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Chapter 20

Natural Regions of the World

Class 9 - Total Geography Morning Star


Short Answer Questions

Question 1

Define the term 'natural region'.

Answer

A natural region refers to a part of the Earth's surface which has a comparatively high degree of uniformity of structure, surface form and climate within it.

Every natural region is a homogeneous unit in which the climatic conditions, soil, natural vegetation and human activities are uniform.

Question 2

Name any four natural regions of the world.

Answer

Four natural regions of the world are-

  1. Equatorial region
  2. Tropical grasslands
  3. Tropical deserts
  4. Mediterranean region

Question 3

Briefly state the relationship between climate and human activities.

Answer

Human response shows broad relationship with climatic conditions. The relation between climate and human activities is striking in regions where the primary activities like agriculture, animal husbandry and forestry are dominant. These activities are governed directly by the climatic conditions.

For example, each climatic type is suitable for the cultivation of certain crops, as the crops can tolerate some range of temperature and need a certain minimum water supply.

Question 4

State the location of the Equatorial Region.

Answer

The Equatorial region extends between 0-10° north and south of Equator.

Question 5

What is the latitudinal extent of the Monsoon climate?

Answer

Tropical monsoon climatic region is normally located between 10° and 25° North and South of the equator. In India, it extends up to 30° North latitude.

Question 6

Name the two dominant type of vegetation of the Equatorial region.

Answer

The two dominant type of vegetation of the Equatorial region are-

  1. Ebony
  2. Mahogany

Question 7

State the location of the Tropical Desert Climate type.

Answer

The location of the Tropical Desert Climate type is 15-30° north and south latitudes. They lie to the west of the landmass.

Question 8

What are xerophytic plants?

Answer

Plants which are adapted to arid conditions are known as xerophytic plants. They are almost leafless and store water in their stems. Some plants have leathery leaves, others have thorns and still some have a repugnant smell as a means of protection against animal grazing. For example, thorny cactus.

Question 9

What local conditions produce variation in the Mediterranean Type of climate?

Answer

As the Mediterranean region lies between the Tropical Deserts on the equatorward side and Cool Temperate West Margin region on the poleward side, it shares the summer drought conditions of the deserts at lower latitudes and rain in winter.

Many local variations are produced in the Mediterranean region-

  1. In the Mediterranean region, considerable East-West extent of the sea allows the westerly influence of winds to penetrate deep into the Afro-Asian landmass.
  2. On account of the local conditions and indented coastline, many local variations of the winds are produced.
  3. The Westerlies and the temperate cyclones travel from west to east and bring rainfall in decreasing order.
  4. In addition, cold Polar winds in winter are also sometimes drawn into the circulation of depressions like Mistral in the Rhone valley and Bora in the northern Adriatic Sea region. They cause great devastation.
  5. Southern winds like Sirocco in North Africa are hot and dry. They cause considerable damage to crops.
  6. Such weather patterns also occur in Oregon in USA, California, Cape Town in South Africa and central Chile.

Question 10

State the rainfall pattern in the Mediterranean climate.

Answer

The rainfall in the Mediterranean region is experienced mostly in winter. The annual average rainfall varies between 35 cm to 75 cm. Rainfall is more on the Poleward sides of the region. The effect of this moderate rainfall is marked.

Question 11

What type of vegetation is found in the Mediterranean region?

Answer

The vegetation in the Mediterranean region is of deciduous type. It is adapted to withstand a long period of summer drought. So the trees in this region have long roots and thick barks to retain moisture in the dry summer months. Short stature, moisture retentive trees grow here specially citrus fruits.

The dominant trees of Mediterranean region of Europe include oak, laurel, cork, oleander, beech and ash. Olive is the most common tree.

The North American Mediterranean region has dominant species of chestnut, maple and hemlock. Redwood trees of California forests are famous.

Towards the Polar regions and in highlands, coniferous evergreen trees are found. Cedar, pine, fir and cypress are the common varieties.

Question 12

Name six Temperate Grasslands of the world.

