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A savanna, or savannah, is a grassland ecosystem characterized by the trees being sufficiently small or widely spaced so that the canopy

does not close. The open canopy allows sufficient light to reach the ground to support an unbroken herbaceous layer consisting primarily of C4 grasses. [1] Some classification systems[which?] also recognize a grassland savanna from which trees are absent.[2] This article deals only with savanna under the common definition of a grassy woodland with a significant woody plant component. It is often believed that savannas feature widely spaced, scattered trees. However, in many savannas, tree densities are higher and trees are more regularly spaced than in forest. Savannas are also characterized by seasonal water availability, with the majority of rainfall confined to one season. Savannas are associated with several types of biomes. Savannas are frequently in a transitional zone between forest and desert or prairie. Savanna covers approximately 20% of the Earth's land area. The largest area of savanna is in Africa.


San Rafae Gran Sabana, Venezuela. Although the term savanna is believed to have originally come from an Arawak word describing "land which is without trees but with muchgrass either tall or short" (Oviedo y Valdes, 1535), by the late 1800s it was used to mean "land with both grass and trees". It now refers to land with grass and either scattered trees or an open canopy of trees. Spanish explorers familiar with the term "sabana" called the grasslands they found around the Orinoco River "llanos", as well as calling Venezuelan and Colombian grasslands by that specific term. "Cerrado" was used on the higher savannas of the Brazilian Central Plateau.[3] Distribution Many grassy landscapes and mixed communities of trees, shrubs, and grasses were described as savanna before the middle of the 19th century,

when the concept of a tropical savanna climate became established. The Köppen climate classification system was strongly influenced by effects of temperature and precipitation upon tree growth, and his oversimplified assumptions resulted in a tropical savanna classification concept which resulted in it being considered as a "climatic climax" formation. The common usage meaning to describe vegetation now conflicts with a simplified yet widespread climatic concept meaning. The divergence has sometimes caused areas such as extensive savannas north and south of theCongo and Amazon Rivers to be excluded from mapped savanna categories.[3] "Barrens" has been used almost interchangeably with savanna in different parts of North America. Sometimes midwestern savanna were described as "grassland with trees". Different authors have defined the lower limits of savanna tree coverage as 5-10% and upper limits range from 25-80% of an area.[4] Two factors common to all savanna environments are rainfall variations from year to year, and dry season wildfires. Savannas around the world are also dominated by tropical grasses which use the C4 type of photosynthesis.[3] In the Americas, e.g. in Belize, Central America, savanna vegetation is similar from Mexico to South America and to the Caribbean.[5] InNorth America nearby trees are of subtropical types, ranging from southwestern Pinyon pine to southeastern Longleaf Pine and northern chestnut oak.[4] Threats Changes in fire management Savannas are subject to regular wildfires and the ecosystem appears to be the result of human use of fire. For example, Native Americans created the Pre-Columbian savannas of North America by periodically burning where fire-resistant plants were the dominant species.[6] Pine barrens in scattered locations from New Jersey to coastal New England are remnants of these savannas. Aboriginal burning appears to have been responsible for the widespread occurrence of savanna in tropical Australia and New Guinea,[7] and savannas in India are a result of human fire use. [8] The maquis shrub savannas of the Mediterranean region were likewise created and maintained by anthropogenic fire.[9]


[16] As a result much of the world's savannas have undergone change as a result of grazing by sheep. thus preventing the establishment of a continuous tree canopy which would prevent further grass growth. and because fires can have a negative impact on legume populations which causes a reluctance to burn.[7][10] It has been suggested by many authors[11][12] that with the removal or alteration of traditional burning regimes many savannas are being replaced by forest and shrub thickets with little herbaceous layer.[1][7] It has been suggested by many authors[10][11] that aboriginal burning created a structurally more open savanna landscape. Wisconsin bur oak savanna These fires are usually confined to the herbaceous layer and do little long term damage to mature trees. The consumption of herbage by introduced grazers in savanna woodlands has led to a reduction in the amount of fuel available for burning and resulted in fewer and cooler fires. Aboriginal burning certainly created a habitat mosaic that probably increased biodiversity and changed the structure of woodlands and geographic range of numerous woodland species. United States The closed forests types such as broadleaf forests and rainforests are usually not grazed owing to the closed structure precluding grass growth. goats and cattle.[17] 3 . influenced vegetation[10] and may have maintained and modified savanna flora.[13] The introduction of exotic pasture legumes has also led to a reduction in the need to burn to produce a flush of green growth because legumes retain high nutrient levels throughout the year. ranging from changes in pasture composition to woody weed encroachment. including fire.Prescribed burn.[15] In contrast the open structure of savannas allows the growth of a herbaceous layer and are commonly used for grazing domestic livestock.[14] Grazing and browsing animals Oak savanna. and hence offering little opportunity for grazing. However. these fires either kill or suppress tree seedlings. Prior to European settlement aboriginal land use practices.

