Friday, October 18, 2019

A Region in Europe Term Paper Example | Topics and Well Written Essays - 2250 words

A Region in Europe - Term Paper Example 2. Location 3. 3. Sicily’s Physical Geography Sicily is famous for its unique geographical features such as its topography, rivers, climate and vegetation that distinguish it from any other European region. 3.1. Topography and Landscape Figure 3 – Contrasting Landscapes in Sicily 3.2. Rivers and Catchments The longest river in Sicily is the Salso. Its tributaries start in the Madonie Mountains in Central Sicily, and flow southwards through the providences of Enna and Caltanissetta into the Mediterranean near the sea port of Licata. It’s Sicily’s longest river at 89 miles, and its drainage basin covers an area of 819? miles (Wikipedia: Salso, 2010). Sicily’s rivers are usually fast flowing with irregular volumes of water. Flash flooding in the winter months contrasts with the drying up of rivers in summer. Figure 5 – The River Salso Other notable rivers include the Simeto, Sicily’s second longest river at 68 miles, which channels waters from the Caltagirone, Gornalunga and Dittaino catchments (Wikipedia: Simeto, 2010). It flows into the Ionian Sea, on Sicily’s eastern coastline, south of the populated region of Catania. It’s regarded as Sicily’s most important river in terms of its watershed and the number of people who rely on it for domestic, industrial and agricultural uses. 3.3. Sicily’s Climate Sicily’s weather is dominated by its Mediterranean climate, consisting of hot dry summers and mild wet winters. The city of Catania is the ‘sunniest’ place in Europe, with 2492 hours of sunshine per year (6.8 per day) (Peter Sommer Travels). 3.3.1. Temperature June to September are Sicily’s hottest months, were temperatures regularly exceed 25Â °c (World Reviewer). Sicily’s coolest months are December to February were temperatures range from 10Â °c-16Â °c (Peter Sommer Travels). Despite Sicily’s small geographical size, there are also climatic diff erences between locations of the island, ranging from an annual average of 19Â °c on the coastline, to 13Â °c in mountainous regions (Sicily: Italian Marina). Figure 6 – Sicily’s Average Annual Air Temperatures (Cited from 3.3.2. Precipitation Sicily has an annual mean precipitation rate of 24 inches (611mm), in which 75% of rainfall occurs from October-March. Less than an inches worth of rain falls between June – August (World Reviewer). Figure 7 also highlights that Sicily’s rainfall is not evenly distributed, and low lying ground such as the plains of Catania receive far less rainfall than mountainous regions. Figure 7 – Precipitation Rates in Sicily (Cited from 3.3.3. Sea Temperatures As an island, the temperature of the sea surrounding Sicily has a bigger effect on its climate than inland regions in mainland Europe. Sicily’s average sea temperatures are hottest during the summer (24Â °c) and coole st from January-March (14Â °c) (Peter Sommer Travels). 3.3.4. Vegetation Sicily’s temperate Mediterranean climate has played a major role in determining its vegetation. The typical evergreen Mediterranean shrub is widespread in coastal areas and much of Sicily’s wild vegetation consists of papyrus, palm trees and stone pines. Numerous trees, shrubs and flowers are native to Sicily, including wild olive trees and manna ash (a medium size deciduous tree, which contains a sugary extract in its bark used as a natural sweetener). Citrus and fruit orchards, grape vines and

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