Characteristics of a Tropical Climate – Indonesia is part of a country that has a tropical climate. Tropical itself is an adjective from tropics which means “spinning” because the position of the sun changes between two tropics in one period.
Often too many people think climate, season, and weather are the same thing. Though there is a difference between the three. So, so that Sinaumed’s doesn’t misunderstand the difference, he also has deeper knowledge, let’s look at the full explanation below.
Definition of Tropical Climate
Climate is a state of average weather conditions in an area over a long period of time, at least 30 years. This climate can be influenced by air humidity, air temperature, sunlight, atmosphere, rainfall, and of course the equator.
Basically, the climate is divided into four types, namely tropical, subtropical, temperate, and polar climates. This climate difference occurs because of the existence of the equator. In parts of the earth that are close to the equator, usually have tropical and subtropical climates. On the other hand, the parts of the earth that are far from the equator have temperate as well as polar climates.
The tropical climate itself is generally located in areas that are located between the isotherm lines in the northern and southern parts of the earth. Precisely at a position of 23.5 degrees north latitude (°N) and 23.5 degrees south latitude (°S).
There is also a tropical climate that lies right on the equator. In accordance with its natural state, the tropical region is divided into two. The first is dry tropical areas such as steppes, dry savannas and deserts. Then secondly there are humid climates such as savannas, tropical rain forests, and areas with wet seasons.
According to Lippsmeier, Indonesia is included in the tropical rain forest area around the north and south equator. This climate character is usually characterized by precipitation and also high humidity. Followed by a slight wind and exchange. This is caused by high humidity, as well as moderate to strong solar radiation.
In addition, the tropical climate has two seasons each year, namely the dry season and the rainy season. Usually the dry season occurs between March and August, while the rainy season occurs between September and February.
Characteristics of a Tropical Climate
Each climate has unique characteristics or features and can be used to distinguish one climate from another. Below are the characteristics of a tropical climate:
- Changes in air temperature tend to be normal and not too extreme.
- Located between the lines 23.5°N and 23.5°S.
- Evaporation of sea water occurs quite high because there are clouds in the atmosphere.
- Rainfall is relatively higher and longer each year. This also affects soil fertility in tropical climates.
- Rainfall is higher and lasts longer than any other climate in the world.
- The air pressure is low and changes in pressure occur slowly.
- In dry tropical climates, the air can turn around quickly, this is due to the Earth’s return radiation, which is also fast.
- Wet tropical areas usually have green and dense vegetation in the forest.
- It has a small annual amplitude, which is around 1-5 degrees Celsius, except for a larger daily amplitude.
- The air temperature in a tropical climate is very high. During the day it can reach 45 degrees Celsius, and at night it can reach 10 degrees Celsius.
- Areas with a tropical climate usually always get sunlight every year because it is located near the equator.
- The air temperature tends to be high caused by the vertical position of the sun. Usually the temperature is at 20 to 30 degrees Celsius, for some places there are also more than 30 degrees Celsius.
- If there is a significant change in the tropical climate, then the global climate can be affected.
As previously mentioned, during the day in tropical climates the sun is always full vertically. And not only Indonesia, which feels it. There are also several other countries that have a tropical climate. Are as follows:
- States of America
- All countries in Central America
- Caribbean Islands Territory
- Nassau in the Bahamas Islands
- Upper South America includes Peru, Bolivia, Suriname, Colombia, Paraguay, Ecuador, Venezuela, Brazil, Argentina and northern Chile.
- Part of Mexico
- Asian continent
- Southeast Asia
- Hong Kong
- Maldives Islands
- Part of Taiwan
- Parts of Bangladesh
- Southern part of India
- Countries in the Middle East
- South of Saudi Arabia
- United Arab Emirates
Tropical Climate Type
Although in this world the climate has been divided into four, it turns out that tropical climates can be further divided into three types. This division is based on the amount of rainfall in each region. The following is a more detailed explanation of the three.
1. Tropical Savanna Climate
This area with a tropical savanna climate is the driest area because it has less rainfall than other types of tropical climates. In this area quite often drought occurs which can cause flora and fauna to die.
