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Tropics

Designation (from the ancient Greek trópoi Hēliou, German Sonnenwendegebiete) for the geographical area between the two tropics of Cancer at plus 23° and 27' north latitude and Capricorn at minus 23° and 27' south latitude, where the sun is at its zenith at noon at the time of the respective solstice. Climatically, this is the hottest climate zone on earth. Characteristic are high annual mean temperatures with small annual but large diurnal fluctuations, lush vegetation (rainforest, jungle), as well as savannahs or deserts depending on the annual precipitation and humidity. In the inner tropics near the equator, there is mostly an ever-humid tropical climate with average annual precipitation of 2000 mm. There are no pronounced dry seasons. In the outer tropics, on the other hand, there is a winter dry season with lower precipitation overall, which is most pronounced in the marginal tropics at the border to the subtropical climate zone. Between these there are the transitional seasons.

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