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SEMIARID CLIMATE

(most measurements in Fahrenheit and inches... sorry rest of the world)

Semiarid or Semi-Arid means "somewhat dry". Semiarid climate is found around the edges of Arid climate and serves as a transition from Arid to another climate. This is a dry climate that has fluctuating amounts of precipitation, which can often result in drought. Occasional drought can be a very dangerous place for human settlement. Semiarid climate supports more trees and scrub bushes and grasses than Arid and therefore more animals. 

Where is Semiarid Climate Usually Located?

Semiarid climate is always found on the outer edge of Arid climate areas.  The two colors in the map represent cold and warm Semiarid climate areas.  Think of Semiarid as a transition climate between dry and wetter places.  These areas can be very dangerous.  They sometimes receive enough rain to support some farming, but after a few years the area can experience a long drought (no rain) and people can starve.  An example of this would be the Sahel in Sub-Saharan Africa (picture on left).  From 1940-1970 (graph), the Sahel had above average rainfall, but since 1970 rainfall has been below average, which has ruined farms and forced people to move or starve.

Sahel of Africa
This is a graphic of a map of Northern Africa showing the Sahara Desert and the Sahel.
Sahel Rain Fall 1890-2004
This is a graph of rainfall in the Sahel.
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What Seasons Does Semiarid Climate Have?

The seasonal changes depend on the latitude, but it is safe to say most places experience a summer and winter.  Usually the winter produces more rain.  When the cooler winter air meets the warmer land rain sometimes falls.

What are the Temperatures like in Semiarid Climate?

The temperatures in Semiarid climate depend on the latitude.  They will follow the same temperature patterns as the surrounding area.  For example in northern United States the Semiarid climate can be very cold, especially during winter.  Temperatures can be as low as -15 degrees.  However, it the African Sahel or northern Australia, temperatures remain high throughout the year, so latitude is clearly the cause of temperature in Semiarid climate.

How Much Precipitation Does Semiarid Climate Receive?

Since Semiarid climates are found surrounding Arid climates, its no surprise they are dry areas.  An area is considered semiarid if it averages between 10-20 inches of rain annually (yearly).  Some years these places may get 20-40 inches of rain, but sometimes 5-10--this is why they are semi-arid and dangerous for human settlement.  Similar to Arid climate, Semiarid climate's precipitation levels are due to ocean currents.  Ocean currents shift with the season, but they also slowly change course over time--this is how world climate change happens.  When the Ocean currents shift, it dramatically changes the climate of the land. 

What Kinds of Vegetation (Plants) Does Semiarid Climate Have?

Semiarid is too dry to support forests of trees, but a few scattered trees that require less water can be found here.  Mainly grasses and shrubs cover Semiarid land.  Similar to Arid plants, these plants can be thorny or waxy--adaptations to preserve or protect water.

Semiarid Scrub
This is a pictures of semiarid vegetation with grasses and scrub trees
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What Kinds of Animals Does Semiarid Climate Have?

The animals found in Semiarid are very different from animals found in Arid climates.  The grasses of semiarid climate attract grazing animals such as wildebeests, zebras, giraffes, gazelle, deer, and bison.  Most of these animals migrate when conditions are too dry.  The herbivores of Semiarid climates attract carnivores such as coyotes, jackals, hyenas, lions, and wolves can survive in Semiarid climates. 

Gazelle
This is a picture of a gazelle in the grassland of Semiarid Climate.
Jackal
This is a picture of a Jackal.
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Semiarid Scrub

This is a pictures of semiarid vegetation with grasses and scrub trees