Maritime Continent

Maritime Continent

Maritime Continent is the name given primarily by meteorologists to the region of Southeast Asia which comprises many islands, peninsulas and shallow seas. The region is significant in meteorology because it is considered the most important energy source region in the entire global circulation system owing to a number of coincident factors, the most significant being geographic location and topography, both of which contribute to the development of the warmest large area of ocean on Earth, the Tropical Warm Pool.

The name combines the terms maritime and continent normally used as opposites in the description of climate. Maritime air is humid, and continental air is dry.

In the Southeast Asia region, land masses and bodies of water are, roughly-speaking, evenly distributed. Moreover, the land masses are characterized by high mountains, and the seas are among the warmest on the earth. This produces a widespread area of diurnal thunderstorms which pump huge quantities of moisture and heat high up into the atmosphere which in turn feeds the upper level winds which circle the globe.

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