49 terms

Geography Exam #1

Introduction and Chapter 3
criteria of geographic realms
physical and human, functional, historical
physical and human geographic realm
the natural and social criteria on which the regionalization of geographic realms is based; based on sets of spatial criteria
functional geographic realm
the result of the interaction of human societies and natural environments; a functional interaction revealed by farms, mines, fishing ports, transport routes, dams, bridges, villages, and countless other features that mark the landscape
historical geographic realm
must represent the most comprehensive and encompassing definition of the great clusters of humankind in the world today
two types of geographic realms
monocentric realms and polycentric realms
monocentric realms
dominated by a single major political entity, in terms of territory and/or population; North America (United States), Middle America (Mexico), East Asia (China), South Asia (India), Russia, and the Austral Realm (Australia) are all examples; they are entirely/heavily influenced by the presence of once country; it is as if the realm is organized around them
polycentric realms
the appearance, functioning, and organization of the realm are dispersed among a number of more or less equally influential regions or countries; Europe, North Africa/Southwest Asia, Subsaharan Africa, and the Pacific Realm are all examples; these realms can be more volatile (liable to change quickly) in some ways, their development determined by the sum of many different parts
absolute location
the latitudinal and longitudinal extent of the region with respect to the Earth's grid coordinates; the position of a place of a certain item on the surface of the Earth as expressed in degrees, minutes, and seconds of latitude, 0 degrees to 90 degrees north or south of the equator, and longitude 0 degrees to 180 degrees east or west of the prime meridian passing through Greenwich, England (a suburb of London)
relative location
a more useful measure; a region's location with reference to other regions; the names of certain regions reveal aspects of this measure, as in Mainland Southeast Asia and Equatorial Africa; the regional position or situation of a place in relation to the position of other places; distance, accessibility, and connectivity affect this measure
the surrounding zone of interaction around a city; literally, "country behind," a term that applies to a surrounding area served by an urban center; that center is the focus of goods and services produced for its surrounding zone and is its dominant urban influence as well; in the case of a port city, the zone also includes the inland area whose trade flows through that port
functional region
a region marked less by its sameness than by its dynamic internal structure; because it usually focuses on a central node, also called nodal region or focal region; usually forged by a structured, urban-centered system of interaction; has a core and a periphery
recent period of geologic time that spans the rise of humankind, beginning about 2 million years ago; the current epoch of the ice age that we are still experiencing that started about 35 million years ago; o average the coldest yet; the epoch of this ice age has been going on for nearly 2 million years; this epoch is marked by glaciations (repeated advances of continental ice sheets) and more moderate interglacials (ice sheet contractions); although the last 10,000 years are known as the Holocene epoch, this epoch's like conditions seem to be continuing and we are most probably now living through another one of these interglacials; thus the glaciers likely will return
the current interglacial epoch (the warm period of an ice age); extends from 10,000 years ago to the present; also known as the "Recent Epoch"
four major population clusters (in order)
South Asia, East Asia, Europe, Eastern North America
South Asia population cluster
lies centered on India and includes its populous neighbors, Pakistan and Bangladesh; this huge agglomeration of humanity focuses on the wide plain of the Ganges River; has just become the world's largest population cluster, overtaking East Asia in 2010; a larger percentage of the people remain farmers here, although pressure on the land is greater, while agriculture is less efficient than in East Asia
East Asia population cluster
now surpassed by South Asia, this second-ranked cluster lies centered on China and includes the Pacific-facing Asian coastal zone from the Korean Peninsula to Vietnam; not long ago, we would have reported this as a dominantly rural, farming population, but rapid economic growth and associated urbanization have changed the picture; in the interior river basins of the Huang (Yellow) and Chang/Yangzi, and in the Sichuan Basin between these two, most of the people remain farmers; farmers still outnumber city dwellers in China as a whole; but the great cities of coast and near-coastal China are attracting millions of new inhabitants, and interior cities are growing rapidly as well; before 2020, this cluster will become more urban than rural
Europe population cluster