Answer

Six Temperate Grasslands of the world are-

  1. Steppes in Euro-Asia
  2. Pustaz in Hungary
  3. Velds in Africa
  4. Prairies in North America
  5. Pampas in South America
  6. Downs in Australia

Question 13

Why there are no trees in the Steppe type climate region?

Answer

There are no trees in the Steppe type climate region because of scanty rainfall, long droughts and severe winters.

Question 14

Why is the climate in the Mediterranean region so called?

Answer

The climate in the Mediterranean region is so called because the largest stretch of area having such climate lies along the margins of the Mediterranean Sea. The regions having similarities with the Mediterranean region are located on the western margins of continents in the latitudinal belt between 30° to 45° North and South latitudes.

Structured Questions

Question 1(a)

Explain how is a natural region a homogenous unit.

Answer

Every natural region is a homogeneous unit because the climatic conditions, soil, natural vegetation and human activities in the region are uniform.

Question 1(b)

State any two common characteristics on which different climate zones are based.

Answer

Two common characteristics on which different climate zones are based are-

  1. The temperature, pressure, winds and humidity conditions so human response under different climate types is different.
  2. Landforms differ in different climatic regions.

Question 1(c)

Give a reason for each of the following:

(i) There is a uniformly high temperature in the Equatorial region.

(ii) Though Mt. Kilimanjaro is located close to the Equator, yet its peaks remain covered with snow throughout the year.

(iii) The Equatorial region is also called the 'Lungs of the World'.

Answer

(i) There is a uniformly high temperature in the Equatorial region because this region lies in the Torrid belt. At and near the equator, the sun's rays are almost vertical and have a high angle of incidence which varies between 66½° and 90° during the year.

(ii) Though Mt. Kilimanjaro is located close to the Equator, yet its peaks remain covered with snow throughout the year because of its high elevation. It is located at the height of 5,895 meters and we know that the temperature decreases with an increase in height. Hence, its peak has considerably lower mean temperature and rainfall.

(iii) The Equatorial region is also called the 'Lungs of the World' because the rainforests function as a giant machine that absorb a large amount of carbon dioxide and produce oxygen.

Question 1(d)

Discuss briefly the type of natural vegetation found in the Tropical Rainforests.

Answer

The vegetation found in the tropical rainforests shows four distinct layers-

  1. Emergent layer — It is at the edge of the forest and has trees like the kapok and mahogany which reach up to the height of over 50 metres.
  2. Canopy layer — It is the top layer, formed by the crowns of trees which grow close together. The canopy blocks out sunshine and wind.
  3. Understorey layer — Since the light is blocked by canopy, the plants in this layer, have larger leaves to maximise the light to be absorbed.
  4. Bottom layer — The forest floor has ferns and shrubs as well as climbers.

The main trees of rainforests include ebony, mahogany, cinchona, green heart, rosewood and rubber.

Question 2(a)

State the location and extent of Tropical Grasslands.

Answer

Tropical grasslands are grassland biome located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of sub-tropical and tropical latitudes.

They lie roughly between 7° to 20° north and south of the equator.

Question 2(b)

Name the two distinct regions of 'Savanna' in South America.

Answer

The two distinct regions of 'Savanna' in South America are-

  1. Llanos of the Orinoco Basin
  2. Campos of the Brazilian Highlands

Question 2(c)

Give a geographical reason for each of the following:

(i) Deciduous trees shed their leaves in the dry season.

(ii) The Savannas are called the 'natural cattle country'.

(iii) Tropical grasslands have great potential for the cultivation of plantation crops.

Answer

(i) Deciduous trees shed their leaves in the dry season to prevent excessive loss of water.

(ii) The Savannas are called the 'natural cattle country' as many of the native people are herdsmen or pastoralists. They keep large number of cattle which are fed on the tall grass or the bushes and provide them with meat and milk.

(iii) Tropical grasslands have great potential for the cultivation of plantation crops like cotton, cane sugar, coffee, oil palm, groundnuts and tropical fruits because of 30 inches of annual rainfall and lack of severe cold.