Sudan, East Africa, West Madagascar, South Africa, Central Brazil, Bolivia, Northern Australia, and Paraguay are countries that have a tropical savanna climate.
2. Tropical Monsoon Climate
This type of tropical climate usually averages above 18°C (64.4°F) each month. Because of this, this climate is often also referred to as a climate between wet Af (or tropical rainforest climate) and Aw (or tropical savanna climate).
In addition, this tropical monsoon climate also tends to be exposed to more sunlight than tropical rain forest climates. Therefore, it is not surprising that this climate has warm weather all year round. Countries that enter this tropical monsoon climate include Southeastern Brazil, Sri Lanka, India, Myanmar, Guyana, Southwest Africa, and Bangladesh.
3. Tropical Rain Forest Climate
Tropical rainforest climates are usually found in areas located on the equator at 10-15 degrees LU and LS. In areas with a tropical rain forest climate, the winds are very calm but the rainfall is high. On the other hand, the dry season generally only lasts for two months.
Global warming is enough to affect the cycle of changing the dry season and rainy season in tropical climates. As stated in the book Science of Climate Change by PUTRI SETIANI, ST, MES, PH.D.
In a tropical rain forest, one day and the next can feel very similar. Meanwhile, the temperature changes between daytime and night also tend to be greater. Especially when compared with the average temperature changes that occur throughout the year.
Forests as the lungs of the world certainly have many benefits for human life, including tropical rain forests which can balance the ecosystem in an area. Another benefit of the tropical rain climate is for the defense and also the growth of rainforests in Indonesia and other tropical regions.
Some countries in the world that have a tropical rainforest climate are Indonesia, Congo, Fiji, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Singapore, Madagascar, Brunei, Suriname, Brazil, Colombia, Peru, Micronesia, Nicaragua, and others. .
Wet Tropical Climate Factors in Indonesia
After knowing several things about the climate to the types of tropical climates, Sinaumed’s came to know that Indonesia actually falls into the tropical rain forest climate type and is categorized as wet tropical.
This is apparently influenced by the shape and geographical location of Indonesia as an archipelagic country surrounded by two oceans, namely the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean.
Forests in Indonesia have many benefits that contribute greatly to the lives of the people around them. Because of that it is fitting for the forest to be protected by applying the concept of Forest Ecology. As stated in the book Forest Ecology by Indriyanto.
The amount of sea evaporation causes an increase in rainfall and makes it humid. There are several other factors that also influence the existence of a wet tropical climate in Indonesia, and there are also three scales that influence Indonesia’s climate.
- Regional Scale
At this scale, it means that the Indonesian archipelago is surrounded by five large islands. But that doesn’t include the small islands that spread from the tip of Sabang to Merauke, and are surrounded by seas and straits.
- Local Scale
On a local scale, it means that Indonesia has several towering mountains. Meanwhile, mountains have an influence on rainfall, temperature, and climate. This is because mountains have lower temperatures than sea level.
- Global Scale
This global scale means that Indonesia is surrounded by the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. As well as directly adjacent to the continents of Asia and Australia. With Indonesia’s location like that, it makes Indonesia have a Wet Tropical Climate.
Tropical Climate Flora and Fauna
Climate differences will give rise to differences in various flora and fauna in each region. This is because each flora and fauna has its own living habitat with a different way of survival. If the environment is no longer suitable for the habitat it should be, the flora and fauna will not be able to survive long in the area.
In addition to climate, the type of soil can also affect the life of flora. While soil fertility is highly dependent on rainfall, temperature conditions and the intensity of sunlight in an area.
For this reason, so that you don’t misunderstand the flora and fauna that can live in a tropical climate, here are the types:
1. Tropical Climate Flora
As we know that flora can grow in the right place or habitat, for example in tropical rain forests in tropical climates. In this type of forest there are homogeneous plants and dense leaves, and forest conditions tend to be darker because the intensity of sunlight is not too much. While the types of flora that can be found in tropical climates are:
a. Meranti (Shorea and Parashorea)
Meranti is a member of the Dipterocarpaceae (meranti-merantian) tribe which consists of large trees which are the main constituent of most of the wet tropical forests in the tropical lowland regions of Asia. A study in Kalimantan found that there were 9 genera (genus), 268 species (species), and 27 sub-species of meranti.
b. Pine or Tusam
Tusam or pine is the name for a group of plants that all join the genus Pinus. In Indonesia alone, trees called pines are usually Sumatran tusam (Pinus Merkusii Jungh. Et deVries).
