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Mediterranean Climate

Mediterranean Climate refers to the type of climate known to have mild wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. Mediterranean type of climate....

Mediterranean Climate refers to the type of climate known to have mild wet winters and warm to hot, dry summers. Mediterranean type of climate is found mostly on the western margins of continents. The latitude of these places lies between 30° and 40°, and which are located close to the Mediterranean Sea.

  • Entirely confined to the western portion of continental masses between 30° and 45° north and south of the equator.
  • The basic cause of this type of climate is the shifting of the wind belts.
  • Mediterranean Sea has the greatest extent of this type of ‘winter rain climate’ and gives rise to the name Mediterranean Climate.
  • The best developed form of this climatic type is found in central Chile.
  • Other Mediterranean regions include California (around San Francisco) the south-western tip of Africa (around Cape Town), southern Australia, and south-west Australia .
Type of Climate
  • A dry, warm summer with off-shore trades:
    • The relatively high temperature in summer.
    • Coastal regions have modified temperatures due to the influence of the sea.
    • No rain because Trade winds are off-shore.
    • Dry air, intense heat, and low relative humidity conditions prevail.
  • The concentration of rainfall in winter
    • Precipitation in winter is the most outstanding feature of the Mediterranean region.
    • Rain receives due to the shift of Westerlies equatorward in winter.
    • Prevailing on-shore Westerlies bring cyclonic rain in the northern hemisphere.
    • The mean annual rainfall is 25 inches.
    • Heavy showers and a few days with bright sunny periods between them are other characteristic features.
  • There is a prominence of local winds around the Mediterranean Sea.
  • Rainfall in winter with on-shore Westerlies.
  • In the northern hemisphere, the prevailing on-shore Westerlies bring much cyclonic rain from the Atlantic.
Natural Vegetation in the Mediterranean Climate
  • Trees with small broad leaves are widely spaced and never very tall.
  • The absence of shade is a distinct feature of Mediterranean lands.
  • Plants are in a continuous struggle against heat, dry air, excessive evaporation and prolonged droughts.
  • They are, in short xerophytic [drought tolerant], a word used to describe the drought-resistant plants in an environment deficient in moisture.
Mediterranean evergreen forests
  • These are open woodlands with evergreen oaks.
  • They are found only in the climatically most favored regions.
  • The trees are normally low, even stunted, with massive trunks, small leathery leaves and a wide-spreading root system in search of water.
  • The cork oaks are specially valued for their thick barks, used for making wine-bottle corks and for export around the world.\
Evergreen coniferous trees
  • These include the various kinds of pines, firs, cedars andcypresses which have evergreen, needle-shaped leaves and tall, straight trunks.
Mediterranean bushes and shrubs
  • This is perhaps the most predominant type of Mediterranean vegetation.
  • Conditions in the Mediterranean do not suit grass, because most of the rain comes in the cool season when growth is slow.

Agriculture in the Mediterranean Climate

Orchard farming
  • The Mediterranean lands are also known as the world’s orchard lands.
  • A wide range of citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, citrons and grapefruit are grown.
  • The fruit trees have long roots to draw water from considerable depths during the long summer drought.
  • The Mediterranean lands account for 70 per cent of the world’s exports of citrus fruits. many nut trees like chestnuts, walnuts, hazelnuts and almonds are grown and the nuts picked as fruits or for the chocolate industry.
.Wine production
  • Viticulture is by tradition a Mediterranean occupation.
  • Regions bordering the Mediterranean Sea account for three-quarters of theworld’s production of wine.
  • Some 85 per cent of grapes produced, go into wine.
  • The long, sunny summer allows the grapes to ripen.

Also Read : Steppe Climate

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