The many different climatic conditions that prevail over South America are the result of its extension over a wide range of latitudes and altitudes as well as its shape and structure. It is the only continent in the Southern Hemisphere that extends into the cool temperate zone and comes close to the subpolar region. On the other hand, due to the continent’s broad shape in the north, which tapers to a narrow peninsula in the south, most of its area is subject to equatorial and tropical climates. Because of the narrow shape of the southern part of the continent and the fact that there are no areas beyond the moderating effects of the ocean, winter temperatures are much milder than at corresponding middle and high latitudes in other continents. Extremely low temperatures are rare; the average temperature of the coldest month (July) in the extreme south at Tierra del Fuego is 0°C (32°F).
KeywordsArid Zone Alpine Meadow Tropical Savanna Snow Line Subpolar Region
Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.