Pinus merkusii Jungh tree. et de Vriese is a type of pine that was first discovered by a German botanist Dr. FR Junghuhn with the name “Tusam” in the South Tapanuli area. This pine is a pine that grows natively in Indonesia.
c. Keruing (Dipterocarpus)
Keruing is generally a medium to large sized tree. It has a crown height of up to 65 meters and straight stems. When injured, the stems and branches emit a large amount of resin. Twigs on keruing hair, coarse or smooth. The leaves are broad, slightly thick, and wither quickly.
d. Black Wood (Diospyros sp)
Black wood plants originating from the Sulawesi region are known to have stronger wood than similar plants. Its characteristics are variegata (striped) and black with brown stripes. The size of this plant is medium to large and can reach a height of 40 meters. Stem diameter can reach 150 cm. Cylindrical rod shape with a scaly and colored surface.
The selling price of ebony in the market is quite expensive because the amount is rare, hard and also thick. Usually this black wood is used as a material for making quality furniture.
e. Palm (Palmae)
The palm tree is an example of a plant that has strong resistance because it can live in various regions. Palm plants can grow well in various soil characteristics, from fertile to even arid soil. The distribution of palm trees is also very wide and can be found in tropical and subtropical regions.
In addition, palm trees can be found in the highlands and lowlands. Besides being able to adapt in various environments, palm trees are also classified as plants that are easy to care for. Therefore, no need to be surprised if many people use this plant as a decoration because of its beauty and easy maintenance.
f. Ironwood (Eusideroxylon zwageri)
Ulin wood (Eusideroxylon zwageri) or commonly called iron wood is one of the most famous and strongest woods in its habitat, which is in the forests of Kalimantan. There are various regional names for Ulin, including bulian, onglen (South Sumatra), belian, tabulin, bulian rambai, telian, tulian and ironwood (Kalimantan).
Ironwood has a very strong and durable quality. Ironwood or iron wood is also resistant to termite and stem borer attacks, resistant to changes in humidity and temperature and also resistant to sea water. Although this wood is very difficult to nail and saw, it is easy to split.
g. Lime (Dryobalanops)
Lime tree or Dryobalanops aromatica is a plant or flora that can grow in tropical Indonesia. This tree is a producer of camphor or camphor that we usually use everyday.
However, this tree is one of the rare plants in Indonesia, the IUCN Redlist includes it in a vulnerable or vulnerable conservation status (species that are at risk of extinction in the wild in the future).
h. Acacia (Acacia auriculiformis)
Acacia auriculiformis or also known as broad leaf acacia is a plant from the Fabaceae family native to Indonesia, originally from the southern part of Papua. Currently it has spread in Papua New Guinea and northern Australia.
This plant is also often found in dry areas such as savannas and monsoon forests. This plant is tolerant of critical and rocky soils.
2. Fauna of Tropical Climate
Animals or fauna that can survive in tropical climates will also be mentioned below. To find out, let’s look at the reading below.
- Africa’s fauna includes the addax, giraffe, zebra, antelope, gorillas, elephants, pangolins, camels and hippos.
- The Australis fauna as well as the Pacific islands and Eastern Indonesia include birds of paradise, cockatoos, kiwi, platypus and koalas.
- The fauna of Southeast Asia, South Asia and West Indonesia include bears, tigers, rhinos, deer, orangutans, several types of reptiles and fish.
- The fauna of Central America and South Africa includes bats, bulls, jaguars, lemurs and endemic fish such as piranhas.
There are lots of flora and fauna in tropical areas like Indonesia. With a large number of them, the activity of introducing flora and fauna to children or nephews is sure to be much more fun using the book Collection of Exciting Science Facts Around You: The Flora and Fauna Series by Kadewi, Resa Eka Ayu S, Ade Rakhma Novita Sari.
This is a discussion of the characteristics, types, and also the flora and fauna that live in tropical climates. See you in the next article!