[26] 4 .[19]Grazing animals can have a more direct effect on woody plants by the browsing of palatable woody species. as well as improving the quality of the feed available.000 ha of savanna were cleared annually in Australia alone primarily to improve pasture production. and this clearing is continuing today.[20] Grazing also promotes the spread of weeds in savannas by the removal or reduction of the plants which would normally compete with potential weeds and hinder establishment. Introduced grazing animals can also affect soil condition through physical compaction and break-up of the soil caused by the hooves of animals and through the erosion effects caused by the removal of protective plant cover. Clearing is carried out by the grazing industry in an attempt to increase the quality and quantity of feed available for stock and to improve the management of livestock. Tree clearing Large areas of savanna have been cleared of trees. There is evidence that unpalatable woody plants have increased under grazing in savannas.[18] In addition to this effect the removal of fuel reduces both the intensity and the frequency of fires which may control woody plant species.[21] Alterations in savanna species composition brought about by grazing can alter ecosystem function.The removal of grass by grazing affects the woody plant component of woodland systems in two major ways. Alteration in soil structure and nutrient levels affects the establishment.).[24] The removal of trees also assists grazing management.[22] The effects of overstocking are often worst on soils of low fertility and in low rainfall areas below 500 mm. For example in sheep grazing regions of dense tree and shrub cover harbours predators. The removal of trees from savanna land removes the competition for water from the grasses present. leading to increased stock losses[25] while woody plant cover hinders mustering in both sheep and cattle areas. potentially boosting tree growth. Such effects are most likely to occur on land subjected to repeated and heavy grazing. and are exacerbated by overgrazing and poor land management practices. For example until recently 480.[23] Since stock carrying capacity is strongly correlated with herbage yield there can be major financial benefits from the removal of trees. and can lead to a two to fourfold increase in pasture production.[10] In addition to this.[10] Substantial savanna areas have been cleared of woody vegetation and much of the area that remains today is vegetation that has been disturbed by either clearing or thinning at some point in the past. as most soil nutrients in these areas tend to be concentrated in the surface so any movement of soils can lead to severe degradation. Grasses compete with woody plants for water in the topsoil and removal by grazing reduces this competitive effect. growth and survival of plant species and in turn can lead to a change in woodland structure and composition. cattle and horses are implicated in the spread of the seeds of weed species such as Prickly Acacia (Acacia nilotica) and Stylo (Stylosanthes spp.

Mesquite (Prosopis spp. War-surplus heavy machinery was made available. Giant rat's tail grass (Sporobolus pyramidalis) parthenium (Parthenium hysteropherus) and stylos (Stylosanthes spp. Other plant species include: white sage. and potential exists for 5 . Climate change There exists the possibility that human induced climate change in the form of the greenhouse effect may result in an alteration of the structure and function of savannas. and have already done so in many areas through a number of processes including altering the fire regime. Rubbervine (Cryptostegia grandiflora). A population of woody plants equal to half or more of the original number often remains following pulling of eucalypt communities. competing with native vegetation and occupying previously vacant ecological niches.) and other legumes. rosemary.[27] In the 1950s arboricides suitable for stem injection were developed. These introductions have the potential to significantly alter the structure and composition of savannas worldwide. notably tebuthiuron. cotton seed. These two new methods of timber control. either deliberately or accidentally including Rhodes grass and other Chloris species. although causing a dramatic reduction in basal area and canopy cover. increasing grazing pressure. mimics the effects of fire and. Exotic plant species A number of exotic plants species have been introduced to the savannas around the world. However. that could be utilised without cutting and injecting each individual tree.).A number of techniques have been employed to clear or kill woody plants in savannas.) A range of herbaceous species have also been introduced to these woodlands. Some autho]have suggested that savannas and grasslands may become even more susceptible to woody plant encroachment as a result of greenhouse induced climate change. Early pastoralists used felling and girdling. The 1980s also saw the release of soil-applied arboricides. there is a similar response to that after fire. or for pulling using a chain and ball strung between two machines. montevidensis) and Prickly Pear (Opuntia spp. Amongst the woody plant species are serious environmental weeds such as Prickly Acacia (Acacia nilotica). often leaves a high percentage of woody plants alive either as seedlings too small to be affected or as plants capable of re-sprouting from lignotubers and broken stumps. Buffel grass (Cenchrus ciliaris). Lantana (Lantana camara and L. In many ways "artificial" clearing. along with the introduction and widespread adoption of several new pasture grasses and legumes promoted a resurgence in tree clearing. and these were used for either pushing timber. the removal of a ring of bark and sapwood. [28] Tree clearing in many savanna communities. spotted cactus. as a means of clearing land. in savannas adapted to regeneration after fire as most Queensland savannas are. a recent case described a savanna increasing its range at the expense of forest in response to climate variation. even if all the trees over 5 metres are uprooted completely. particularly pulling.

