The Sudan is the geographic region to the south of the Sahara, stretching from Western to eastern Central Africa. The name derives from the Arabic bilād as-sūdān, or "the lands of the blacks", referring to West Africa and northern Central Africa; the Arabic name was translated as Negroland on older English maps. The name was understood to denote the western part of the Sahel region, it thus encompassed the geographical belt between the Sahara and the coastal West Africa. In modern usage, the phrase "The Sudan" is used in a separate context to refer to the present-day country of Sudan, the western part of which forms part of the larger region, from which South Sudan gained its independence in 2011; the Sudan region extends in some 5,000 km in a band several hundred kilometers wide across Africa. It stretches from the border of Senegal, through southern Mali, Burkina Faso, southern Niger, northern Nigeria, northern Ghana, southern Chad, the western Darfur region of present-day Sudan, South Sudan.
To the north of the region lies the Sahel, a more arid Acacia savanna region that in turn borders the Sahara Desert further north, to the east the Ethiopian Highlands. In the southwest lies the West Sudanian Savanna, a wetter, tropical savanna region bordering the tropical forests of West Africa. In the center is Lake Chad, the more fertile region around the lake, while to the south of there are the highlands of Cameroon. To the southeast is the East Sudanian Savanna, another tropical savanna region, bordering the forest of Central Africa; this gives way further east to the Sudd, an area of tropical wetland fed by the water of the White Nile. The people of the Sudan region share similar lifestyles, dictated by the geography of the region; the economy is pastoral, while sorghum and rice are cultivated in the southern parts of the region. The region was governed in colonial times by European powers, including the French ann the latter half of the 20th century. Sub-Saharan Africa Sudanian Savanna East Sudanian Savanna West Sudanian Savanna Readers Digest: Atlas of the World, Rand-McNally ISBN 0-276-42001-2
United Nations geoscheme
The United Nations geoscheme is a system which divides the countries of the world into regional and subregional groups. It was devised by the United Nations Statistics Division based on the M49 coding classification; the creators note that "the assignment of countries or areas to specific groupings is for statistical convenience and does not imply any assumption regarding political or other affiliation of countries or territories". The UNSD geoscheme does not set a standard for the entire United Nations System, it differs from geographic definitions used by the autonomous United Nations specialized agencies for their own organizational convenience. For instance, UNSD includes Georgia and Cyprus in Western Asia, yet the United Nations Industrial Development Organization and UNESCO include them in Europe; the schema was created for statistical analysis and consists of macro-geographical regions arranged to the extent possible according to continents. Within these groupings, geographical subregions and selected economic and other groupings allow for detailed analysis.
Other alternative groupings include the World Bank regional classification, CIA World Factbook regions and Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers Geographic Regions. Africa — see also: UN geoscheme for Africa Northern Africa Sub-Saharan Africa Eastern Africa Middle Africa Southern Africa Western Africa Americas — see also: UN geoscheme for the Americas Latin America and the Caribbean Caribbean * Central America * South America Northern America ** These three subregions together form the geographic continent of North America. Antarctica Asia — see also: UN geoscheme for Asia Central Asia Eastern Asia South-eastern Asia Southern Asia Western Asia Europe — see also: UN geoscheme for Europe Eastern Europe – UN includes North Asia in this subregion Northern Europe Southern Europe Western Europe Oceania — see also: UN geoscheme for Oceania Australia and New Zealand Melanesia Micronesia Polynesia Geopolitical divisions of Europe United Nations Regional Groups United Nations Statistics Division List of countries by United Nations geoscheme UN M.49
The Sudd is a vast swamp in South Sudan, formed by the White Nile's Baḥr al-Jabal section. The Arabic word sudd is derived from sadd, meaning "barrier" or "obstruction"; the term "the sudd" has come to refer to mat. The area which the swamp covers is one of the world's largest wetlands and the largest freshwater wetland in the Nile basin. For many years the swamp, its thicket of vegetation, proved an impenetrable barrier to navigation along the Nile. In AD 61, a party of Roman soldiers sent by the Emperor Nero proceeded up the White Nile but were not able to get beyond the Sudd, which marked the limit of Roman penetration into equatorial Africa. For the same reasons in times the search for the source of the Nile was difficult; the Sudd stretches from Mongalla to just outside the Sobat confluence with the White Nile just upstream of Malakal as well as westwards along the Bahr el Ghazal. The shallow and flat inland delta lies between 5.5 and 9.5 degrees latitude North and covers an area of 500 kilometres south to north and 200 kilometres east to west between Mongalla in the south and Malakal in the north.
