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Tropical Climates

Earth Science Fun Facts for Kids All About Tropical Climates - Hawaii Beach an Example of a Tropical Rainforest Climate - Tropical Climates Worksheet
Earth Science Fun Facts for Kids All About Tropical Climates - Hawaii Beach an Example of a Tropical Rainforest Climate

Tropical climates are found in areas that lie close to the equator. Here the sun shines intensely. Within tropical climates, there are three groups: tropical wet; tropical wet and dry; and tropical monsoon. Tropical wet regions, also known as rain forests, have the most predictable weather on earth. Here, everyday is pretty much the same. You can expect lots of rain, warm nights and hot days. The seasons change only slightly.

Tropical Climates Facts For Kids

  • Hot all year, lots of rain.
  • Warm with dry and rainy seasons.
  • Rainy, near the equator.
  • Often humid, with jungles.
  • Hot days, cool nights.
  • Monsoons bring heavy rain.
  • Hurricanes may occur.
  • Plenty of sunshine.
  • Rarely gets cold.
  • Home to coral reefs.

Rainforests

Tropical climates, particularly rainforests, present a unique and fascinating ecosystem. Located near the equator within the tropical climate zone, these regions are characterized by consistently warm temperatures and substantial rainfall all year round.

Unlike other climates with four distinct seasons, tropical climates only alternate between a wet and dry season. This environment, receiving between 60 to 160 inches of rain annually, facilitates the growth of lush and dense vegetation.

Consequently, it provides a perfect habitat for a diverse range of flora and fauna, including species exclusive to these areas. Therefore, a tropical rainforest isn’t merely a hot, wet environment, but a vibrant, verdant sanctuary teeming with life and remarkable natural phenomena.

Equator

Regions near the Equator, the imaginary line bisecting the Earth into Northern and Southern Hemispheres, are typically characterized by tropical climates. These climates are noted for their year-round hot and humid conditions, with average temperatures seldom dropping below 18 degrees Celsius even during the cooler months.

The Equator’s constant exposure to direct sunlight results in consistently high temperatures in these regions. Moreover, tropical regions usually have two primary seasons – the wet and the dry. The wet season is particularly noteworthy, as it can bring up to 200 inches of rainfall.

Such a combination of abundant heat and rainfall promotes the growth of a rich and varied array of plant and animal life, particularly in tropical rainforests.

Monsoons

Monsoons, a major characteristic of the tropical climate, particularly in regions such as South Asia and Africa, present an intriguing and engaging learning experience for children.

These seasonal wind direction shifts result in substantial rainfall, typically during the summer months, proving crucial to the environment by replenishing water supplies and maintaining the vibrant, verdant landscapes that make tropical regions renowned.

However, these monsoons also bring potential hazards like flooding, making them a significant and multifaceted aspect of life in such climates.

Humidity

Known for their high humidity, tropical climates often make the air feel warmer than it is due to the high water vapor content, which typically ranges from 77% to 88%. This is attributed to their proximity to the equator where the sun’s rays are most direct, leading to increased evaporation from water bodies.

While this high humidity can make physical activities feel more draining by slowing down sweat evaporation and making body cooling more challenging, it also fosters an abundant array of flora and fauna, positioning tropical climates as some of the planet’s most biodiverse regions.

Tropical storms

Recognized for their sweltering and humid conditions, tropical climates are the cradle of some of Earth’s most potent storms – the tropical storms.

These weather events materialize over balmy oceanic waters near the equator, where the mix of heat and moisture craft the ideal environment for their evolution. Depending on their geographical positioning, tropical storms can escalate into hurricanes or typhoons, both of which are notorious for causing widespread devastation through their forceful winds, torrential rain, and perilous storm surges.

Despite their destructive potential, these storms contribute significantly to global climate regulation by evenly distributing heat across the planet.

Coral reefs

Understanding tropical climates is crucial for children, particularly in relation to the significance of coral reefs. These vibrant underwater habitats, often referred to as the ‘rainforests of the sea’, exist predominantly in the warm, shallow waters near the equator, areas characterized by high temperatures, abundant sunlight, and plentiful rainfall, all of which are vital for coral growth and survival.

Despite occupying less than 1% of the ocean floor, coral reefs are home to roughly 25% of marine life. Thriving in tropical climates where water temperatures range from 20°C to 28°C (68°F to 82°F), these reefs are perfect environments for algae, which live in the coral and feed them through photosynthesis.

Therefore, comprehending the nature of tropical climates is instrumental in understanding the critical role coral reefs play in our planet’s health.