examples – Jos in Nigeria. followed by heavy downpours of Convectional rain in the afternoons from the towering Cumulonbus cloud. so that even the equator itself cannot be unbearable. the influence of the on-shore trade winds gives rise to a modified type of equatorial climate with monsoonal influences. therefore having its annual range around 2° C (4° F) Precipitation: precipitation in the equatorial region is heavy. the equatorial highlands have a distinctly cooler climate. Due to the great heat in the equatorial belt. There is no winter. But this simple pattern may be altered or changed by local conditions. Its greatest extent is found in the lowlands of the Amazon. dramatic shifts in vegetation distribution as a result of global climate change. Within the tropics. which occur shortly after the equinoxes. CLIMATE Temperature: the most significant feature of the equatorial climate is its great uniformity of temperature round the year. cloudiness and heavy rainfall help to moderate the daily temperature. Least rain falls at the January and December solstices. Below is a chart showing the annual precipitation of Ukpo town (Nigeria). July and September. the Congo. The mean monthly temperatures are around 27oC (80 oF) with very little variation. Also regular land and sea breezes help in keeping a truly equable climate. particularly at ecotones such as savannas so often represent] THE EQUATORIAL REGION DISTRIBUTION The equatorial. Further away from the equator. between 60 inches and 106 inches and is well distributed throughout the year. modified by altitude. Cameroun Highlands in Malaysia. The amount of rainfall recorded in one afternoon may be as much as the deserts receive for the entire year. mornings are bright and sunny and there is much evaporation and conventional air currents are set up. wet climate is found between 5 o north and 10 o south of the equator. hot. There is no month without rain and there are two periods of maximum rainfall. Malaysia and the East Indies.similar rapid. etc. The temperature range within the equatorial region are around 2° C (4° F) or less for example Warri (Nigeria) has its hottest Month around 28° C (82° F) and its collest month around 26° C (78° F). NATURAL VEGETATION 6 . Thunders and lightening often accompany the torrential showers.

planting is down throughout the year. 7 . In the Amazon lowlands.Equatorial regions support a luxuriant type of dense vegetation (the tropical rain forest) because of the very heavy rainfall (over 80 inches) and uniformly high temperature (27 ºC / 80 ºF). the forest is so dense and so complete in its vegetation extravagance. The growing season in equatorial region is not restricted by either drought or cold.

with their growth buds at or just below the surface. and cold. Warm to hot summers are experienced. respectively] are dominant growthforms. Two or more strata of grasses (erect grasses and recumbent species) are recognized in the more humid expressions of the biome. Temperate grasslands are composed of a rich mix of grasses and forbs and underlain by some of the world's most fertile soils. associated with the drier parts of the biome. Much of this falls as snow. Vegetation. depending on latitude. Perennial grasses and perennial forbs [especially Compositae (or Asteraceae. depending on the taxonomic system used) and Leguminosae--the sunflower and pea families. Two basic types are: o o Turf. Major regional expressions. 8 . Grasses.Temperate Grasslands Introduction. Climate: Semiarid. Since the development of the steel plow most have been converted to agricultural lands. The tiller or narrow. that reproduce by seed. upright stem reduces heat-gain in the hot summers. fire. the intricate root systems trap moisture and nutrients. associated with the more humid grasslands Bunch grasses. continental climates of the middle latitudes (Koeppen's BSk climate type) typically have between 10 and 20 inches of precipitation a year. with rhizomes or underground stems from which new plants spring forth. are well-adapted to drought. Perennial grasses. serving as reservoir of moisture for the beginning of the growing season.or sod-forming grasses. without rhizomes.

On the Russian steppes the fauna formerly included wisent (Bison bonasus).• • • • North America: the prairies of the Central Lowlands and High Plains of the US and Canada. badger. Mole rats. Soils. high organic content. When this process works on a loess that itself is rich in calcium. tarpan or wild horse. Antilocapridae). and the federally endangered black-footed ferret. The temperate grassland fauna is very low in diversity. Rodent herbivores include the pocket gopher (another Nearctic endemic). In North America the dominant herbivores are bison Bison bison) and pronghorn (the sole member of the Nearctic endemic family. Polecats and other members of the weasel family are among the larger. and concentration of calcium carbonate in the B horizon typifies the dark brown mollisols developed under the temperate grasslands. the California grasslands. and the desert grasslands of the Southwest are also temperate grasslands. and saiga antelope. the last two members of the weasel family. Mild leaching. In most temperate 9 . and the prairie dog. Loess and hence chernozem underlie the eastern prairies of the US. Carnivores include coyote (actually an omnivore). extant carnivores. The Palouse Prairie of eastern Washington state. the chernozems (A Russian term meaning black soil). are conspicuous by virtue their many mounds. and the steppes of Ukraine and Russia. the world's most fertile soils are created. Calcification is the dominant soil-forming process in semiarid regions. South America: the pampas of Argentina and Uruguay Africa: the veld in the Republic of South Africa. Eurasia: the steppes from Ukraine eastward through Russia and Mongolia. ground squirrels. Fauna. fossorial members of one of the two mammal families endemic to the Palearctic. Temperate coniferous forest is a terrestrial biome found in temperate regions of the world with warm summers and cool winters and adequate rainfallto sustain a forest. the pampas of South America. especially in comparison with the tropical grasslands or savannas of Africa. among others.

