Major Climates of Russia & Central Asia

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  • 0:00 What is Climate?
  • 1:05 Climate of Central Asia
  • 2:05 Climate of Russia
  • 2:55 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: David Wood

David has taught Honors Physics, AP Physics, IB Physics and general science courses. He has a Masters in Education, and a Bachelors in Physics.

After watching this video lesson, you will be able to describe the various climates found in different parts of Russia and Central Asia. A short quiz will follow the lesson.

What Is Climate?

Climate is the average or general weather conditions of an area, taken over a long period of time and measured over a large area. To really understand climate, you can't just look out your bedroom window. You need to take hard data over long periods of time and over a wide area.

Asia, as a whole, has many climates. Just take a look at this map. A bit messy, isn't it? There are no less than 25 types of climate shown on this map. But some of these climates are quite similar to each other. So, let's simplify this a bit. This simpler map breaks it down into ten climates in all of Asia. If we focus on the subject of today's lesson, Central Asia and Russia, we bring that number down to just five distinct climate types.

What are we looking at? Well, Central Asia and Russia covers six countries: Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, and Russia. Now we're clear on that, let's take a closer look at the climates of Central Asia and Russia.

Climate of Central Asia

Central Asia contains two main climates and both of them are super dry. It contains semiarid climates and desert climates. Semiarid conditions are defined by being very dry and can be either cold or hot, but not dry enough to meet the criteria of a desert. A desert (or arid) climate is a climate where precipitation is too low for any vegetation (except possibly a little shrub) to grow, but where it isn't cold enough to meet the criteria for a polar climate.

These are positioned in such a way that the very center and west of Central Asia is the driest region with a desert climate, and that area is surrounded by semiarid areas. In terms of countries, deserts are found in Western Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, and Southern Kazakhstan. The semiarid conditions are found in Eastern Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, most of Kyrgyzstan and Tajikistan, and Northern and Eastern Kazakhstan.

Climate of Russia

The Russian part of Asia contains another three climates. The Southwest, just north of Kazakhstan, contains a pocket of humid continental climate. The Far North of Russia contains arctic tundra, and most of the rest of Asian Russia is subarctic. It's like a sandwich, with tundra and humid continental climates as the bread, and subarctic climate as the filling. Further west, this sandwich pattern continues all the way to Europe.

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