders appear. All this contributes to a deterioration in the work of immunity and mass exposure to colds. A cool climate affects the development of pathogenic bacteria and viruses that cause various diseases. In conditions with a tropical continental climate, people suffer from malaria, due to the widespread of malaria mosquitoes.

    The problem of climate change affects a person through hunger, floods and abandoned settlements. Over the past 100 years, the average temperature on Earth has increased by 0.5 degrees Celsius.

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