Question 2(d)

Give a brief account of rainforests together with their location and types of trees.

Answer

The Equatorial region has a dense forest cover known as Tropical Rainforest. These forests are thick and luxuriant. The trees have broad leaves and are evergreen.

Location of rainforests — Rainforests are usually found in the equatorial region which extends between 0-10° north and south of Equator. The rainforests occupy low altitude areas near the Equator in South America especially in the Amazon Lowlands, Central and West Africa, in the Indo-Malay peninsula, and the New Guinea region.

Types of trees — The vegetation found in the tropical rainforests shows four distinct layers-

  1. Emergent layer — It is at the edge of the forest and has trees like the kapok and mahogany which reach up to the height of over 50 metres.
  2. Canopy layer — It is the top layer, formed by the crowns of trees which grow close together. The canopy blocks out sunshine and wind.
  3. Understorey layer — Since the light is blocked by canopy, the plants in this layer, have larger leaves to maximise the light to be absorbed.
  4. Bottom layer — The forest floor has ferns and shrubs as well as climbers.

The main trees of rainforests include ebony, mahogany, cinchona, green heart, rosewood and rubber.

Question 3(a)

State the location of Tropical deserts. Name the two primitive tribes which inhabit the Tropical Deserts.

Answer

Location — Between 15° to 30° North and South latitudes are the Tropical deserts. They are called so because this latitude zone mostly falls in the tropical zone. They lie to the west of the landmass.

The two primitive tribes which inhabit the Tropical Deserts are-

  1. the Bushmen of the Kalahari
  2. the Bindibu of Australia

Question 3(b)

Describe briefly the Tropical Monsoon type of climate.

Answer

The Tropical Monsoon type of climate is found in Southern Asia with onshore wet monsoons in the summer and offshore dry monsoons in the winter. This type of climate has hot summers and cool winters with a distinct rainy season.

Temperature — The summer temperature varies between 27°C to 30°C in the coastal areas and 35°C to 38°C in the interior. The winter temperature is between 5°C and 18°C in the interior and between 22°C and 25°C in the coastal areas.

Rainfall — Summer rain provides a refreshing contrast from the dry conditions in winter. The Trade Winds in winter blow from land to sea. In India, due to the Himalayan barrier, they move in the North-East direction. They pick up moisture over the Bay of Bengal and cause winter rainfall over much of the Coromandel coast. The rainfall is not uniform in this region. The annual amount of rainfall varies from 75 to 200 cms. Cherrapunji in Meghalaya receives over 1200 cm rainfall.

Question 3(c)

Give a reason for each of the following:

(i) In the Tropical Desert climate region, Trade Winds are dry.

(ii) In the Indian subcontinent, there are three distinct seasons.

(iii) Agriculture is the chief occupation in the monsoon region.

Answer

(i) In the Tropical Desert climate region, Trade Winds are dry because the Trade Winds that blow in this region shed their moisture in the eastern margins of continents. They become dry by the time they reach the western side.

(ii) In the Indian subcontinent, there are three distinct seasons i.e., the hot dry season, the rainy season and the cool, dry season. The main cause for seasonal climate is the differential rate of heating of land and sea.

(iii) Agriculture is the chief occupation in the monsoon region because the rainfall during the Monsoon season provide much needed moisture to the soil and help in the growth of crops. Tropical agriculture is dependent on natural rainfall and a large labour force and crops are grown on small farms in the plains and terraced hills.

Question 3(d)

State the chief characteristics of the Mediterranean type of climate.

Answer

As the Mediterranean region lies between the Tropical Deserts on the equatorward side and Cool Temperate West Margin region on the poleward side, it shares the summer drought conditions of the deserts at lower latitudes and rain in winter.