Its size is variable, averaging over 30,000 square kilometres. During the wet season it may extend to over 130,000 square kilometres comprising 13% of the country, depending on the inflowing waters, with the discharge from Lake Victoria being the main control factor of flood levels and area inundation. Since the Sudd area consists of various meandering channels, lagoons and papyrus fields and loses half of its inflowing water through evapotranspiration in the permanent and seasonal floodplains, the complex hydrology has many primary and secondary effects. A major feature of the area if not completed and not functional, is the Jonglei Canal, planned to bypass waters from the Sudd to avoid evaporation losses and increase the amount of water discharged at the outlet of the Sudd. From 1961 to 1963, a great increase in the inundated area occurred when the level of Lake Victoria rose and the outflow increased; the total area of the Sudd is related to the amount of water reaching Bor from Albert Nile and from torrents or seasonal watercourses that can add substantial amounts to the flow in the upstream end of the Sudd.
During the 1960s increase in Lake Victoria discharge, where flows at Mongalla doubled, the flows at Malakal at the northern end of the swamps increased by 1.5 times the previous average flow. As a consequence of these high flows, the areas of permanent swamp and seasonal floodplains have, taken together, increased to 2.5 times their former size. The swamps have increased the most, the seasonal floodplain is 1.5 times its previous size. From the southern inflow of the Bahr al Jabal at Mongalla, the defined riverbed successively widens into a floodplain, where the waters flow in meandering river stretches and various channels and lagoons throughout the dry season. With rising water levels it expands over the semi-flooded grasslands during the flood season. Downstream of Bor, the Bahr el Zeraf river branches off the Bahr al Jabal to the east, diverting part of the flow, again joins the Bahr al Jabal just before reaching Malakal. During the course of its flow, the Bahr al Jabal passes Lake No, where the Bahr el Ghazal connects to the Bahr al Jabal, contributing an inflow with seasonal variation.
At Malakal, the Sobat River joins into the system. The combined flows stream to the north as the White Nile in a defined bed, joining with the Blue Nile waters at Khartoum to form the main Nile. Sudd was designated as a Ramsar Wetland of International Importance on 5 June 2006. An area of 57,000 square kilometres was designated. Hydrologically the Sudd plays an important role in storing floodwaters and trapping sediments from the Bahr al Jabal. 55 percent of water entering the area is lost to evaporation. Water levels fluctuate depending on the intensity of seasonal flooding; the region receives less rainfall than neighbouring areas at the same latitude. Orographic lifting on the eastern and western sides of the Sudd contribute to that condition; the morphology of the area is defined by the channel and lagoon system of the permanent Sudd swamps, the adjacent flood plains and the surrounding flat terrain. The Bahr al Jabal runs to the north-northwest and therefore in an angle to the gradient of the flood plain, which slopes down to the north, while north of Juba the river flows in an incised trough.
The banks of this trough decrease in height from south to north with the Bahr al Jabal approaching Bor and ending in the Sudd flood plain just north of Bor on the eastern bank and towards Shambe on the western bank. In the southern part, the river meanders from side to side in the restraining trough in one or more channels, but further north the swamp is not limited by higher ground and the system of river channels becomes complex; the characteristics of the river with its network of channels and lagoons are distinguishable in satellite imagery and digital elevation models. The geology of the area is defined by heavy clay soils impermeable with a top layer of "black cotton" vertisol of 500 mm on average. Sandy soils are found only at depths of 30 metres and below, as determined by well drilling profiles; this indicates a limited groundwater influence on the area's hydrology. Dinka and Shilluk pastoralists use the Sudd and the surr
West Africa is the westernmost region of Africa. The United Nations defines Western Africa as the 16 countries of Benin, Burkina Faso, Cape Verde, The Gambia, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Ivory Coast, Mali, Niger, Senegal, Sierra Leone and Togo, as well as the United Kingdom Overseas Territory of Saint Helena and Tristan da Cunha; the population of West Africa is estimated at about 362 million people as of 2016, at 381,981,000 as of 2017, to which 189,672,000 are female, 192,309,000 male. Studies of human mitochondrial DNA suggest that all humans share common ancestors from Africa, originated in the southwestern regions near the coastal border of Namibia and Angola at the approximate coordinates 12.5° E, 17.5°S with a divergence in the migration path around 37.5°E, 22.5°N near the Red Sea. A particular haplogroup of DNA, haplogroup L2, evolved between 87,000 and 107,000 years ago or approx. 90,000 YBP. Its age and widespread distribution and diversity across the continent makes its exact origin point within Africa difficult to trace with any confidence, however an origin for several L2 groups in West or Central Africa seems with the highest diversity in West Africa.
