In a climatic division of China approximately along the 20° isohyet, Arid China lies to the west of the line. It characterizes more than 50 percent of China's territory but accommodates less than 10 percent of the population.
The modification of the blanket of gases that surround the earth largely through the airborne products of industrial production and the human consumption of fossil fuels.
The set of customs that an individual or culture group has relating to religion, social contracts, and other aspects of cultural organization.
Refugees who flee by sea because of conflict or political circumstances, including refugees from conflict in Indochina, Cuba, and Haiti.
A classic geographic term describing a point in transit when bulk goods must be removed from one mode of transport and installed on another. A trainload of grain carried to a port for transshipment on cargo boats or barges is a common example.
The hierarchy in the Hindu religion that determines a person's social rank. It is established by birth and cannot be changed.
Microtechnology has allowed the creation of highly precise, robotic units that can be used in delicate manufacturing. Although expensive to create, they ultimately reduce per unit manufacturing costs because of predictable higher quality output and easier maintenance than human work organizations.
A 1970s United Nations treaty permitting a sovereign power to have greater access to surrounding marine resources.
Convention on the Law of the Sea
The dates by which farmers prepare, plant, and harvest their fields. Farmers who are involved in new agricultural patterns necessitated by greater use of chemical fertilizers and new plant strains are sometimes unable to adjust to the demands of a much more exact crop calendar than has been traditional.
A fall in prices, such as that caused by currency devaluations.
A stream that results when a river subdivides into branches in a delta.
Growing two crops a year on the same field.
A species of plant or animal found exclusively in one area.
The effort of the Chinese after the death of Mao Zedong in 1976 to focus on economic development in agriculture, industry, science and technology, and defense.
The original Chinese peoples who settled in North China on the margins of the Yellow River (Huang He) and who were central to the development of Chinese culture. Han Chinese make up more than 90 percent of China's population.
The eastern portion of China that is relatively well watered and where the great majority of the Chinese population has settled. An arc from Kunming in southwest China to Beijing in North China describes the approximate western margin of this zone.
A rise in prices.
Growing two or more crops simultaneously in alternate rows. Also known as interplanting.
A series of islands formed by ocean crust sliding over a stationary hot spot in the earth's mantle.
Landscape features associated with the dissolution of limestone or dolomite including caves, sinkholes, and towers.
The human process of making over the earth's surface. From initial human shelters to contemporary massive urban centers, humans have been driven to change their environmental settings.
A material found in tropical regions with highly leached soils; composed mostly of iron and aluminum oxides which harden when exposed and make cultivation difficult.
A United Nations treaty or convention permitting coastal nations to have greater access to marine resources.
Law of the Sea
The 1935-1936 flight of approximately 100,000 Communist troops under Mao Zedong from south central China to the mountains of North China. Mao was fleeing attack by General Chiang Kai-shek, and the success of the Long March led to the establishment of Mao's troops as a force with the capacity to overcome the much larger and better armed troops of Chiang.
The actual distance on the earth that is represented by a given linear unit on a map.
The Japanese revolution of 1868 that restored the legitimate sovereignty of the emperor. Meiji means "Enlightened Rule." This event led to a transformation of Japan's society and economy.
A current of air blowing fairly steadily from a given direction for several weeks or months at a time. Characteristics of a monsoonal climate are a seasonal reversal of wind direction, a strong summer maximum of rainfall, and a long dry season lasting for most or all of the winter months.
Farming patterns in which several crops are raised on the same plot of land in the course of a year or even a season. Common examples are winter wheat and summer corn or soybeans in North America or several crops of rice in the same plot in Monsoon Asia.
A strip of land immediately alongside a stream that has been built up by deposition of sediments during flooding.
A large commercial farming enterprise, generally emphasizing one or two crops and utilizing hired labor. Plantations are commonly found in tropical regions.
The long horseshoe-like chain of volcanoes that goes from the southern Andes Mountains in South America up the west coast of North America and arches over into the northeast Asian island chains of Japan, the Philippines, and Southeast Asia. This zone of seismic instability and erratic vulcanism is caused by the tension built up in plate tectonics. See also Plate tectonics.
Ring of Fire
A state containing or bordering a river.
In China, the urban areas designated after the 1970s to attract investment and boost production through tax breaks and other incentives.
Special Economic Zones (SEZS)
The period 1600 to 1868 in Japan, characterized by a feudal hierarchy and Japan's isolation from the outside world.