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.
|Country||Number of residents per square kilometer||Proportion of residents in the cities (percent)|
|Afghanistan||57 (2018)||25.3 (2017)|
|Bahrain||2 017 (2018)||89.2 (2017)|
|Bangladesh||1,240 (2018)||35.9 (2017)|
|Bhutan||20 (2018)||40.2 (2017)|
|Brunei||81 (2018)||77.3 (2017)|
|Burma||82 (2018)||30.3 (2017)|
|Philippines||358 (2018)||46.7 (2017)|
|United Arab Emirates||136 (2018)||86.2 (2017)|
|India||455 (2018)||33.6 (2017)|
|Indonesia||148 (2018)||54.7 (2017)|
|Iraq||89 (2018)||70.3 (2017)|
|Iran||50 (2018)||74.4 (2017)|
|Israel||410 (2018)||92.3 (2017)|
|Japan||347 (2018)||91.5 (2017)|
|Yemen||54 (2018)||36.0 (2017)|
|Jordan||112 (2018)||90.7 (2017)|
|Cambodia||92 (2018)||23.0 (2017)|
|Kazakhstan||7 (2018)||57.3 (2017)|
|China||148 (2018)||58.0 (2017)|
|Kyrgyzstan||33 (2018)||36.1 (2017)|
|Kuwait||232 (2018)||100.0 (2017)|
|Laos||31 (2018)||34.4 (2017)|
|Lebanon||669 (2018)||88.4 (2017)|
|Malaysia||96 (2018)||75.4 (2017)|
|Maldives||1 719 (2018)||39.4 (2017)|
|Mongolia||2 (2018)||68.4 (2017)|
|Nepal||196 (2018)||19.3 (2017)|
|Oman||16 (2018)||83.6 (2017)|
|Pakistan||275 (2018)||36.4 (2017)|
|Qatar||240 (2018)||99.1 (2017)|
|Saudi Arabia||16 (2018)||83.6 (2017)|
|Singapore||7,953 (2018)||100.0 (2017)|
|Sri Lanka||346 (2018)||18.4 (2017)|
|South Korea||529 (2018)||81.5 (2017)|
|Syria||92 (2018)||53.5 (2017)|
|Tajikistan||66 (2018)||27.0 (2017)|
|Thailand||136 (2018)||49.2 (2017)|
|Turkmenistan||12 (2018)||51.2 (2017)|
|Uzbekistan||77 (2018)||50.6 (2017)|
|Vietnam||308 (2018)||35.2 (2017)|
|East Timor||85 (2018)||30.2 (2017)|
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 monsoon weakens.
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 Asia.
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 coasts.
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.