The chief characteristics of the Mediterranean type of climate are-

Temperature

  1. Mean summer temperatures range between 20°C and 28°C.
  2. In the hottest month the temperature may touch a maximum of 30°C.
  3. Areas close to the oceans experience a lower temperature.
  4. In winter, mean January temperature may be from 6°C to 10°C. The temperature at night, in winter, may fall below 0°C.
  5. In the Mediterranean region, considerable East-West extent of the sea allows the westerly influence of winds to penetrate deep into the Afro-Asian landmass.
  6. On account of the local conditions and indented coastline, many local variations of the winds are produced. The Westerlies and the temperate cyclones travel from west to east and bring rainfall in decreasing order.
  7. In addition, cold Polar winds in winter are also sometimes drawn into the circulation of depressions like Mistral in the Rhone valley and Bora in the northern Adriatic Sea region. They cause great devastation.
  8. Southern winds like Sirocco in North Africa are hot and dry. They cause considerable damage to crops.

Rainfall

  1. The rainfall in the Mediterranean region is experienced mostly in winter.
  2. The annual average rainfall varies between 35 cm to 75 cm.
  3. Rainfall is more on the Poleward sides of the region. The effect of this moderate rainfall is marked.

Seasons

The deciduous type of vegetation and abundance of flowering plants indicate that there are four climate seasons- Winter, Spring, Summer and Autumn.

Question 4(a)

How are the Temperate Grasslands different from the Tropical Savannas?

Answer

Temperate GrasslandsTropical Savannas
The temperate grasslands occupy the interior of the continents in the mid-latitude zone of 40° to 55° North and South.The tropical Savannas are located in semi-arid to semi-humid climate regions of subtropical and tropical latitudes. They lie roughly between 7° to 20° north and south of the Equator.
The annual range of temperature varies between 18°C to 26°C in the case of Calgary. In the Southern Hemisphere winters are less severe owing to the moderating effect of the oceans.The climate of the region is characterised by hot, wet summers and cool dry winters. Noon temperatures can be over 38°C while night temperatures can drop to below 10°C. The length of the wet and dry season differs from area to area.
The landscape is characterised by much shorter grasses.The landscape is characterised by tall grasses and short trees. The grass is coarse and grows to a height of 3 to 6 feet at maturity.
There are no trees in this region.Deciduous trees like baobabs and bottle trees are found here.
People of this region practice agriculture.People of this region are herdsmen or pastoralists.
They are ideal for wheat cultivation.They have immense potential for plantation agriculture.

Question 4(b)

State the locational extent of the Taiga and Tundra region.

Answer

Taiga region — This region lies between 55° and 70° in the Northern Hemisphere. Towards the poles, it merges with the Arctic Tundra of Canada and Eurasia at around the Arctic Circle.

Tundra region — This region lies roughly beyond 65° North on the northern side of the Taiga region.

Question 4(c)

Give a geographical reason for each of the following:

(i) In the Mediterranean region of Europe, winds blow deep inside the land.

(ii) The Taiga region is sparsely populated.

(iii) There are no trees in the Tundra Region.

Answer

(i) In the Mediterranean region of Europe, winds blow deep inside the land due to the considerable East-West extent of the sea. On account of the local conditions and indented coastline, many local variations of the winds are produced.

(ii) The Taiga region is sparsely populated as the land remains covered with snow during the long, cold winter season.

(iii) There are no trees in the Tundra Region because of very short growing season of three months and the warmest month having 10° C temperature.

Question 4(d)

What type of climate is found in the north-western part of Europe? State briefly the human response to this type of climate.

Answer

The Cool Temperate Continental type or Siberian type of climate is found in the north-western part of Europe.

This climate is marked by severe winters of long duration and a cool brief summer lasting only 3 to 4 months. Heavy snowfall occurs during the winter. The rainfall varies from 25 to 100 cm. It is well distributed throughout the year, with a maximum in summer. In winters, the precipitation is in the form of snow, as mean temperatures are well below freezing point.

This region is sparsely populated. Here farming does not constitute an important economic activity as the land remains covered with snow during the long, cold winter season. Only in the sheltered valley and the lands bordering the Steppes some crops like barley, oats, rye, potatoes and beetroots are grown.

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