The pichi or dwarf armadillo is a small armadillo native to Argentina and Chile. It is the only living member of the genus Zaedyus, the only armadillo to hibernate. Pichis are small armadillos, measuring 27 cm long, with a tail of about 11 cm. Adults weigh anything from 700 to 1,500 grams, males may be larger than females; the carapace varies from light yellow to near-black, consists of heavy scapular and pelvic shields composed of rectangular osteoderms, separated by six to eight movable bands. An additional "nuchal" band lies in front of the scapular shield, there is a triangular shield on top of the head, further osteoderms along the tail; the underside of the animal has a coat of tan-coloured hair, thicker and longer in winter. Pichis have well-developed claws on all four feet; the ears are short, the eyes dark and small. Pichis have eight teeth on each side of the upper jaw, nine on the lower; the absence of teeth on the premaxillary bone of the upper jaw is one of the features that allows them to be distinguished from other, armadillos, such as the six-banded armadillo.
Females have two teats, located in the chest region, like most armadillos, lack a true vagina, instead having a single urogenital sinus about 18 mm in length. The male's penis is unusually long among mammals. Pichis are found from central and southern Argentina, west to the Andean grasslands of Chile, south to the Strait of Magellan. Within this region, it most inhabits arid or semiarid steppe grasslands, but may be found in other environments if they have sandy soils suitable for burrowing. Zaedyus pichiy caurinus Thomas, 1928 Zaedyus pichiy pichiy Desmarest, 1804 Pichis are omnivorous, with the largest part of their diet consisting of invertebrates such as beetles and scorpions, though they will eat small mammals or lizards, as well as plant material and fungi. Despite living in arid environments, they are not thought to drink water in the wild. Common predators include crowned eagles, buzzard-eagles and cougars. Pichis are the only armadillos known to hibernate. Like many hibernating animals, they build up considerable fat reserves before entering their winter burrows, where they remain from May to August.
During hibernation, their body temperature drops from its normal value of about 35 °C to just 14 °C. In addition to true hibernation, they enter a period of daily torpor, lasting up to four hours each night, during which they body temperature can drop to as low as 24 °C; the breeding season lasts from spring with the exact months depending on latitude. Females may be induced ovulators, give birth to one or two young after a gestation period of 58 to 60 days between October and January; the young are born with soft, pink skin with tiny osteoderms that begin to harden and turn more yellow after about two weeks. Newborn pichis weigh about 50 g, put on an average of 9 g per day until weaning ends at about 40 days and they leave the burrow for the first time. Pichis are diurnal, they dig burrows in sandy soil. The burrows have a dome-shaped entrance and a single passage that can reach several metres in length, before terminating in a bare, resting chamber, they do not inhabit their burrows for extended periods, digging new ones at least every few weeks, sometimes daily.
During the winter, when the weather is more extreme, the burrows may be deeper than they are in the summer, reaching as much as 1.5 m below ground. Pichis are solitary outside of the mating season; when threatened, they wedge themselves into their shallow burrow making it difficult for an attacker to drag them out because of their jagged scales, or else lie flat on the ground to protect their vulnerable belly. They have been scream; the IUCN has rated the conservation status of Z. pichiy as near-threatened. It is hunted despite being protected in both Argentina and Chile; the armadillo is used in local handicrafts. Cattle ranching poses a threat to its habitat; some populations have been impacted by an unknown disease
Patagonia is a sparsely populated region at the southern end of South America, shared by Chile and Argentina. The region comprises the southern section of the Andes mountains and the deserts and grasslands to the east. Patagonia is one of the few regions with coasts on three oceans, with the Pacific Ocean to the west, the Atlantic Ocean to the east, the Southern Ocean to the south; the Colorado and Barrancas rivers, which run from the Andes to the Atlantic, are considered the northern limit of Argentine Patagonia. The archipelago of Tierra del Fuego is sometimes included as part of Patagonia. Most geographers and historians locate the northern limit of Chilean Patagonia at Huincul Fault, in Araucanía Region; the name Patagonia comes from the word patagón, used by Magellan in 1520 to describe the native tribes of the region, whom his expedition thought to be giants. It is now believed that the people he called the Patagons were Tehuelches, who tended to be taller than Europeans of the time; the Argentine researcher Miguel Doura observed that the name Patagonia derives from the ancient Greek region of modern Turkey called Paphlagonia, possible home of the patagon personage in the chivalric romances Primaleon printed in 1512, ten years before Magellan arrived in these southern lands.
