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Presentation on theme: "International Tropical Convergence Zone"— Presentation transcript:
1 International Tropical Convergence Zone
The ITCZInternational Tropical Convergence Zone
2 Air MassesAn air mass is a large volume of air with uniform characteristics of temperature and humidity, acquired from its source region (where it comes from).The characteristics of the air mass are determined by the climate of the place where it originated, for example if an air mass forms in a warm, dry place such as a desert, it will bring warm, dry weather conditions to the areas over which it passes.Air masses which form over oceans are termed “MARITIME”. These will bring wet weather.Air masses which form over land are called “CONTINENTAL” These will bring dry weather.Air masses are also called POLAR, TROPICAL or ARCTIC depending on where they formed.
3 Decide what the following air masses will be
Therefore, an air mass originating over land in a tropical area is named TROPICAL CONTINENTAL (CT for short). It will bring warm dry weather conditions.YOUR TURN:Decide what the following air masses will becalled. Write down your answers and besideeach describe the weather conditions it willbring.a) An air mass forming over an ocean in a tropicalarea.b) An air mass originating over land in a polar area.c) An air mass originating over an ocean in a polar
4 Air masses in Africa and the ITCZ
The main air masses influencing the climate ofAfrica are Tropical Continental and TropicalMaritime. Their meeting place (the placewhere they converge) is known as the InterTropical Convergence Zone (ITCZ).
5 cT mT AFRICA Where the air masses converge Tropical Continental
A warm, dry air mass given its origin over the tropical Sahara Desert. Brings warm, dry stable air. Extremely warm temperatures. No rainfall or cloud. Also brings a warm, dry Harmattan wind. Weather conditions are monotonous.AFRICAITCZWhere the air masses convergemTTropical MaritimeA warm, wet air mass given its origin over tropical oceans (the Atlantic). Brings moist, unstable air causing rainfall and thunderstorms. Temperatures can be hot and weather patterns vary.
6 How does the ITCZ and its associated air masses influence the climate of Africa?
The ITCZ shifts position throughout the year in relation to theapparent movement of the sun because of the way the earthsits on its axis.In JulyThe sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Cancer due to thetilt of the earth. The ITCZ migrates northwards and ispositioned over the Tropic of Cancer.23 ½ºN0º23½ºSITCZITCZ is positioned at the Tropic of CancerTropic of CancerEquatorTropic of Capricorn
7 cT mT This means that Africa is dominated by the Tropical Maritime
air mass, bringing with it warm,wet and generally unstableconditions. This explains why July is Africa’s wet season.ITCZcTmTWarm moist unstable Tropical Maritime Air dominates most of Africa.ITCZ positioned at Tropic of Cancer
8 The sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn due to
In JanuaryThe sun is directly overhead the Tropic of Capricorn due tothe tilt of the earth. Therefore the ITCZ migrates south and ispositioned over the Tropic of Capricorn.EquatorTropic of CancerTropic of Capricorn23 ½ºN0º23½ºSITCZITCZ is positioned at the Tropic of Capricorn
9 cT mT This means that much of Africa is influenced by Tropical
Continental air, bringing with it warm, dry stable conditionsand the warm, drying Harmattan wind. This explains whymost of Africa experiences its dry season at this time of year.ITCZcTmTWarm, dry stable Tropical Continental Air dominates most of Africa.ITCZ positioned at Tropic of Cancer
10 Some western and southern parts of Africa remain under the
influence of Tropical Maritime air because the TropicalContinental air mass (above the ITCZ) is not strong enough topush against the Tropical Maritime air mass which is movinginto the land from the sea.In March and September the sun sits directly overhead theEquator, so at these times of year the ITCZ is positioned overthe Equator.
12 Link to ITCZ animation
13 Problems with the ITCZ in recent years
In recent years the ITCZ has not migrated as far north as it should do in July. It has only shifted position to 14ºN of the Equator. This means that the Tropical Maritime (warm, wet) air does not reach the Sahel region of Africa. Instead, this part of Africa is dominated by Tropical Continental air, resulting in hot dry conditions and a summer drought.In Winter (January) the ITCZ migrates to its position at the Tropic of Capricorn so the Sahel region remains dominated by the warm, dry Tropical Continental Air. This means that for most of the year the Sahel region of Africa is influenced by extreme heat and dry conditions, causing drought, soil erosion, desertification and land degradation.Read the handout about the problems with the ITCZ that your teacher has given you then file it into your folder.
14 Task Time!Use your notes on the ITCZ to answer the following questions:Write a definition for the ITCZ.Why does the ITCZ appear to migrate to different positions throughout the year?Where is the ITCZ positioned in a) July b) January c) September?Explain why most of Africa experiences warm, wet weather in July.Explain why most of Africa experiences its dry season in January.Why do some parts of western and southern Africa always experience Tropical Maritime air?What has happened to the movement of the ITCZ in recent years?Describe the consequences of this movement on the Sahel region of Africa.Have a go at ACTIVITY 6 on page 7 of the Higher Geography textbook
15 Example exam question (1)
From Paper :Study reference diagrams Q1A and Q1B. Identify air masses A and B,and describe their origin and nature. (6)
16 How to answerAir mass A is Tropical Continental or cT. It originates over theSahara Desert in tropical latitudes, hence its name, tropicalcontinental. It brings warm, dry stable air and extremely warmtemperatures to the areas over which it passes. There is alack of rainfall or cloud.Air mass B is Tropical Maritime or Mt. It originates over theAtlantic ocean in tropical latitudes. It brings warm, moistunstable air, causing rainfall and thunderstorms.
17 Example exam question (2)
Describe and explain the varying rainfall patterns shown in referencediagram Q1B. (12)
18 How to answerTimbukto has on average very little rainfall (only 250mm per annum). Ithas no rainfall at all in January, February November and December. Jostoo has distinct wet and dry seasons, experiencing 1000mm of rainfallper annum, a peak of 300mm in July and minimal rainfall in November,December, January and February. In contrast, Lagos has markedlymore rainfall throughout the year, with up to 2000mm per annum, andrainfall peaking twice in the year. (June at 475mm and October at200mm). It also has no dry months at all.These patterns can be attributed to the movement of the ITCZ and itsassociated air masses. Lagos is under the influence of warm moistTropical Maritime air for most of the year, which explains its higherannual rainfall amounts and lack of dry season. Its twin rainfallpeaks are caused by the ITCZ migrating northwards and southwards inrelation to the position of the sun. Timbukto and Jos in contrast aremuch further North than the ITCZ in January, which is positioned at theTropic of Capricorn. This will result in Timbukto and Jos being influencedby warm, dry Tropical Continental air, which explains why they have eitherNo or very little rainfall during these months.
19 In June and July Timbukto and experiences its highest rainfall amounts
because the ITCZ has migrated northwards due to the position of the sunoverhead the Tropic of Cancer. This results in Timbukto experiencingTropical Maritime air at these times, hence its this is when it gets themajority of rainfall. Similarly, this is why Jos experiences its highest rainfalltotals (300mm and 275mm respectively) in July and August.Collect a copy of the TWO past paper questions.Read each question carefully, then write a detailed answer to each.Get your answers checked by your teacher.NOW YOU HAVE A GO – REMEMBER DON’T PANIC, THIS IS DIFFICULT!!!