Biogeography: Australia’s Place in World Climate Zones

Subject: Environment
Pages: 2
Words: 338
Reading time:
2 min

Current world climate zones are determined according to the zonation pattern based on differences in sea and air temperature. According to this zonation pattern, the basic climate zones are Tropical, Temperate, and Polar Zones, as it is presented in Figure 1.

Figure 1. The major current world climate zones based on sea temperature.
Figure 1. The major current world climate zones based on sea temperature

The mentioned zonation pattern can be explained with references to two factors. The first influential factor is the spherical form of the Earth. Solar energy is distributed unequally because of the Earth’s form, and the equatorial regions receive more solar energy because of the reduced area of spreading the energy. In contrast, Polar Regions cannot receive much energy because the area of the energy spread is wider. The second factor is the movement of air masses because of differences in pressure caused by the heat of the air. The equator is a region with low pressure, but the pressure changes with the air masses’ movement to Polar Regions. Thus, climate zones are different depending on the latitude.

Australia lies in Temperate and Tropical zones (Figure 1). This climate zonation affects the biogeographic distribution of Australia’s marine species significantly because different species are present in waters of Temperate and Tropical zones. Australia’s northern waters are in the Tropical zone, and marine species are highly diverse because the waters are warm. Thus, tropical waters have unique coral reefs and species of seagrasses and mangroves. The temperate waters of Australia are characterized by lower diversity because of latitudinal variation of species and lower temperatures of waters. The species with the higher climatic tolerance are observed in the Australian temperate waters where endemic fish and mollusk species can be found.

Figure 2. Two factors affecting climate zonation.
Figure 2. Two factors affecting climate zonation