Many species of trees inhabit these forests including cedar. A pine forest is an example of a temperate coniferous forest Structurally. Carpathian montane conifer forest. redwood and yew. and are often subject to ecologically important wildfires. kauri.pine. these forests are rather simple. juniper. cypress. generally consisting of two layers: an overstory and understory. fir. the rain forests ofNew Zealand and Tasmania. podocarpus. northwest Europe (small pockets 10 . the Valdivian temperate rain forests of southwestern South America.coniferous forests. evergreen conifers predominate. while some are a mix of conifers and broadleaf evergreentrees and/or broadleaf deciduous trees. Some forests may support an intermediate layer of shrubs. Temperate evergreen forests are common in the coastal areas of regions that have mild winters and heavy rainfall. The understory also contains a wide variety of herbaceous and shrub species. spruce. or inland in drier climates or mountain areas. douglasfir. Pine forests support an herbaceous understory that is generally dominated by grasses and herbaceous perennials.Slovakia Temperate rain forests occur only in seven regions around the world: the Pacific temperate rain forests of thePacific Northwest.

Sitka Spruce (Picea sitchensis). Douglas-fir (Pseudotsuga menziesii). southern Japan. The temperate coniferous rain forests sustain the highest levels of biomass in any terrestrial ecosystem and are notable for trees of massive proportions. ferns and some shrubs. waxy layer that covers their leaves. TheKlamath-Siskiyou forests of northwestern California and southwestern Oregon is known for its rich variety of plant and animal species. Conifer leaves conserve water with the thick. The moist conditions of temperate rain forests generally support an understory of mosses. including many endemic species The Coniferous Forest is a forest of Conifers (too much to Ireland. Alerce (Fitzroya cupressoides) and Kauri (Agathis australis). southwestern South America and northern New Zealand. Wales. isn't it?). These forests are quite rare. Iceland and a somewhat larger area in Norway). Scotland. Temperate rain forests can be temperate coniferous forests or temperate broadleaf and mixed forests. Coast Redwood (Sequoia sempervirens). occurring in small areas of North America. and the eastern Black Sea-Caspian Sea region of Turkeyand Georgia to northern Iran. A Conifer is a tree that produces its seeds in cones. also known as needles. The vegitation in the Coniferous forest is small in 11 . The Pine tree is the most common example. including Giant Sequoia (Sequoiadendron gigantea).

[2] The polar tundra is home to several peoples who are mostly nomadic reindeer herders. FUN FACTS The largest Carniferous forest exists in a ring in Alaska. Animals in Coniferous Forests include the red fox. moose.14°F PLANTS Many softwood trees such as fir.14-29. Canada. the vegetation is composed of dwarf shrubs. The term tundra comes through Russian тундра from the Kildin [1] Sami word tūndâr "uplands. and hemlock. ANIMALS Most animals are herbivores. Arctic Arctic tundra occurs in the far Northern Hemisphere. tundra is a biome where the tree growth is hindered by low temperatures and short growing seasons.[2] alpine tundra. The ecotone (or ecological boundary region) between the tundra and the forest is known as the tree line or timberline. used for paper. and northern Asia. Coniferous Forests are the largest land Biome of the World. Most of these animals survive the brutal winters by migrating or hibernating. mosses. (It may also refer to the treeless plain in general. THUNDRA REGION In physical geography. comes from the Taiga. Most of the world's commercial softwood timber. pine.57. northern Europe. Average Temperatures in the Summer.[2] and Antarctic tundra. great horned owl. Average Annual Rainfall. 12 . sedges and grasses.size. so that northernSápmi would be included. snowshoe hare." There are three types of tundra: Arctic tundra.) Permafrost tundra includes vast areas of northern Russia and Canada. and the crossbill. north of the taiga belt.[3] In tundra. This forest is called the "Taiga". spruce. or permanently frozen soil.2°F Average Temperatures in the Winter. however some carnivores and omnivores are thrown in. The word "tundra" usually refers only to the areas where the subsoil is permafrost. and lichens. in a ring in the Northern Hemisphere.5 in." "treeless mountain tract. such as the Nganasan and Nenets in the permafrost area (and theSami in Sápmi). Scattered trees grow in some tundra. but large enough to feed the vast herbivore population.

