What climate effect do the surrounding mountain ranges have on the Anatolian and Iranian plateaus?
Anatolia (Turkey), located on the Eastern edge of the Mediterranean Sea, and Iran, located in South Central Asia, are both sandwiched in by mountains.
On its northern borders, Anatolia has the Pontic mountains. To the East, there are the Armenian Highlands. To the south are the Taurus Mountains. This creates a bowl in Anatolia where rain clouds rarely cross; clouds will pass over the mountains, but they have little capacity for rain. This region, called the Anatolian plateau, has very sharply contrasting seasons. The summers are hot, and without the breeze or rain coming in from the Mediterranean or the Black Sea, temperatures can rise to 86 degrees Fahrenheit (30 degrees Celsius). In the winter, temperatures can drop to -22 to -40 degrees Fahrenheit (-30 to -40 degrees Celsius). Snow can last on the Anatolian Plateau for over 120 days.
The Iranian Plateau sits between the Zagros Mountains to the West, the Elburz Mountains to the north, and the Kavir and Lut Deserts. Like Anatolia, the Iranian Plateau is a bowl. It has an arid, dry climate and has little precipitation, especially from October to April. It's temperature can fluctuate between 110 degrees Fahrenheit (43 degrees Celsius) and freezing. Part of this is because of pressure systems coming from Siberia in the North as well as from the warmer waters of the Mediterranean and Persian Gulf. The resulting clash creates low pressure systems that create heavy winds and fluctuating temperatures.
check Approved by eNotes Editorial