Most of its subclades are confined to West and western-Central Africa. Because of the large numbers of West Africans enslaved in the Atlantic slave trade, most African Americans are to have mixed ancestry from different regions of western Africa; the history of West Africa can be divided into five major periods: first, its prehistory, in which the first human settlers arrived, developed agriculture, made contact with peoples to the north. Early human settlers from northern Holocene societies arrived in West Africa around 12,000 B. C. At Gobero, the Kiffian, who were hunters of tall stature, lived during the green Sahara between 10,000 and 8,000 years ago; the Tenerian, who were a more built people that hunted and herded cattle, lived during the latter part of the green Sahara 7,000 to 4,500 years ago. Sedentary farming began in, or around the fifth millennium B. C, as well as the domestication of cattle. By 1500 B. C, ironworking technology allowed an expansion of agricultural productivity, the first city-states formed.
Northern tribes developed walled settlements and non-walled settlements that numbered at 400. In the forest region, Iron Age cultures began to flourish, an inter-region trade began to appear; the desertification of the Sahara and the climatic change of the coast cause trade with upper Mediterranean peoples to be seen. The domestication of the camel allowed the development of a trans-Saharan trade with cultures across the Sahara, including Carthage and the Berbers. Local leather and gold contributed to the abundance of prosperity for many of the following empires; the development of the region's economy allowed more centralized states and civilizations to form, beginning with Dhar Tichitt that began in 1600 B. C. followed by Djenné-Djenno beginning in 300 B. C; this was succeeded by the Ghana Empire that first flourished between the 9th and 12th centuries, which gave way to the Mali Empire. In current-day Mauritania, there exist archaeological sites in the towns of Tichit and Oualata that were constructed around 2000 B.
C. and were found to have originated from the Soninke branch of the Mandé peoples, according to their tradition, originate from Aswan, Egypt. Based on the archaeology of city of Kumbi Saleh in modern-day Mauritania, the Mali empire came to dominate much of the region until its defeat by Almoravid invaders in 1052. Three great kingdoms were identified in Bilad al-Sudan by the ninth century, they included Ghana and Kanem. The Sosso Empire sought to fill the void, but was defeated by the Mandinka forces of Sundiata Keita, founder of the new Mali Empire; the Mali Empire continued to flourish for several centuries, most under Sundiata's grandnephew Musa I, before a succession of weak rulers led to its collapse under Mossi and Songhai invaders. In the 15th century, the Songhai would form a new dominant state based on Gao, in the Songhai Empire, under the leadership of Sonni Ali and Askia Mohammed. Meanwhile, south of the Sudan, strong city states arose in Igboland, such as the 10th-century Kingdom of Nri, which helped birth the arts and customs of the Igbo people, Bono in the 12th century, which culminated in the formation the all-powerful Akan Empire of Ashanti, while Ife rose to prominence around the 14th century.