the water cannot sink any lower. During the summer. However. many of these areas are protected through a national Biodiversity Action Plan. and it is impossible for trees to grow. There is a natural pattern of accumulation of fuel and wildfire which varies depending on the nature of vegetation and terrain. Research in Alaska has shown fire-event return intervals. bogs and streams during the warm months. but because the ground below this is frozen. winter and summer. However. evaporation is also relatively minimal. in terms of precipitation. (FRIs) that typically vary from 150 to 200 years with dryer lowland areas burning more frequently than wetter highland areas. Russia's and Canada's lowest temperatures were recorded in locations south of the tree line). The tundra is covered in marshes. although millions of birds migrate 13 . heath (Ericaceae varieties such as crowberry and black bearberry). sometimes dipping as low as −50 °C (−58 °F). There are two main seasons. lakes.Arctic tundra contains areas of stark landscape and is frozen for much of the year.[4] The biodiversity of the tundras is low: 1. and the top layer of the permafrost melts. Arctic tundras are sometimes the subject of habitat conservation programs. In Canada and Russia. and so the water forms the lakes and marshes found during the summer months.4 inches) down. with winds often blowing upwards of 48– 97 km/h (30–60 miles an hour). extreme cold temperatures on the tundra do not drop as low as those experienced in taiga areas further south (for example.8–35. the permafrost thaws just enough to let plants grow and reproduce. temperatures rise somewhat. Tundra in Alaska The tundra is a very windy area. Instead. with the average temperature around −28 °C (−18 °F). Generally daytime temperatures during the summer rise to about 12 °C (54 °F) but can often drop to 3 °C (37 °F) or even below freezing. Although precipitation is light. in the polar tundra areas.700 species of vascular plants and only 48 land mammals can be found. and lichen. bare and sometimes rocky land can only support low growing plants such as moss. leaving the ground very soggy. with only about 15–25 cm (6–10 inches) falling per year (the summer is typically the season of maximum precipitation). During the summer. The soil there is frozen from 25–90 cm (9. During the winter it is very cold and dark. it is desert-like.

regions of this kind have seen little human activity. It is uncertain whether the impact of increased greenhouse gases from this source will be minimal or massive.there each year for the marshes. it releases carbon in the form of carbon dioxide andmethane. [10] Such events may both result from and contribute to global warming.039 square kilometres (401 sq mi) of tundra which burned in 2007 on the north slope of the Brooks range. but today. The melting of the permafrost in a given area on human time scales (decades or centuries) could radically change which species can survive there. although a few studies were reported to be underway in 2011.[10] The amount of greenhouse gases which will be released under projected scenarios for global warming have not been reliably quantified by scientific studies. Relationship with global warming A severe threat to the tundras. 14 . Due to the harsh climate of the Arctic tundra. snowy owl. it is a carbon source. arctic hare.[6] Tundra is largely devoid of poikilotherms such as frogs or lizards.[10] In locations where dead vegetation and peat has accumulated there is a risk of wildfire such as the 1. Notable animals in the Arctic tundra include caribou (reindeer). [9] Methane is produced when vegetation decays in lakes and wetlands. arctic fox. and polar bears (only the extreme north). specifically to the permafrost. In the 1970s the tundra was a carbon sink. There are few species with large populations. even though they are sometimes rich in natural resources such as oil and uranium.[11] Antarctic Tundra on the Péninsule Rallier du Baty. is global warming. and some other parts of the world.[8] both of which are greenhouse gases.[5] There are also a few fish species such as the flatfish. The effect has been observed in Alaska. In recent times this has begun to change in Alaska. Kerguelen Islands. Russia. When the permafrost melts. lemmings.[7] Another concern is that about one third of the world's soil-bound carbon is in taiga and tundra areas. musk ox.

