Themes: Environment

Climate and terrain of Papua New Guinea

Geography

 

Papua New Guinea is the Eastern half of the island of New Guinea, the second largest island in the world.  As well as the mainland, PNG also encompasses over 600 small islands and archipelagos.  A large mountain range bisects the mainland, with peaks sometimes reaching heights of 4,000 metres or more.  Parts of the country are also volcanically active, and earthquakes are not uncommon.  The only way to cross over the mountains is either by plane or on foot. Rivers run down from the mountains lacing the mainland with a network of river systems.  The landscape includes larges areas of swampland, particularly in the south.

 

Climate

In the lowland areas temperatures are high all year round, typically reaching around 32º C.  In the highland regions temperatures are much cooler, typically 22º C to 25º C. Humidity is often very high as many places are extremely wet, creating heavy rainfalls even in the so-called dry season.  From December to March Papua New Guineans can expect heavy rainfall in the form of the northwest monsoon. From roughly May to October the south-easterly trade winds bring drier and cooler weather.

 

Environmental issues

Papua New Guinea ranks within the top five most diverse countries in the world, with an estimated 21,000 types of higher plants, 242 species of mammal, and 762 species of birds. The country is caught between wanting to exploit its natural resources for wealth creation, but at the same time needing to preserve the natural environment and biodiversity for the benefit of future generations. Major issues of environmental concern include: mining pollution, the danger of rising seas, and loss of the rainforest.   

 

Papua New Guinea is the Eastern half of the island of New Guinea, the second largest island in the world.  As well as the mainland, PNG also encompasses over 600 small islands and archipelagos.  A large mountain range bisects the mainland, with peaks sometimes reaching heights of 4,000 metres or more.  Parts of the country are also volcanically active, and earthquakes are not uncommon.  The only way to cross over the mountains is either by plane or on foot. Rivers run down from the mountains lacing the mainland with a network of river systems.  The landscape includes larges areas of swampland, particularly in the south.

 

Climate

In the lowland areas temperatures are high all year round, typically reaching around 32º C.  In the highland regions temperatures are much cooler, typically 22º C to 25º C. Humidity is often very high as many places are extremely wet, creating heavy rainfalls even in the so-called dry season.  From December to March Papua New Guineans can expect heavy rainfall in the form of the northwest monsoon. From roughly May to October the south-easterly trade winds bring drier and cooler weather.

 

Environmental issues

Papua New Guinea ranks within the top five most diverse countries in the world, with an estimated 21,000 types of higher plants, 242 species of mammal, and 762 species of birds. The country is caught between wanting to exploit its natural resources for wealth creation, but at the same time needing to preserve the natural environment and biodiversity for the benefit of future generations. Major issues of environmental concern include: mining pollution, the danger of rising seas, and loss of the rainforest.