Further east, Oyo arose as the dominant Yoruba state and the Aro Confederacy as a dominant Igbo state in modern-day Nigeria. The Kingdom of Nri was a West African medieval state in the present-day southeastern Nigeria and a subgroup of the Igbo people; the Kingdom of Nri was unusual in the history of world government in that its leader exercised no military power over his subjects. The kingdom existed as a sphere of religious and political influence over a third of Igboland and was administered by a priest-king called as an Eze Nri; the Eze Nri managed trade and diplomacy on behalf of the Nri people and possessed divine authority in religious matters. The Oyo Empire was a Yoruba empire of what is today Western and North c
The Maghreb known as Northwest Africa or Northern Africa, Greater Arab Maghreb, Arab Maghreb or Greater Maghreb, or by some sources the Berber world and Berbery, is a major region of North Africa that consists of the countries Algeria, Tunisia and Mauritania. It additionally includes the disputed territories of Western Sahara and the cities of Melilla and Ceuta; as of 2018, the region has a population of over 100 million people. In historical English and European literature, the region was known as the Barbary Coast or the Barbary States, derived from the native Berbers. Sometimes it was referred to as the Land of the Atlas, derived from the Atlas Mountains. In current Berber language media and literature, the region is part of; the region is defined as much or most of northern Africa, including a large portion of Africa's Sahara Desert, excluding Egypt, part of Mashriq. The traditional definition of the region that restricted it to the Atlas Mountains and the coastal plains of Morocco, Algeria and Libya was expanded by the inclusion of Mauritania and of the disputed territory of Western Sahara.
During the era of Al-Andalus in the Iberian Peninsula, the Maghreb's inhabitants, the Muslim Berbers or Maghrebis, were known by Europeans as "Moors", or as "Afariqah". Morocco transliterates into Arabic as "al-Maghreb". Before the establishment of modern nation states in the region during the 20th century, Maghreb most referred to a smaller area, between the Mediterranean Sea and the Atlas Mountains in the south, it also included the territory of eastern Libya, but not modern Mauritania. As as the late 19th century, Maghreb was used to refer to the Western Mediterranean region of coastal North Africa in general, to Algeria and Tunisia, in particular; the region was somewhat unified as an independent political entity during the rule of the Berber kingdom of Numidia, followed by the Roman Empire's rule or influence. That was followed by the brief invasion of the Germanic Vandals, the brief re-establishment of a weak Roman rule by the Byzantine Empire, the rule of the Islamic Caliphates under the Umayyad Caliphate, the Abbasid Caliphate and the Fatimid Caliphate.
The most enduring rule was that of the local Berber empires of the Almoravid dynasty, Almohad Caliphate, Hammadid dynasty, Zirid dynasty, Marinid dynasty, Zayyanid dynasty, Wattasid dynasty - from the 8th to 13th centuries. The Ottoman Empire for a period controlled parts of the region. Mauritania, Tunisia and Libya established the Arab Maghreb Union in 1989 to promote cooperation and economic integration in a common market, it was envisioned by Muammar Gaddafi as a superstate. The union included Western Sahara implicitly under Morocco's membership, putting Morocco's long cold war with Algeria to a rest. However, this progress was short-lived, the union is now dormant. Tensions between Algeria and Morocco over Western Sahara re-emerged, reinforced by the unsolved border dispute between the two countries; these two main conflicts have hindered progress on the union's joint goals and made it inactive as a whole. However, the instability in the region and growing cross-border security threats revived the calls for regional cooperation, with foreign ministers of the Arab Maghreb Union declaring a need for coordinated security policy in May 2015 at the 33rd session of the follow-up committee meeting, which revived hope of some form of cooperation.
In classical antiquity, the Maghreb or portions of the region were known by various toponyms, including Barbary, Mauretania, Libya and the Land of the Atlas. The toponym maghrib is a geographical term that the Muslim Arabs gave to the region extending from Alexandria in the east to the Atlantic Ocean in the west. Etymologically it means both the place where the sun sets, it is composed of the prefix m−, which makes a noun out of the verb root, غرب. Muslim historians and geographers divided the region into three areas: al-Maghrib al-Adna, which included the lands extending from Alexandria to Tarabulus in the west, they disagreed, over the start of the eastern boundary. Some authors extend it as far as the sea of Kulzum and thus include Egypt and the country of Barca in the Maghrib. Ibn Khaldun does not accept this definition because, he says, the inhabitants of the Maghreb do not consider Egypt and Barca as forming part of Maghrib; the latter commences only at the province of Tripoli and includes the districts of which the country of the Berbers was composed in former times.
