Lesson 2, Topic 8
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Chapter-8 Climate Vegetation & Wildlife

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Weather

  • Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy.

  • Most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, the troposphere, just below the stratosphere.

  • It includes changes in temperature, rainfall and sunshine etc.

  • For example it may be hot or cold; sunny or cloudy; windy or calm.

  • When it is very windy and chilly, you would like to have something hot to eat.

The major seasons recognised in India

  1. Cold Weather Season (Winter) December to February
  2. Hot Weather Season (Summer) March to May
  3. Southwest Monsoon Season (Rainy) June to September
  4. Season of Retreating Monsoon (Autumn) October and November

COLD WEATHER SEASON OR WINTER

  • Cold weather season is also called as winter. It starts in the month of November and ends in February.

  • December and January months are the coldest months. This season is characterized by cold days and cold nights.

  • During the winter season, the sun rays do not fall directly in the region. As a result the temperatures are quite low in northern India.

HOT WEATHER SEASON OR SUMMER

  • The sun’s rays are almost vertical during these months because of this, it causes hot weather conditions.

  • Temperature becomes very high.

  • Hot and dry winds called loo, blow during the day.

  • Mostly the temperature is too high in the months of May and June.

SOUTH WEST MONSOON SEASON OR RAINY SEASON

  • The period June to September is referred to as the ‘Southwest Monsoon’ period.

  • Southwest Monsoon period is the principal rainy season for the Indian subcontinent.

  • This season is marked by the onset and advance of monsoon. The winds blow from Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal towards the land.

  • They carry moisture with them. When these winds strike the mountain barriers, rainfall occurs.

SEASON OF RETREATING MONSOONS OR AUTUMN

  • The season of retreating monsoon (October and November) is a period of transition between the warm rainy monsoon and the dry cool winter.

  • The change begins in early October and is usually completed by December.

  • Winds move back from the mainland to the Bay of Bengal.

  • The southern parts of India, particularly Tamil Nadu and Andhra Pradesh receive rainfall in this season.

  • The climate of IndiaThe climate of India comprises a wide range of weather conditions across a vast geographic scale and varied topography, making generalizations difficult.

  • Climate in south India is generally hotter than north India.

  • A tropical rainy climate governs regions experiencing persistent warm or high temperatures, which normally do not fall below 18 °C (64 °F). 

  • India hosts two climatic subtypes- tropical monsoon climate, tropical wet and dry climate that fall under this group. 2) In India a tropical wet and dry climate is more common.

  • Monsoon is taken from the Arabic word ‘mausim’, which means seasons.

  • Due to India’s location in the tropical region, most of the rain is brought by monsoon winds.

  • Agriculture in India is dependent on rains. Good monsoons mean adequate rain and a bountiful crop.

  • Effects on ClimateThe climate of a place is affected by its location, altitude, distance from the sea, and relief. Therefore, we experience regional differences in the climate of India.

  • Jaisalmer and Bikaner in the desert of Rajasthan are very hot, while Drass and Kargil in Jammu and Kashmir are freezing cold.

  • Coastal places like Mumbai and Kolkata experience moderate climate.

  • Being on the coast, these places are very humid.

  • Mawsynram in Meghalaya receives the world’s highest rainfall, while in a particular year it might not rain at all in Jaisalmer in Rajasthan.

NATURAL VEGETATION

  • Natural vegetation refers to a plant community which has grown naturally without human aid.

  • They have been left undisturbed by humans for a long time. We call this virgin vegetation.

  • Thus, cultivated crops and fruits, orchards form part of vegetation but not natural vegetation.

  • The grasses, shrubs and trees, which grow on their own without interference or help from human beings are called natural vegetation.

Different types of natural vegetation

  • Different types of natural vegetation are dependent on different climatic conditions, among which the amount of rainfall is very important.

  • Due to varied climatic conditions, India has a wide range of natural vegetation.

WHY ARE FORESTS NECESSARY?

  • The importance of forests cannot be underestimated. We depend on forests for our survival, from the air we breathe to the wood we use.

  • Besides providing habitats for animals and livelihoods for humans, forests also offer watershed protection, prevent soil erosion and mitigate climate change.

  • Forests provide herbs, lac, honey, gum, etc.

  • Forests are the natural habitat of wild life.

  • & This Natural vegetation has been destroyed to a large extent because of the reckless cutting of trees.

  • We should plant more trees and protect the existing ones and make people aware of the importance of trees.

  • We can have special programmes like Van Mahotsav to involve more people in making our earth green.

WILD LIFE

  • Wildlife traditionally refers to undomesticated animal species, but has come to include all organisms that grow or live wild in an area without being introduced by humans. Wildlife can be found in all ecosystems.

  • Forests are home to a variety of wild life. There are thousands of species of animals and a large variety of reptiles, amphibians, mammals, birds, insects and worms which dwell in the forest.

Tiger – our national animal

  • The tiger is the largest extant cat species and a member of the genus Panthera.

  • It is most recognisable for its dark vertical stripes on orange-brown fur with a lighter underside.

  • It is an apex predator, primarily preying on ungulates such as deer and wild boar.

  • The tiger is our national animal.

  • It is found in various parts of the country. Gir forest in Gujarat is the home of Asiatic lions.

Some more wild animals

  • Elephants and one-horned rhinoceroses roam in the forests of Assam.

  • Elephants are also found in Kerala and Karnataka.

  • Camels and wild asses are found in the Great Indian desert and the Rann of Kuchchh respectively.

  • Wild goats, snow leopards, bears, etc. are found in the Himalayan region. Besides these, many other animals are found in our country such as monkey, wolf, jackal, nilgai, cheetal, etc.

Birds of India

  • India is equally rich in bird life.

  • The peacock is our national bird.

  • Other common birds are parrots, pigeons, mynah, geese, bulbul and ducks.

  • There are several bird sanctuaries which have been created to give birds their natural habitat.

  • These provide the birds protection from hunters.

Snakes of India

  • There are several hundreds of species of snakes found in India.

  • Cobras and kraits are important among them.

Protect the wildlife

  • Deforestation can lead to a direct loss of wildlife habitat as well as a general degradation of their habitat.

  • The removal of trees and other types of vegetation reduces available food, shelter, and breeding habitat.

  • Animals may not be able to find adequate shelter, water, and food to survive within remaining habitat.

  • Due to cutting of forests and hunting, several species of wildlife of India are declining rapidly.

Species going Extinct

  • Many species have already become extinct.

  • In order to protect them many national parks, sanctuaries and biosphere reserves have been set up.

  • The Government has also started Project Tigerand Project Elephantto protect these animals.

  • Every year we observe wildlife week in the first week of October, to create awareness of conserving the habitats of the animal kingdom.