are found on the northern and western parts of the Antarctic Peninsula.Antarctic tundra occurs on Antarctica and on several Antarctic and subantarctic islands. and most of the continent is covered by ice fields. and some small mammals.[14] Alpine Hikers traversing the Franconia Ridge in the White Mountains. the only Subantarctic orchids. New Hampshire.[12] In contrast with the Arctic tundra.[13] The flora and fauna of Antarctica and the Antarctic Islands (south of 60° south latitude) are protected by the Antarctic Treaty. much of which is in the alpine zone. and the Antipodean albatross. and Macquarie Island. including seals and penguins. Sea mammals and sea birds. Most of Antarctica is too cold and dry to support vegetation. the royal penguin. have been introduced by humans to some of the subantarctic islands. the Antarctic hair grass(Deschampsia antarctica) and Antarctic pearlwort (Colobanthus quitensis). some portions of the continent. like rabbitsand cats. which live on the areas of exposed rock and soil around the shore of the continent. mostly due to its physical isolation from the other continents. Antipodes Islands. However. and around 700 terrestrial and aquatic algae species. 25 liverworts. including South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands and the Kerguelen Islands. inhabit areas near the shore. have areas of rocky soil that support plant life. Alpine tundra is distinguished from arctic tundra in that alpine tundra typically 15 .[13] Species endemic to this ecoregion include Nematoceras dienemum and Nematoceras sulcatum. Auckland Islands. The flora presently consists of around 300–400 lichens. United States. Main article: Alpine tundra Alpine tundra does not contain trees because it is at high altitude. Antarctica's two flowering plant species. The Antipodes Subantarctic Islands tundra ecoregion includes the Bounty Islands. 100 mosses. particularly the Antarctic Peninsula. the Antarctic tundra lacks a large mammal fauna. the Campbell Island group.

Dfc typical in Alaska. signifying a local climate in which at least one month has an average temperature high enough to melt snow (0°C or 32°F). where they grade into the subarctic climates designated Dfd and Dwd (extreme winters as in parts of Siberia). Tundra climates ordinarily fit the Köppen climate classification ET. Tundra climates as a rule are hostile to woody vegetation even where the winters are comparatively mild by polar standards.does not have permafrost. glaciers and mountains. Despite the potential diversity of climates in the ET category involving precipitation. but as a rule potential evapotranspiration is extremely low. and is similar to polar climate. The amount of native tundra 16 . The flora of the alpine tundra is characterized by dwarf shrubs close to the ground. Spitsbergen. Alpine tundra transitions to subalpine forests below the tree line. Alpine tundra occurs in mountains worldwide.European Russia. and relative wet and dry seasons. the warm-summer limit generally corresponds with the poleward or altitudinal limit of trees. fjords. but no month with an average temperature in excess of (10°C/50°F). extreme temperatures. Rainfall and snowfall are generally slight due to the low vapor pressure of water in the chilly atmosphere. and Western Siberia (cold winters with months of freezing). The cold limit generally meets theEF climates of permanent ice and snows. stunted forests occurring at the forest-tundra ecotone are known as Krummholz. allowing soggy terrain of swamps and bogs even in places that get precipitation typical of deserts of lower and middle latitudes. or even Cfc (no month colder than -3°C as in parts of Iceland and southernmost South America). Canada. this category is rarely subdivided. Climatic classification Tundra region with Kongsfjorden. The cold climate of the alpine tundra is caused by the low air pressure. as in Iceland. and alpine soils are generally better drained than arctic soils.

Anthropogenic processes that lead to changes in land cover. trapping and reindeer have provided food and hides to the local population. and Brazil.biomass depends more on the local temperature than the amount of precipitation. affect local-scale moisture recycling and can induce local reductions in rainfall. Thus global patterns of atmospheric pressure systems and sea surface temperatures have been invoked to explain the occurrence of periodically recurring drought events in some parts of the globe. such as fossil fuel and ores occasionally appear in tundras. anthropogenic disturbances large enough to explain more than local-scale reductions in rainfall have not been observed. Most prominent among those global patterns is the El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO). but their characteristics vary considerably among regions. in the affected area. Hunting. What droughts in all climatic regions have in common is their gradual onset. Although simulation models have shown the possibility of substantial reductions in rainfall resulting from land-cover change. Difficultues of prospecting. Economy Human economic activity has been scarce on tundras. such as deforestation and overgrazing. such as crop failures and water shortages. droughts have not received much attention in the social sciences. Occasional mineral resources. Droughts can occur in any climatic region. have droughts begun to be viewed as an issue of interest also for the social sciences. India. Drought is caused by the sinking motion of air in a high-pressure cell. which—in contrast to other natural hazards—makes their beginning and end difficult to identify. TYPES OF DROUGHT 17 . Defined primarily as natural phenomena. a coupled ocean-atmosphere anomaly that originates in the Pacific basin but has repercussions on the climatic conditions in areas as far apart as southern Africa. which results in decreasing relative humidity of the air and little or no precipitation. Most climatic regions are temporarily under the influence of high pressure. Because of the global nature of atmospheric circulation. droughts occur only when atmospheric circulation patterns that cause the high pressure persist or recur persistently over an unusually long period of time. Only since the 1990s. with the increasing appreciation of the linkages between the environment and society. mining and transportation have held back exploitation of these resources until modern tim DROUGHT Drought is a feature of climate that is defined as a period of belowaverage rainfall sufficiently long and intense to result in serious environmental and socioeconomic stresses. explanations for anomalous circulation patterns extend far beyond the drought-affected area.

