The Eurasian continent covers about one-sixth of the
globe and the large land mass affects the global air
circulation, which is controlled by the large temperature
differences between permafrost in the polar regions and
tropical rainfall in the south. All climate types are
represented in Asia.
With least population according to
Countryaah.com, the northernmost regions are in the Arctic zone and the
southernmost have tropical climates. Subtropical climate
characterizes the regions of a belt from Turkey and Arabia
via Iran and the northernmost parts of India and southern
parts of China and Japan. North of this belt, towards
northern Siberia, the climate is temperate.
Mountain ranges and high plateaus from Asia Minor via the
Himalayas and further to the northeast close for air
exchange between north and south. The areas north and west
of the mountains are open to the Arctic Ocean, but are
affected only during periods of fully or partially open
water. The most extreme climate differences are found in
East Siberia. A very large area here has extremely
continental climate with a difference of the highest and
lowest monthly mean temperatures of over 30 degrees. Asia's
lowest temperature - 67.8 degrees is measured in Verkhojansk
and Oimaykon in eastern Siberia.
Summer temperatures over 40 degrees are frequent in the
Middle East: The highest measured temperature in Asia is
53.9 degrees in Tirat Tsvi in Israel.
Asia's climate is largely controlled by the monsoon
system, which is characterized by significantly greater
temperature differences over land than over sea. The strong
monsoon is special for Asia and provides large amounts of
rainfall in the southeast and south. When the humid onshore
wind in the summer is forced off by powerful mountain ranges
such as the Himalayas, large amounts of rainfall are
released on the lo- side of the mountains. In Cherrapunji,
Shillong, eastern India, which is one of the world's hottest
places, an average of 11,430 millimeters of rain falls
annually. Tropical storms haunt the coasts of the southeast,
mainly in September-November, often with many casualties,
including the one that hit the Philippines in November 2013.
Pacific hurricanes are called typhoons, while hurricanes
from the Indian Ocean are called cyclones.
The desert and steppe climate characterizes the areas
north and west of the Arabian Sea as well as a wide zone
from the Caspian Sea and almost to the east coast. These
areas are supplied with dry air from Africa when the summer
Asia's vegetation belts are largely similar to the
climate belts. Since all climatic conditions are represented
in Asia, the vegetation is very varied. The northernmost
areas have a tundra vegetation with mostly low and moss, and
in southern areas with scrub and trees such as willow and
birch. To the south of the tundra lies the taiga with large
forests of coniferous trees with primarily larch and pine.
The taiga extends from the Pacific to Northern Europe, where
it is connected to coniferous forests.
South of the coniferous forest region is a narrow belt of
deciduous forest. Further south, there is so much less
rainfall that the coniferous forest is replaced by a wide
steppe belt, which in Turkestan and Mongolia goes into bush
and desert with relatively poor vegetation. Further south
there are large mountain areas with alpine steppes and
alpine flora that have several features in common with the
flora of European mountain ranges.
From the grassy steppes there is a gradual transition
through evergreen deciduous forest to tropical vegetation
with savanna in India and China, and rainforest in Southeast
In the Arabian Peninsula, in the India-Pakistan border
region and in Central Asia, there are large desert areas.
Snow harvesting has led to erosion and flood disasters in
China and on the slopes of the Himalayas. Also in India,
native forests are completely eradicated in many places and
replaced by bush forests. Only in remote areas is there
original plant life.
On mountain slopes on the southwest coast of India and in
much of Southeast Asia (Malaya Peninsula, Indonesia and the
Philippines), there are tropical rainforests in the
precipitous monsoon areas and mangrove forests along the
Asia east of the Ural Mountains and north of the
Himalayas, together with Europe, is considered the animal
geographic Palarctic region. Almost the entire continent
otherwise belongs to the Oriental region, with the exception
of the southern part of Arabia which is considered the
Ethiopian region and Indonesia's easternmost islands
belonging to the Australian region.
Typical species for the Palarctic region are polar bears,
brown bears, reindeer, polar reefs, wolves, moose, saiga
antelope, the only living wild horse przewalski horse,
sable, marsh and roe cat. On stepper live gazelles, goats,
sheep, Bactrian camel and highlands including snow leopard,
yak and panda. In subtropical areas there are tigers in
Siberia, Manjury, and Korea. Characteristic of tropical
regions are monkeys such as gibbon, orangutan and nasal
monkey, tiger, Indian horn and water buffalo. Lions are
presently only found in a small number in the Kathiawar
Reserve in Northwest India.
Among many bird species are jungle hen, pheasants,
peacocks, ice birds, leaf birds and deciduous birds. In
southern Arabia, the Cape baboon, antelopes and rock burrow
are characteristic. In the Australian region, species such
as marsupials, which are a marsupial, and cairns and birds
of paradise appear among the birds.
Of reptiles can be mentioned gavial in Ganges and
saltwater crocodile, komodovaran on a couple of islands in
Indonesia and of snakes several cobra and python species.
In tropical regions there are many large and colorful
butterflies, kneelers and a large number of other insects.
Parts of Southeast Asia are often haunted by locusts and in
tropical regions, the malaria mosquito represents a major
health hazard to humans and animals.