What Does Tropical Mean? Tropics and Tropical

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Tropical is defined as relating to the tropics. But what are the tropics? The tropics are the part of the world closest to the equator, with the northern boundary being the Tropic of Cancer, the southern boundary being the Tropic of Capricorn. However, being in the tropics and having a tropical climate aren’t exactly the same thing.

Map of the tropics. The belt around the equator, between the Tropic of Cancer (in the north) and the Tropic of Capricorn (in the south) is “The Tropics”. However, being in the tropics and having a tropical climate, are not necessarily the same thing. Within “The Tropics” a place can also have an Equatorial or Subequatorial Climate Zone, and a tropical climate can extend beyond “The Tropics”. The names are really confusing. As you can see, some parts of the US are not in the tropics, but do have a tropical climate. This map is not geographically accurate.

The Tropics and Tropical – Meaning

tropic of cancer on map
Map showing the tropic of cancer approx 23 degrees north of the equator.

Where is the Tropic of Cancer?

The Tropic of Cancer is north of the equator, ie in the northern hemisphere, at a latitude of 23°26′10.9″ or 23.43637° N.

Countries that the Tropic of Cancer passes through, include Mexico, The Bahamas, India, Egypt, UAE, Libya, China and Oman.

Where is the Tropic of Capricorn?

The Tropic of Capricorn in south of the equator, ie, in the southern hemisphere, at a latitude of 23°26′10.9″ or 23.43637° S

Countries that the Tropic of Capricorn passes through, include Argentina, Australia, Madagascar, Chile, and South Africa.

Which Countries are in the Tropics?

The tropics include countries in Asia, The Americas, Africa and the continent of Australia. Many countries lie fully in the tropics, the following countries are fully in the tropics.

  • Barbados
  • Antigua and Barbuda
  • Sri Lanka
  • Thailand
  • Malaysia
  • Singapore
  • El Salvador
  • Belize
  • Chad
  • Dominican Republic

Other countries, in Asia, the Americas, Africa and the continent of Australia are partially in the tropics.

  • Australia, the north of Australia is in the tropics.
  • The US, Hawaii is in the tropics, Florida is not.
  • Egypt, only the south of Egypt is tropical.
  • China, a small part of south China is tropical.
  • India is only partially in the tropics.

Certain regions of the world are in the tropics, for instance, most of the Middle East, Central Africa, South and Southeast Asia, and Oceana lie in the tropics near the equator.

Where Are The Tropical Rainforests?

tropical rainforest
Tropical rainforests of the world.

Tropical rainforests lie in the tropical regions of the world. The oldest tropical rainforest, the Daintree Rainforest, is in the north of Australia, in Queensland. This is where Tropical Food Garden is based.

The Amazon Rainforest is also a tropical rainforest in the continent of South America.

You can also find tropical rainforests in India, New Guinea, Central America, Southeast Asia, Sri Lanka, and Central Africa.

A tropical rainforest must lie close to the equator, between the tropics of Cancer and Capricorn, ie. it must be in the tropics.

Temperate rainforests also exist, for instance in Guatemala.

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