The hypothesis was published in a 2011 New Review of Spanish Philology report. Argentine Patagonia is for the most part a region of steppelike plains, rising in a succession of 13 abrupt terraces about 100 metres at a time, covered with an enormous bed of shingle bare of vegetation. In the hollows of the plains are ponds or lakes of fresh and brackish water. Towards Chilean territory the shingle gives place to porphyry and basalt lavas, animal life becomes more abundant and vegetation more luxuriant, consisting principally of southern beech and conifers; the high rainfall against the western Andes and the low sea surface temperatures offshore give rise to cold and humid air masses, contributing to the ice-fields and glaciers, the largest ice-fields in the Southern hemisphere outside of Antarctica. Among the depressions by which the plateau is intersected transversely, the principal ones are the Gualichu, south of the Río Negro, the Maquinchao and Valcheta, the Senguerr, the Deseado River. Besides these transverse depressions, there are others which were occupied by more or less extensive lakes, such as the Yagagtoo and Colhue Huapi, others situated to the south of Puerto Deseado, in the centre of the country.
In the central region volcanic eruptions, which have taken part in the formation of the plateau during the Cenozoic, cover a large part of the land with basaltic lava-caps. There, caused principally by the sudden melting and retreat of ice aided by tectonic changes, has scooped out a deep longitudinal depression, best in evidence where in contact with folded Cretaceous rocks which are uplifted by the Cenozoic granite, it separates the plateau from the first lofty hills, whose ridges are called the pre-Cordillera. To the west of these, a similar longitudinal depression extends all along the foot of the snowy Andean Cordillera; this latter depression contains the richest and most fertile land of Patagonia. Lake basins along the Cordillera were excavated by ice-streams, including Lake Argentino and Lake Fagnano, as well as coastal bays such as Bahía Inútil; the geological limit of Patagonia has been proposed to be Huincul Fault which forms a major discontinuity. The fault truncates various structures including the Pampean orogen found further north.
The ages of base arocks change abruptly across the fault. There have been discrepancies among geologists on the origin of the Patagonian landmass. Víctor Ramos has proposed that the Patagonian landmass originated as an allochthonous terrane that separated from Antarctica and docked in South America 250 to 270 Ma in the Permian era. A 2014 study by R. J. Pankhurst and coworkers rejects any idea of a far-travelled Patagonia claiming it is of parautochtonous origin; the Mesozoic and Cenozoic deposits have revealed a most interesting vertebrate fauna. This, together with the discovery of the perfect cranium of a chelonian of the genus Niolamia, identical with Ninjemys oweni of the Pleistocene age in Queensland, forms an evident proof of the connection between the Australian and South American continents; the Patagonian Niolamia belongs to the Sarmienti Formation. Fossils of the mid-Cretaceous Argentinosaurus, which may be the largest of all dinosaurs, have been found in Patagonia, a model of the mid-Jurassic Piatnitzkysaurus graces the concourse of the Trelew airport.
Of more than paleontological interest, the middle Jurassic Los Molles Formation and the still richer late Jurassic and early Cretaceous Vaca Muerta formation above it in the Neuquén basin are reported to contain huge hydrocarbon reserves accessible through hydraulic fracturing. Other specimens of the interesting fauna of Patagonia, belonging to the Middle Cenozoic, are the gigantic wingless birds, exceeding in size any hitherto known, the singular mammal Pyrotherium of large dimensions. In
Extremes on Earth
This article describes extreme locations on Earth. Entries listed in bold are Earth-wide extremes. Temperatures measured directly on the ground may exceed air temperatures by 30 to 50 °C. A ground temperature of 84 °C has been recorded in Sudan. A ground temperature of 93.9 °C was recorded in Furnace Creek, Death Valley, United States on 15 July 1972. The theoretical maximum possible ground surface temperature has been estimated to be between 90 and 100 °C for dry, darkish soils of low thermal conductivity. Satellite measurements of ground temperature taken between 2003 and 2009, taken with the MODIS infrared spectroradiometer on the Aqua satellite, found a maximum temperature of 70.7 °C, recorded in 2005 in the Lut Desert, Iran. The Lut Desert was found to have the highest maximum temperature in 5 of the 7 years measured; these measurements reflect averages over a large region and so are lower than the maximum point surface temperature. Satellite measurements of the surface temperature of Antarctica, taken between 1982 and 2013, found a coldest temperature of −93.2 °C on 10 August 2010, at 81.8°S 59.3°E / -81.8.
