General information Asia, including geographical characteristics of the territory, types of climate, hydrography, flora and fauna of this continent.
Asia in short
- Number of component states: 50
- Area in sq km: 44,368,957
- Population: 3,070,556,000 (first half 2001)
Asia is the largest continent, spreading over an area of 44,368,957 km. squares (also including inland waters), corresponds to almost a third of the lands.
Its surface is entirely included in the northern hemisphere (excluding some islands of Insulindia).
The limits are marked to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the south by the Indian Ocean, to the east by the Pacific Ocean and to the west by the Red Sea, the Mediterranean Sea and the Black Sea, the Manyckuma Depression, the Caspian Depression, the Ural River and from the Urals.
These mountain ranges mark the borders with Europe, with which Asia forms a single continental mass: Eurasia.
Asia is connected to Africa through the Suez Canal and is separated to the north east by the American continent only by the sea arm of the Bering Strait.
Asia with its vast extension in latitude has various climates, also influenced by the trend of the relief, the proximity of the sea, and the monsoon regime.
Equatorial climate: humid heat (Philippines, Insulindia, Malay peninsula, Burma coast).
Tropical climate: with temperature range and more intense rains during the summer monsoon. (Indochina, Deccan, Strilanka).
Subtropical climate: with marked seasonal and temperature differences (indogangetic plain and central-eastern China).
Mediterranean climate: with rainy and temperate winters and hot and very dry summers. (limited to a narrow coastal strip of Asia Minor and Syria).Recommended readings
- Thailand: useful information
- Bangkok (Thailand): what to see in the capital
- Oman: what to see between beaches, desert and palm trees
- Hong Kong: useful tourist information
- Tokyo (Japan): what to see in the capital
Continental climate: with scarce rains and accentuated temperature excursions. (Mongolia, Tibet, Iran, Anatolia).
Subarctic climate: with long and harsh winters, short and hot summers and rainfall well distributed throughout the year. (most of Siberia).
Asia has the largest number of large rivers, although they are not very long since the part between the Caspian Sea and the Gobi desert is occupied by areas of the Areic, that is, without surface hydrography.
Large rivers also reach the internal basins (endorheic zones), free of runoff to the sea. On the side of the Arctic Ocean we find the Siberian rivers (ob, Jenisej, Lena) which originate from the northern edge of the Asian alteterre.
The other large rivers subject to disastrous floods in the rainy season originate from the mountains of Central Asia. Amur, Hwang Ho and Yangtze Kiang flow into the Pacific Ocean; in the Indian Ocean, the Indus, the Brahmaputra and the Ganges.
Lake Maggiore is the Caspian Sea, residual, like the Aral Sea of an ancient inland sea.
The Baikal and the Dead Sea are of tectonic origin.
Spontaneous vegetation is distributed according to climatic zones.
Proceeding from the Arctic Ocean to the south we find a band of tundra, developed mainly in the eastern part, the vast boreal or taiga forest, which covers almost all of Siberia.
In the area of south-western Siberia there is a forest composed of maple, oak and linden, and an extensive arid area consisting of steppe and desert.
The savannah, monsoon climate zones, and the evergreen vegetation, subtropical areas.
The tropical forest, which extends into the rainiest areas of the Indian, Malay peninsulas and the islands of Australasia.
In the tundra the almost always frozen subsoil allows the growth of only low bushes, mosses, and lichens.
In the taiga, in addition to the conifers (larch pines and firs), there are some deciduous ones (birch and aspen).
In the species-rich tropical forest there are also ebony and mahogany trees.
There are many breeds of animals, divided according to the environment.
- Tundra: reindeer, white bear, polar fox, lemming, white hare.
- Taiga: wolves, brown bears, stoat, sable, silver fox, otter, skunk, marten.
- Steppe and deserts: tigers, lions, leopards, hyenas, antelopes, jackals, gazelles, the karakul sheep, dromedary, angora goat.
- In the mountains: yak, panda.
- Savannah and forests: elephants, tigers, rhinos, cheetahs, panthers, orangutan, gibbon.
Asia has a long cultural history and for this reason there are some six most beautiful archaeological and historical sites in the world on its territory.
In Asia there are also various mountain ranges, volcanoes still active with periodic eruptions, beautiful islands, very lively cities and very varied traditions.