Finally. economy. increasing pressure on resources there. As a result. and declining water quality. including water. health problems. Although climate is the primary factor of a hydrological drought. The socioeconomic effects of a drought vary not only in proportion to the severity of the climatological event but also depending on the vulnerability of the affected population. a socioeconomic drought occurs when the supply of economic goods and services. such as high temperatures and winds. and loss of life and livelihoods—often paired with economic. food. a farmer’s choice of crop type can either buffer or exacerbate the effects of an agricultural drought. below-normal reservoir and lake levels. consumers may have to pay more for their food and other weather-sensitive products and services. can no longer be met for drought-related causes. as well as increased soil erosion and dust emission. Monetary costs arise for any economy hit by drought. Hydrological droughts usually lag behind the occurrence of meteorological droughts because of the time needed for precipitation deficits to reach the surface and groundwater levels of the water cycle. Because various crops differ in their water demand. possibly aggravated by other climatic factors. Risks associated with this type of drought include wildfire hazard and reduced water infiltration into the soil. COPING WITH DROUGHT 18 . A drought is classified as a hydrological drought once the precipitation shortfall affects surface and subsurface water supplies. Their impacts. as well as from increased food prices. include reduced stream flow. crop insurance payouts. and fire damage. it crosses the threshold into anagricultural drought. Then follow industries depending on agricultural production. and political difficulties. loss of wetlands. which consequently are also out of phase with those of a meteorological and agricultural drought.The effects of drought on environment. If the drought persists long enough to result in significant soil water deficits and plant water stress. but only in the most vulnerable populations of the developing world are drought effects—food insecurity. are possible impacts expected from this type of drought. famine. Lower crop yields and quality. social. and society are manifold. such as to cover for lost crops. and hydroelectric power. humans contribute to its effects by changes in land and water use. four types of drought are commonly distinguished: A meteorological droughtmanifests itself in a shortfall of precipitation or changes in precipitation intensity and timing. Droughts force many of them to migrate from rural to urban areas. forage. Subsistence farmers and pastoralists in particular suffer from crop and livestock losses. are the first to suffer losses. such as urbanization and the construction of dams. In order of the increasing severity and scope of their impacts. Farmers and ranchers. who depend on agricultural and pasture productivity.

Scientists and decision-makers have devised a number of ways to deal with drought. Empirical studies have shown that drought results from a complex interplay of different climatological factors. where scientists have made significant advances in understanding the climate system. Flooding may result from the volume of water within a body of water. forecasting.. such as a river or lake. breeding for drought tolerance. [1] The European Union (EU) Floods Directive defines a flood as a covering by water of land not normally covered by water.. duration. improvement of water use efficiencies. with the result that some of the water escapes its usual boundaries. in the United States and Australia among others). which monitor both meteorological conditions and vulnerable populations (e. In the tropics. operating in Africa. stream flow) over time to determine the onset and end of a drought.g. Central America. and public water conservation awareness programs). and mitigation.g. helps in determining the likelihood and potential severity of future droughts.[2] In the sense of "flowing water".g. and Afghanistan). Meteorologists around the world carefully monitor meteorological and hydrological variables (precipitation patterns.. 19 .g. FLOOD A flood is an overflow of an expanse of water that submerges land.[3] While the size of a lake or other body of water will vary with seasonal changes in precipitation and snow melt. Satellite remote sensing technology has contributed immensely to quantitative monitoring over large geographic areas. and spatial extent of past droughts. tapping new water resources). Mitigation tools range from early warning systems. As droughts are expected to become more frequent and more extreme with global warming. the word may also be applied to the inflow of the tide. it is not a significant flood unless such escapes of water endanger land areas used by man like a village. and water demand reduction (e. by means of economic incentives for water conservation. drought mitigation also requires an understanding of the vulnerabilities of different population groups to drought. to various forms of weatherrelated crop insurance schemes (e. soil moisture. however. In addition to the assessment of meteorological processes. city or other inhabited area. the potential for seasonal drought predictions is promising. it is imperative to improve drought mitigation efforts and increase future drought preparedness. which can be grouped into drought monitoring.. Knowing the frequency. Multiyear droughts as well as droughts outside the tropics still cannot be predicted with a level of accuracy that is without risk for the users of those predictions. which overflows or breaks levees. Understanding the complex physical aspects leading to droughts is a prerequisite for making increasingly reliable and credible drought predictions. the Famine Early Warning Systems Network. emergency water supply augmentation (e. which makes forecasting difficult. diversification to less weather-dependent economic activities. particularly with respect to droughts related to ENSO.