Although this is not comparable to an air temperature, it is believed that the air temperature at this location would have been lower than the official record lowest air temperature of −89.2 °C. Ice sheets on land. Places under ice are not considered to be on land; the Gould Coast is the southernmost point of ocean while the southernmost open sea is nearby Bay of Whales at 78°30'S, at the edge of Ross Ice Shelf. United States National Climatic Data Center AWOW Top List World Top 10 Hottest Places
In meteorology, precipitation is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation include drizzle, sleet, snow and hail. Precipitation occurs when a portion of the atmosphere becomes saturated with water vapor, so that the water condenses and "precipitates", thus and mist are not precipitation but suspensions, because the water vapor does not condense sufficiently to precipitate. Two processes acting together, can lead to air becoming saturated: cooling the air or adding water vapor to the air. Precipitation forms as smaller droplets coalesce via collision with other rain drops or ice crystals within a cloud. Short, intense periods of rain in scattered locations are called "showers."Moisture, lifted or otherwise forced to rise over a layer of sub-freezing air at the surface may be condensed into clouds and rain. This process is active when freezing rain occurs. A stationary front is present near the area of freezing rain and serves as the foci for forcing and rising air.
Provided necessary and sufficient atmospheric moisture content, the moisture within the rising air will condense into clouds, namely stratus and cumulonimbus. The cloud droplets will grow large enough to form raindrops and descend toward the Earth where they will freeze on contact with exposed objects. Where warm water bodies are present, for example due to water evaporation from lakes, lake-effect snowfall becomes a concern downwind of the warm lakes within the cold cyclonic flow around the backside of extratropical cyclones. Lake-effect snowfall can be locally heavy. Thundersnow is possible within lake effect precipitation bands. In mountainous areas, heavy precipitation is possible where upslope flow is maximized within windward sides of the terrain at elevation. On the leeward side of mountains, desert climates can exist due to the dry air caused by compressional heating. Most precipitation is caused by convection; the movement of the monsoon trough, or intertropical convergence zone, brings rainy seasons to savannah climes.
Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle, is responsible for depositing the fresh water on the planet. 505,000 cubic kilometres of water falls as precipitation each year. Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres, but over land it is only 715 millimetres. Climate classification systems such as the Köppen climate classification system use average annual rainfall to help differentiate between differing climate regimes. Precipitation may occur on other celestial bodies, e.g. when it gets cold, Mars has precipitation which most takes the form of frost, rather than rain or snow. Precipitation is a major component of the water cycle, is responsible for depositing most of the fresh water on the planet. 505,000 km3 of water falls as precipitation each year, 398,000 km3 of it over the oceans. Given the Earth's surface area, that means the globally averaged annual precipitation is 990 millimetres. Mechanisms of producing precipitation include convective and orographic rainfall.
Convective processes involve strong vertical motions that can cause the overturning of the atmosphere in that location within an hour and cause heavy precipitation, while stratiform processes involve weaker upward motions and less intense precipitation. Precipitation can be divided into three categories, based on whether it falls as liquid water, liquid water that freezes on contact with the surface, or ice. Mixtures of different types of precipitation, including types in different categories, can fall simultaneously. Liquid forms of precipitation include drizzle. Rain or drizzle that freezes on contact within a subfreezing air mass is called "freezing rain" or "freezing drizzle". Frozen forms of precipitation include snow, ice needles, ice pellets and graupel; the dew point is the temperature to which a parcel must be cooled in order to become saturated, condenses to water. Water vapor begins to condense on condensation nuclei such as dust and salt in order to form clouds. An elevated portion of a frontal zone forces broad areas of lift, which form clouds decks such as altostratus or cirrostratus.