Maghribi writers repeated the definition of Ibn Khaldun, with a few variations in details. As of 2017 the term Maghrib is still used in opposition to Mashriq in a sense near to that which it had in medieval times, it denotes only Morocco when the full al-Maghrib al-Aksa is abbreviated. Certain politicians seek a political union of the North African countries, which they call al-Maghrib al-Kabir or al-Maghrib al-Arabi. Berber-language speakers now call this region Tamazɣa or Tama
Central Asia stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. The region consists of the former Soviet republics of Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan, it is colloquially referred to as "the stans" as the countries considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of". Central Asia has a population of about 72 million, consisting of five republics: Kazakhstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan. Afghanistan, a part of South Asia, is sometimes included in Central Asia. Central Asia has been tied to its nomadic peoples and the Silk Road, it has acted as a crossroads for the movement of people and ideas between Europe, Western Asia, South Asia, East Asia. The Silk Road connected Muslim lands with the people of Europe and China; this crossroads position has intensified the conflict between tribalism and traditionalism and modernization. In pre-Islamic and early Islamic times, Central Asia was predominantly Iranian, populated by Eastern Iranian-speaking Bactrians, Sogdians and the semi-nomadic Scythians and Dahae.
After expansion by Turkic peoples, Central Asia became the homeland for the Kazakhs, Tatars, Turkmen and Uyghurs. From the mid-19th century until the end of the 20th century, most of Central Asia was part of the Russian Empire and the Soviet Union, both Slavic-majority countries, the five former Soviet "-stans" are still home to about 7 million ethnic Russians and 500,000 Ukrainians; the idea of Central Asia as a distinct region of the world was introduced in 1843 by the geographer Alexander von Humboldt. The borders of Central Asia are subject to multiple definitions. Built political geography and geoculture are two significant parameters used in the scholarly literature about the definitions of the Central Asia; the most limited definition was the official one of the Soviet Union, which defined Middle Asia as consisting of Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan, hence omitting Kazakhstan. This definition was often used outside the USSR during this period. However, the Russian culture has two distinct terms: Средняя Азия and Центральная Азия.
Soon after independence, the leaders of the four former Soviet Central Asian Republics met in Tashkent and declared that the definition of Central Asia should include Kazakhstan as well as the original four included by the Soviets. Since this has become the most common definition of Central Asia; the UNESCO History of the Civilizations of Central Asia, published in 1992, defines the region as "Afghanistan, northeastern Iran and central Pakistan, northern India, western China and the former Soviet Central Asian republics."An alternative method is to define the region based on ethnicity, in particular, areas populated by Eastern Turkic, Eastern Iranian, or Mongolian peoples. These areas include Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region, the Turkic regions of southern Siberia, the five republics, Afghan Turkestan. Afghanistan as a whole, the northern and western areas of Pakistan and the Kashmir Valley of India may be included; the Tibetans and Ladakhi are included. Insofar, most of the mentioned peoples are considered the "indigenous" peoples of the vast region.
Central Asia is sometimes referred to as Turkestan. There are several places that claim to be the geographic center of Asia, for example Kyzyl, the capital of Tuva in the Russian Federation, a village 200 miles north of Ürümqi, the capital of the Xinjiang region of China. Central Asia is an large region of varied geography, including high passes and mountains, vast deserts, treeless, grassy steppes; the vast steppe areas of Central Asia are considered together with the steppes of Eastern Europe as a homogeneous geographical zone known as the Eurasian Steppe. Much of the land of Central Asia is too rugged for farming; the Gobi desert extends from the foot of the Pamirs, 77° E, to the Great Khingan Mountains, 116°–118° E. Central Asia has the following geographic extremes: The world's northernmost desert, at Buurug Deliin Els, Mongolia, 50°18' N; the Northern Hemisphere's southernmost permafrost, at Erdenetsogt sum, Mongolia, 46°17' N. The world's shortest distance between non-frozen desert and permafrost: 770 km.