Below is a list of the deadliest floods worldwide. people have lived and worked by the water to seek sustenance and capitalize on the gains of cheap and easy travel and commerce by being near water. particularly at bends or meanders. flumen).000 145. Felix's Flood. Approximately 86. storm surge Netherlands North Vietnam 1971 China 1911 1911 Yangtze river flood 20 .000 100. While flood damage can be virtually eliminated by moving away from rivers and other bodies of water.000 1975 230.000+ 100.000– 2.000 died during subsequent disease. a word common to Germanic languages (compare German Flut.000 China people died from flooding and another 145. also compare with Latin fluctus. Dutch vloed from the same root as is seen in flow.500.000 500. and are featured in the mythology of many cultures.000– 700. showing events with death tolls at or above 100. That humans continue to inhabit areas threatened by flood damage is evidence that the perceived value of living near the water exceeds the cost of repeated periodic flooding. when flow exceeds the capacity of the river channel.000 1931 China floods China 1931 1887 1938 1887 Yellow River (Huang China He) flood 1938 Yellow River (Huang China He) flood Banqiao Dam failure.000 100. Indian Ocean tsunami 1935 Yangtze river flood Hanoi and Red Delta flood River Indonesia China 231. The word "flood" comes from the Old English flod. Death toll Event Location Date 2. Deluge myths are mythical stories of a great flood sent by a deity or deities to destroy civilization as an act of divine retribution.000 2004 1935 1530 St.Floods can also occur in rivers.000[21] 900.000– 3. since time out of mind.000. float.700. Floods often cause damage to homes and businesses if they are placed in natural flood plains of rivers. result of Typhoon Nina.000 individuals.

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It has also been compared to The Garden of Eden in the Bible. at Arden. showing its idyllic qualities before 'Man' sinned. Typically. it suggests that the oppression from the Court can be remedied by a trip into the country's therapeutic woods which in this case refers to the Forest of Arden and that a person's sense of balance and rightness can be restored by the uncorrupted shepherds and shepherdesses. In this play the character of whom this affects is Oliver de Boys Although Shakespeare tests the bounds of these conventions. the first of these comes when duke senior describes how. but instead they suggest a delicate balance between the two as too much of one thing is seen as being negative. sometimes anarchy as shown by the usurption of Duke Seniors throne by his younger brother Duke Frederick. Life in the Court however was completely different in contrast. hence. Usurption of a throne shows a total disregard for all laws and therefore. is neither articulate nor pure. they do not rank the country over Court or vice versa. the world seemed timeless and was peopled by shepherds and shepherdesses along with their sheep. pleasurable lifestyle that the duke 23 . "sermons in stones" and had no enemy except the harshness of the elements of nature. no passing of seasons. He begins As You Like It by establishing the city/country dichotomy on which the pastoral mood depends. They give the impression that the simplicity of the forest provides shelter from the strains of Court life. I have gathered this because as the characters prepare to return to life at court. These were two very different things during the 'Golden Age. can make people feel as though they one of the major themes of As You Like It is the contrast between country and court life with debates focussing on different points of view. but they also display the need for Court and the sophistication it brings.How does Shakespeare present the two different worlds of Court life and the rural idyll of the 'Golden Age' in As You Like It? As You Like It is a pastoral piece of literature and this form of literature thrives on the contrast between life in the city and life in the country.' The 'Golden Age' is represented by the world of the country. he could see 'toungues in trees". the pastoral existence was devoid of the "painted pomp" back at court which shows the carefree. The play ends with Shakespeare reminding us that life in the country is solely a temporary affair. Life in the Court. and life in the country."churlish chiding of the winter's wind". This restored rightness enables one to return to the Court a better person. Life in the Court was a place of corruption and. It is the classical time of pastoral perfection where there was no natural decay. but not the Court. the shepherdess Audrey as an example.

Silvius’ blind and stupid affections and his unrealistic speech in verse.was enjoying in Arden in contrast to the constant public haunt that he had to go through prior to his banishment. it is obvious that Touchstone's points of argument are merely farcical and domineering whereas Corin's simple but logical rationale leaves more of an impact. Shakespeare also balances his showcasing of the advantages of pastoral verve by presenting some of its negative aspects and it’s ignorance for instance. edifying and enlightening nature of this foray into the woods. The argument between Touchstone and corin is also crucial in this regard and although touchstone wins over and Corin chooses to back out. the words are romanticized and the mood is set for the rest of the play. there was 'good in everything'. the hauteur of the shepherdess Pheobe. Even Corin's admission of defeat does not mean that courtly manners are superior in fact it only showcases Corin’s sensibility in acknowledging that both of these co-exist and there are some acceptable norms at court which may seem ridiculous in the forest while some forest customs could prove to be inappropriate for the city. Shakespeare highlights the educational. this tilts the argument in favor of pastoral existence. 24 . Despite some natural perils.