Stratus is a stable cloud deck which tends to form when a cool, stable air mass is trapped underneath a warm air mass. It can form due to the lifting of advection fog during breezy conditions. There are four main mechanisms for cooling the air to its dew point: adiabatic cooling, conductive cooling, radiational cooling, evaporative cooling. Adiabatic cooling occurs when air expands; the air can rise due to convection, large-scale atmospheric motions, or a physical barrier such as a mountain. Conductive cooling occurs when the air comes into contact with a colder surface by being blown from one surface to another, for example from a liquid water surface to colder land. Radiational cooling occurs due to the emission of infrared radiation, either by the air or by the surface underneath. Evaporative cooling occurs when moisture is added to the air through evaporation, which forces the air temperature to cool to its wet-bulb temperature, or until it reaches saturation; the main ways water vapor is added to the air are: wind convergence into areas of upward motion, precipitation or virga falling from above, daytime heating evaporating water from the surface of oceans, water bodies or wet lan
The killer whale or orca is a toothed whale belonging to the oceanic dolphin family, of which it is the largest member. Killer whales have a diverse diet, although individual populations specialize in particular types of prey; some feed on fish, while others hunt marine mammals such as seals and other species of dolphin. They have been known to attack baleen whale calves, adult whales. Killer whales are apex predators. A cosmopolitan species, they can be found in each of the world's oceans in a variety of marine environments, from Arctic and Antarctic regions to tropical seas, absent only from the Baltic and Black seas, some areas of the Arctic Ocean. Killer whales are social, their sophisticated hunting techniques and vocal behaviours, which are specific to a particular group and passed across generations, have been described as manifestations of animal culture. The International Union for Conservation of Nature assesses the orca's conservation status as data deficient because of the likelihood that two or more killer whale types are separate species.
Some local populations are considered threatened or endangered due to prey depletion, habitat loss, capture for marine mammal parks, conflicts with human fisheries. In late 2005, the southern resident killer whales, which swim in British Columbia and Washington state waters, were placed on the U. S. Endangered Species list. Wild killer whales are not considered a threat to humans, but there have been cases of captive orcas killing or injuring their handlers at marine theme parks. Killer whales feature in the mythologies of indigenous cultures, with their reputation ranging from being the souls of humans to merciless killers. Orcinus orca is the only recognized extant species in the genus Orcinus, one of many animal species described by Linnaeus in 1758 in Systema Naturae. Konrad Gessner wrote the first scientific description of a killer whale in his Piscium & aquatilium animantium natura of 1558, part of the larger Historia animalium, based on examination of a dead stranded animal in the Bay of Greifswald that had attracted a great deal of local interest.
The killer whale is one of 35 species in the oceanic dolphin family, which first appeared about 11 million years ago. The killer whale lineage branched off shortly thereafter. Although it has morphological similarities with the pygmy killer whale, the false killer whale and the pilot whales, a study of cytochrome b gene sequences by Richard LeDuc indicated that its closest extant relatives are the snubfin dolphins of the genus Orcaella. Although the term "orca" is used, English-speaking scientists most use the traditional name "killer whale". Indeed, the genus name Orcinus means "of the kingdom of the dead", or "belonging to Orcus". Ancient Romans used orca for these animals borrowing Greek ὄρυξ, which referred to a whale species. Since the 1960s, "orca" has grown in popularity; the term "orca" is euphemistically preferred by some to avoid the negative connotations of "killer", because, being part of the family Delphinidae, the species is more related to other dolphins than to whales. They are sometimes referred to as "blackfish", a name used for other whale species.
"Grampus" is a former name for the species, but is now used. This meaning of "grampus" should not be confused with the genus Grampus, whose only member is Risso's dolphin; the three to five types of killer whales may be distinct enough to be considered different races, subspecies, or even species. The IUCN reported in 2008, "The taxonomy of this genus is in need of review, it is that O. orca will be split into a number of different species or at least subspecies over the next few years." Although large variation in the ecological distinctiveness of different killer whale groups complicate simple differentiation into types, research off the west coast of Canada and the United States in the 1970s and 1980s identified the following three types: Resident: These are the most sighted of the three populations in the coastal waters of the northeast Pacific. Residents' diets consist of fish and sometimes squid, they live in complex and cohesive family groups called pods. Female residents characteristically have rounded dorsal fin tips.