The Eurasian pole of inaccessibility. A majority of the people earn a living by herding livestock. Industrial activity centers in the region's cities. Major rivers of the region include the Amu Darya, the Syr Darya, the Hari River and the Murghab River. Major bodies of water include the Aral Sea and Lake Balkhash, both of which are part of the huge west-central Asian endorheic basin that includes the Caspian Sea. Both of these bodies of water have shrunk in recent decades due to diversion of water from rivers that feed them for irrigation and industrial purposes. Water is an valuable resource in arid Central Asia and can lead to rather significant international disputes. Central Asia is bounded on the north by the forests of Siberia; the northern half of Cent
The Sahel is the ecoclimatic and biogeographic zone of transition in Africa between the Sahara to the north and the Sudanian Savanna to the south. Having a semi-arid climate, it stretches across the south-central latitudes of Northern Africa between the Atlantic Ocean and the Red Sea; the name is derived from the Arabic word sāḥil meaning "coast" or "shore" in a figurative sense, while the name in Swahili means "coastal " in a literal sense. The Sahel part of Africa includes parts of northern Senegal, southern Mauritania, central Mali, northern Burkina Faso, the extreme south of Algeria, the extreme north of Nigeria, central Chad and southern Sudan, the extreme north of South Sudan, Cameroon, Central African Republic and the extreme north of Ethiopia; the western part of the Sahel was sometimes known as the Sudan region. This belt was located between the Sahara and the coastal areas of West Africa; the Sahel spans 5,400 km from the Atlantic Ocean in the west to the Red Sea in the east, in a belt that varies from several hundred to a thousand kilometers in width, covering an area of 3,053,200 square kilometers.
It is a transitional ecoregion of semi-arid grasslands, savannas and thorn shrublands lying between the wooded Sudanian Savanna to the south and the Sahara to the north. The topography of the Sahel is flat. Several isolated plateaus and mountain ranges rise from the Sahel, but are designated as separate ecoregions because their flora and fauna are distinct from the surrounding lowlands. Annual rainfall varies from around 100–200 mm in the north of the Sahel to around 600 mm in the south; the Sahel is covered in grassland and savanna, with areas of woodland and shrubland. Grass cover is continuous across the region, dominated by annual grass species such as Cenchrus biflorus, Schoenefeldia gracilis and Aristida stipoides. Species of acacia are the dominant trees, with Acacia tortilis the most common, along with Acacia senegal and Acacia laeta. Other tree species include Commiphora africana, Balanites aegyptiaca, Faidherbia albida, Boscia senegalensis. In the northern part of the Sahel, areas of desert shrub, including Panicum turgidum and Aristida sieberana, alternate with areas of grassland and savanna.
During the long dry season, many trees lose the predominantly annual grasses die. The Sahel was home to large populations of grazing mammals, including the scimitar-horned oryx, dama gazelle, Dorcas gazelle, red-fronted gazelle, the giant prehistoric buffalo and Bubal hartebeest, along with large predators like the African wild dog, the Northwest African cheetah, the Northeast African cheetah, the lion; the larger species have been reduced in number by over-hunting and competition with livestock, several species are vulnerable, endangered, or extinct. The seasonal wetlands of the Sahel are important for migratory birds moving within Africa and on the African-Eurasian flyways; the Sahel has a hot steppe climate. The climate is hot, sunny and somewhat windy all year long; the Sahel's climate is similar to, but less extreme than, the climate of the Sahara desert located just to the north. The Sahel receives a low to a low amount of precipitation annually; the steppe has a long, prevailing dry season and a short rainy season.
The precipitation is extremely irregular, varies from season to season. Most of the rain falls during only one or two months, while the other months may remain dry; the entire Sahel region receives between 100 mm and 600 mm of rain yearly. A system of subdivisions adopted for the Sahelian climate based on annual rainfall is as follows: the Saharan-Sahelian climate, with mean annual precipitation between around 100 and 200 mm, the strict Sahelian climate, with mean annual precipitation between around 200 and 600 mm and the Sahelian-Sudanese climate, with mean annual precipitation between around 200 and 400 mm; the relative humidity in the steppe is low to low between 10% and 25% during the dry season and between 25% and 75% during the rainy season. The least humid places have a relative humidity under 35%; the Sahel is characterized with an unvarying temperature. The Sahel experiences cold temperatures. During the hottest period, the average high temperatures are between 36 and 42 °C for more than three months, while the average low temperatures are around 25 to 31 °C.
During the "coldest period", the average high temperatures are between 27 and 33 °C and the average low temperature are between 15 and 21 °C. Everywhere in the Sahel, the average mean temperature is over 18 °C due to the tropical climate; the Sahel has a high to high sunshine duration year-round, between 2,700 hours and 3,500 hours. The sunshine duration in the S