Geography

America (continued)


The action of relief

On the coast to the west of the continent, the mountainous relief forms a natural barrier that prevents the passage of wet winds from the Pacific Ocean.

For this reason, humidity is concentrated in the coast, causing the wind that crosses the mountainous areas and reaches the interior to be dry, which contributes to the greater aridity of the regions, for example, the United States and Mexico.

Altitude in the higher areas of the Andes and Rocky Mountains provides extremely low thermal averages, because the higher the altitude of a region, the lower its temperature. The capital of Ecuador, Quito, located in the Andes at an altitude of 2850 meters, is an example of this.

The air masses

Polar air masses are mainly responsible for the temperature drop in the winter months in much of the United States and Canada (in North America), and in part of Argentina, Chile, Paraguay, Uruguay and Brazil ( in South America).

Air masses from warm regions provide the rise in temperature on much of the coast of South America, Central America, and parts of the east coast of North America.

Sea currents

Sea currents act directly on the temperature and humidity of the air in the region where they pass. These include the Humboldt Stream, the Gulf Stream and the Caribbean Stream.

The Humboldt current, which is a cold current, crosses the coast of Chile and Peru, where cold water causes increased fishiness, benefiting fishing in these countries. The Gulf Stream (hot) forms in the Gulf of Mexico and its important effect in tempering temperate zone climates, mainly on the American (North America) and European (United Kingdom) coasts.

The (warm) Caribbean current operates in Central America, which is located in the intertropical range and has hot and humid climates, favoring tourism throughout the year in this region.

Labrador and California currents (cold currents) cause temperature drops on the Pacific coast, northern Canada and the northeastern United States, respectively.