They visit the same areas consistently. British Columbia and Washington resident populations are amongst the most intensively studied marine mammals anywhere in the world. Researchers have named over 300 killer whales over the past 30 years. Transient: The diets of these whales consist exclusively of marine mammals. Transients travel in small groups of two to six animals, have less persistent family bonds than residents. Transients vocalize in less complex dialects. Female transients are characterized by more triangular and pointed dorsal fins than those of residents; the gray or white area around the dorsal fin, known as the "saddle patch" contains some black colouring in residents. However, the saddle patches of transients are uniformly gray. Transients roam along the coast. Transients are referred to as Bigg's killer whale in honor of cetologist Michael Bigg; the term has become common and may replace the transient label. Offshore: A third population of killer whales in the northeast Pacific was discovered in 1988, when a humpback whale researcher ob
Space Shuttle program
The Space Shuttle program was the fourth human spaceflight program carried out by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration, which accomplished routine transportation for Earth-to-orbit crew and cargo from 1981 to 2011. Its official name, Space Transportation System, was taken from a 1969 plan for a system of reusable spacecraft of which it was the only item funded for development; the Space Shuttle—composed of an orbiter launched with two reusable solid rocket boosters and a disposable external fuel tank—carried up to eight astronauts and up to 50,000 lb of payload into low Earth orbit. When its mission was complete, the orbiter would re-enter the Earth's atmosphere and land like a glider at either the Kennedy Space Center or Edwards Air Force Base; the Shuttle is the only winged manned spacecraft to have achieved orbit and landing, the only reusable manned space vehicle that has made multiple flights into orbit. Its missions involved carrying large payloads to various orbits, providing crew rotation for the space station, performing service missions.
The orbiter recovered satellites and other payloads from orbit and returned them to Earth, though its use in this capacity was rare. Each vehicle was designed with a projected lifespan of 100 launches, or 10 years' operational life, though original selling points on the shuttles were over 150 launches and over a 15-year operational span with a'launch per month' expected at the peak of the program, but extensive delays in the development of the International Space Station never created such a peak demand for frequent flights. Various shuttle concepts had been explored since the late 1960s; the program formally commenced in 1972, becoming the sole focus of NASA's manned operations after the Apollo and Apollo-Soyuz programs in 1975. The Shuttle was conceived of and presented to the public in 1972 as a'Space Truck' which would, among other things, be used to build a United States space station in low Earth orbit during the 1980s and be replaced by a new vehicle by the early 1990s; the stalled plans for a U.
S. space station evolved into the International Space Station and were formally initiated in 1983 by President Ronald Reagan, but the ISS suffered from long delays, design changes and cost over-runs and forced the service life of the Space Shuttle to be extended several times until 2011 when it was retired—serving twice as long than it was designed to do. In 2004, according to President George W. Bush's Vision for Space Exploration, use of the Space Shuttle was to be focused exclusively on completing assembly of the ISS, far behind schedule at that point; the first experimental orbiter Enterprise was a high-altitude glider, launched from the back of a specially modified Boeing 747, only for initial atmospheric landing tests. Enterprise's first test flight was on February 18, 1977, only five years after the Shuttle program was formally initiated; the Space Shuttle program finished with its last mission, STS-135 flown by Atlantis, in July 2011, retiring the final Shuttle in the fleet. The Space Shuttle program formally ended on August 31, 2011.
Before the Apollo 11 moon landing in 1969, NASA began early studies of space shuttle designs. In 1969, President Richard Nixon formed the Space Task Group, chaired by Vice President Spiro Agnew; this group outlined ambitious post-Apollo missions centered on a large permanently manned space station, a small reusable logistics vehicle that would support it, a manned mission to Mars. Smaller goals included a variety of space vehicles for moving spacecraft around in orbit. Presenting the plans to Nixon, Agnew was told that the administration would not commit to a Mars mission, limited activity to low Earth orbit for the immediate future, he was told to select one of the two remaining proposals. After some debate between the station and the vehicle, the vehicle was chosen; the goal, as presented by NASA to Congress, was to provide a much less-expensive means of access to space that would be used by NASA, the Department of Defense, other commercial and scientific users. During early shuttle development there was great debate about the optimal shuttle design that best balanced capability, development cost and operating cost.