the third-ranking cluster; also lies on the Eurasian landmass but at the opposite end from China; this cluster, including western Russia, counts over 700 million inhabitants, which puts it is a class with the two larger Eurasian concentrations, but there the similarity ends; in Europe, the key to the linear, east-west orientation of the axis of population is not a fertile river basin but a zone of raw materials for industry; among the world's most highly urbanized and industrialized realms, its human agglomeration sustained by factories and offices rather than paddies and pastures
Eastern North American population cluster
the fourth-ranking cluster; only about one-quarter the size of the smallest Eurasian concentrations; the population in this area (as in Europe) is concentrated in major metropolitan complexes; the rural areas are now relatively sparely settled
cultural landscape
the distinctive attributes of a society imprinted on its portion of the world's physical stage; this concept was initially articulated by Carl Sauer, who stated that it "is fashioned from a natural landscape by a culture group;" and that "culture is the agent; the natural environment; the medium;" he said this in the 1920s as a University of California geographer; this means that people, starting with their physical environment and using their culture as their agency, fashion a landscape that is layered with forms such as buildings, gardens, and roads, and also modes of dress, aromas of food, and sounds of music; the forms and artifacts sequentially placed on the natural landscape by the activities of various human occupants; by this progressive imprinting of the human presence, the physical (natural) landscape is modified into this landscape, forming an interacting unity between the two
language families
at minimum, there are 15; groups of languages with a shared but usually distant origin; the most widely distributed one, the Indo-European, includes English, French, Spanish, Russian, Persian, and Hindi; this encompasses the languages of European colonizers that were carried and implanted worldwide, English most of all
Gini coefficient
Corrado Gini's index that reveals what proportion of a population is sharing in the wealth, and who is not; this index ranges from 0.0 (no differences at all; everyone earns the same amount) to 1.0 (one earner takes all); a country in which a few tycoons control all the wealth and everyone else labors for a pittance will have a "GC" of close to 1, but a country with a more equitable spread of income will be much closer to 0; as important as the actual number is the way the GC is changing; when China was under strict communist rule and before its modern economic boom began, its GC was low; by 1993, however, it was reported to be 0.41, and today it is approaching 0.5; China's incomes are increasingly concentrated in the country's wealthier Pacific Rim; India's GC, probably already underestimated at 0.38, may be rising even faster than China's; but Brazil, long exhibiting one of the world's highest (if not the highest) GC approaching 0.6, is showing signs of a decrease partly as a result of social programs; the GC for some states is unavailable, even as an estimate
core areas
places of dominance whose inhabitants exerted their power over their surroundings near and far; such core areas grew rich and, in many cases, endured for long periods because their occupants skillfully exploited these surroundings, controlling and taxing the local population, forcing workers to farm the land and mine the resources at their command; "core" refers to the center, heart, or focus; this area of a nation-state is constituted by the national heartland, the largest population cluster, the most productive region, and the part of the country with the greatest centrality and accessibility, probably containing the capital city as well
(core-periphery relationships) the contrasting spatial characteristics of, and linkages between, the have (core) and have-not (periphery) components of a national or regional system; sustained the core for as long as the system endured, so that core-periphery interaction, one-sided though they were, created wealth for the former and enforced stability in the latter
global core
anchored by North America and flanked by Europe to the East and Japan and Australia to the west; not only constitutes an assemblage of the most affluent states and the most prosperous cities, but is also home to most of the financial and corporate empires that drive economic globalization; this core contains about 15 percent of the world's population, but that population earns some 75 percent of the total annual income
WTO (World Trade Organization)
the United States is the leading architect of this organization; to join, countries must agree to open their economies to foreign trade and investment; as of mid-2011, the organization had 153 member-states, all expecting benefits from their participation
case of the Philippines