Jungle wildlife

Children are often fascinated by tropical climates, particularly the abundant jungle wildlife they house. Located near the equator, these climates are characterized by high temperatures that fluctuate between 20-34 degrees Celsius (68-93 degrees Fahrenheit) all year round.

However, perhaps their most defining feature is the heavy rainfall that can amount to a staggering 200 inches annually. This combination of warmth and moisture makes tropical climates an ideal habitat for an array of jungle animals. In fact, tropical rainforests, the most diverse ecosystems on the planet, shelter over half of the world’s species.

Here, one can find a variety of creatures, from the vividly colored toucans and nimble monkeys to the elusive jaguars and serpentine snakes. Numerous species, including the poison dart frog and the Bengal tiger, are exclusive to these tropical environments. So, despite the potentially uncomfortable heat and humidity for humans, tropical climates are a sanctuary for some of the most remarkable species on Earth.

Palm trees

Palm trees flourish in tropical climates, owing to their perfect combination of hot and humid conditions. Typical temperatures of these climates range between 70 to 85 degrees Fahrenheit, a range that is ideal for the growth of these tropical plants.

These climates also offer ample sunlight due to their long daylight hours, which is a vital requirement for palm trees. Furthermore, tropical climates are known for their high rainfall, which is beneficial to palm trees since they necessitate a substantial amount of water for growth.

The well-draining soil common in these regions is another critical factor for the palm tree’s roots. Consequently, tropical regions such as the Caribbean, South America, Africa, and Southeast Asia are often home to dense concentrations of lush, beautiful palm trees.

Tropical fruits

Tropical climates, typically located near the Earth’s equator, are ideal for the cultivation of various delicious and nutritious fruits due to their warm, humid conditions and abundant sunlight, which is highly advantageous for fruit growth. Some of the most sought-after fruits from these regions, such as bananas, pineapples, mangoes, coconuts, and papayas, are not just delectable, but also rich in essential vitamins and minerals.

For instance, bananas are packed with potassium, pineapples have bromelain that aids digestion, and mangoes are loaded with vitamin C. Apart from their nutritional value, these tropical fruits are also well-loved for their vibrant colors and unique flavors, captivating both the young and the old alike.

Wet and dry seasons

Tropical climates are typically distinguished by two primary seasons – the wet and dry season. The wet season, also referred to as the rainy season, spans anywhere from three to nine months, depending on the specific region.

This season is characterized by substantial rainfall, typically occurring in the afternoon or evening, which contributes to the lush vegetation and diverse wildlife synonymous with tropical regions. Conversely, the dry season sees a significant reduction in rainfall, with some regions not receiving any rain at all.

Despite its name, the ‘dry’ season can still exhibit high levels of humidity. However, the decreased rainfall can lead to water shortages, impacting both the local population and the environment. It’s crucial to recognize that the onset and duration of these seasons can differ greatly depending on the exact location within the tropics.

 

Fun Facts for Kids All About Tropical Climates - Image of a Tropical Climate Area
Fun Facts for Kids All About Tropical Climates – Image of a Tropical Climate Area

Monsoon climates have winds that reverse every six months. For example, in India the winds blow in from the sea during the summer, bringing buckets of heavy rain. The winds reverse in the winter blowing from land to sea. Winters are dry here. Many people in monsoon climates rely on the monsoons to bring water for their crops. Monsoons sometimes bring too much rain, causing flooding and mudslides.

Tropical wet and dry climates have three seasons: one season is cool and dry; another season is hot and dry; the third season is wet and hot. Some years, the rains here are light. When this happens, there is not enough food or water for animals and people.

Fun Facts About Tropical Climates for Kids

  • Hawaii has a tropical rainforest climate.
  • Monsoon climates can be found in southern Asia and West Africa.
  • Africa’s Serengeti Plain is an example of a wet dry tropical climate.
  • The rain forest climate sounds ideal, but it is very humid here and there are lots of mosquitoes and bugs.
  • In India, the monsoon rains not only water crops, but they power electric plants. If the rains are scarce, electricity becomes expensive.

Tropical Climates Vocabulary

  1. Predictable: reliable, same, consistent
  2. Expect: look forward to
  3. Mudslides: sheets of mud slide down a hill
  4. Humid: wet, moist
  5. Scarce: rare

All About Tropical Climates Video for Kids

Watch this awesome video for kids about Tropical Climates:

Tropical Climates Q&A

Question: Are monsoons dangerous?

Answer: Sometimes they are. In the city of Mumbai, India, for example, the streets flood every year with over 1 foot of water. In 2005, a strong monsoon hit India. Mumbai got 40 inches of rain in one day. Buildings were destroyed and people drowned.

 

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