Chosen was a design using a reusable winged orbiter, reusable solid rocket boosters, an expendable external fuel tank for the orbiter's main engines. The shuttle program was formally launched on January 5, 1972, when President Nixon announced that NASA would proceed with the development of a reusable space shuttle system; the stated goals of "transforming the space frontier...into familiar territory accessible for human endeavor" was to be achieved by launching as many as 50 missions per year, with hopes of driving down per-mission costs. The prime contractor for the program was North American Rockwell, the same company responsible for building the Apollo Command/Service Module; the contractor for the Space Shuttle Solid Rocket Boosters was Morton Thiokol, for the external tank, Martin Marietta, for the Space Shuttle main engines, Rocket
Chubut is a province in southern Argentina, situated between the 42nd parallel south, the 46th parallel south, the Andes range to the west, the Atlantic ocean to the east. The province's name derives from the Tehuelche word chupat, meaning "transparent," their description of the Chubut River; the largest city is Comodoro Rivadavia in the south of the province. The administrative capital is Rawson. Other important cities are Puerto Madryn, Trelew and Sarmiento. Gaiman is a cultural and demographic centre of the region known as "Y Wladfa" in which Welsh-Argentines are concentrated. Of the 25,000 Welsh speakers in Argentina, 5,000 live in the Chubut region in the early Welsh settlements of Gaiman and Trevelin. Before the Spaniards arrived in the Americas, nomadic indigenous Tehuelche peoples had inhabited the Patagonia region for thousands of years, they covered territory in seasonal cycles as they followed game. In the 17th and 18th centuries, Spanish missionaries came to the area, founded the San José Fort on Península Valdés.
The indigenous people destroyed it. In 1865, Welsh people settled in the Chubut Valley area; the region was disputed between Chile and Argentina until 1881. Chile renounced its claim in order to prevent Argentina from entering into the War of the Pacific, in which it was fighting against Peru and Bolivia; as part of the Conquista del Desierto, Argentina organized the National Territory of Chubut in 1884, after the last indigenous cacique, surrendered to government forces. Luis Fontana was named governor. At the beginning of the 20th century, after the Boer War, some Boer people settled in the town of Sarmiento and in lesser number in other nearby towns. In 1944, the southern part of Chubut and northern part of Santa Cruz were designated the Comodoro Rivadavia military zone; the zone was dissolved in 1955, Chubut was declared a province. Studies in the 1950s revealed mineral wealth in the province, which the government has tried to develop. Population shifts of the late 20th century from Buenos Aires, raised the population from 190,000, to 357,000 and 413,237.
The government has encouraged people to resettle here. Most of the inhabitants are in the main cities, they have settled along the Chubut River. Most areas have a population density of less than 1 inhabitant per square kilometer. Chubut's economy, for a long time one of the most prosperous in Argentina, is one of the country's least diversified. Nearly one-quarter of its 2006 output, estimated at US$4.652 billion, is generated by mining and petroleum. This sector's contribution helped give Chubut the nation's fourth-highest per capita output in 2011, US$25,250. Petroleum refining is the main economic activity of the province. On May 21, 2014, Miguel Galuccio of YPF and Chubut Governor Martin Buzzi announced the first unconventional oil and gas discovery in Chubut from a fracked well in the Early Cretaceous D-129 formation of the Golfo San Jorge basin. Chubut produces 21% of the nation's fish catch. Sheep ranching, though less than half as productive in the 21st century compared to as as 1990, remains important at the local level.
The advent of synthetic replacements to wool after World War II battered the sector. It declined further because of damage from natural disasters. Wool production has risen since 2002, totaled 71,000 tons in 2006. Chubut stretches from the Atlantic to the Andes with 3 distinct environmental regions: The Andes, the central plains and the coastal regions; the Andes in the westernmost parts of the province extend along the Chilean border. The Andes are not that high in Chubut, with most peaks averaging around 1,500 and 2,000 metres, which becomes smaller in altitude in the southern parts; the highest peak is Cerro Dos Picos, located east of Lago Cholila with a height of 2,515 metres. The Andes in this province are of tertiary origin and are separated by wide, deep transverse valleys that are oriented in an east–west direction; these valleys are occupied by glacial rivers flowing east from the mountains. Most of these valleys existed; the lakes, which are located in the western parts of the province are of glacial origin because during the last ice age, the movement of the glaciers lead to the formation of extensive areas of depressions that were filled up with water to form the lakes today.
The Andes cause humid winds from the Pacific Ocean to rise so most of the moisture precipitates on the western side of the Andes, leaving all except the Andean portion of the province dry. In the Andean region, the climate is cold for its latitude owing to the higher elevations there and the influence of winds from the Pacific Ocean; the peaks are snow covered throughout the year. In this region, precipitation ranges from 700 mm to over 2,500 mm in some areas; the central parts of the province have an arid climate with hot, sunny summers but cold winters and only average 200 mm of precipitation a year. The central parts of the province are windy throughout the year; the coast has short summers and cold winters. It is the mildest region in the province with the warmest annual mean temperatures; the coast region's climate is a transition between the more temperate