Filipino farmers found themselves competing against North American and European producers who receive subsidies to support the production as well as the export of their products--and losing out; meanwhile, low-priced, subsidized U.S. corn appeared on Filipino markets; as a result, the Philippine economy lost several hundred thousand farm jobs, wages went down, and WTO membership had the effect of severely damaging its agricultural sector; not surprisingly, the notion of globalization is not popular among rural Filipinos; nor is high-income-country protectionism confined to agriculture; when cheap foreign steel began to threaten what remained of the American steel industry in 2001, the U.S. government erected tariffs to guard domestic products against unwanted competition
the warm period of an ice age
repeated advances of continental ice sheets
ice sheet contractions
three zones of mineral resources
North America is endowed with abundant reserves of minerals that are mainly found in three zones: the Canadian Shield north of the Great Lakes, the Appalachian Mountains in the east, and the mountain ranges of the west; the Canadian Shield contains substantial iron ore, nickel, copper, gold, uranium, and diamonds; the Appalachians yield lead, zinc, and iron ore; the western mountain zone has significant deposits of copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, uranium, silver, and gold
three leading oil-producing areas
along and offshore from the Gulf Coast, where the floor of the Gulf of Mexico is yielding a growing share of the output; in the Midcontinent District from western Texas to eastern Kansas; along Alaska's North Slope facing the Arctic Ocean
Canada's tar sands
an important development is taking place in Canada's northeastern Alberta, where oil is being drawn from deposits of tar sands in the vicinity of the boomtown of Fort McMurray; the process is expensive and can reward investors only when the price of oil is comparatively high, but the reserves of oil estimated to be contained in the tar sands may exceed those of Saudi Arabia; in 2008, when the price of oil skyrocketed, activity in this area soared; when the price dropped later that year, production slowed--only to rebound again in 2009; it is a pattern that is likely to continue for years to come
three main-producing coal regions
the coal reserves of North America, perhaps the largest on the planet, are found in Appalachia, beneath the great plains of the United States as well as Canada, and in the southern Midwest among other places; these reserved guarantee an adequate supply for centuries to come, although coal has become a less desirable fuel due to its polluting emissions that contribute to global warming
Silicon Valley locational dynamics
Northern California's Silicon Valley, the world's leading center for computer research and development an the headquarters of the United States' microprocessor industry, illustrates the locational dynamics of this newest sector of the spatial economy; proximity to Stanford, a world-class research university; not far from cosmopolitan San Francisco; the availability of a large pool of highly educated and skilled workers; a strong business culture; ample local investment capital; good housing; and a scenic area with good weather, all combining to make Silicon Valley a prototype for similar developments elsewhere, and not just in North America; under different names (technopolis is used in Brazil, France, and Japan; science park in China, Taiwan, and South Korea), such ultramodern, campus-like complexes symbolize the information-dominated era just as the smoke-belching factory did the industrial age of the past
overal structure of the modern North American metropolis
polycentric; resembles a pepperoni pizza in its typical form; the traditional central business district (CBD) still tends to be situated at the center, much of its former cross-traffic diverted by beltways; but the outer city's CBD-scale nodes are ultramodern and thriving; efforts to attract businesses and more affluent residents back to the old CBD sometimes involve the construction of multiple-use high-rises that often displace low-income residents, resulting in conflicts and lawsuits; the revitalization and upgrading, or gentrification, of crumbling downtown area neighborhoods raises real-estate values as well as taxes, which tends to drive lower-income, long-time residents from their homes; restoring the old CBDs and their immediate surroundings may be attainable in some central cities, but the growth and development of large interconnected metropolitan regions marked by multiple urban centers is certain to continue
the popular name given to the southern tier of the United States, which is anchored by the mega-states of California, Texas, and Florida; its warmer climate, superior recreational opportunities, and other amenities have been attracting large numbers of relocating people and activities since the 1960s; broader definitions also include much of the western United States, even Colorado and the coastal Pacific Northwest
six major migrations of the past century
the still-continuing shift to the west and south is only the latest; the persistent growth of metropolitan areas, first triggered by the late-nineteenth-century Industrial Revolution's impact in North America; the large-scale movement of African Americans from the rural south to the urban North during the height of the industrial era; the shift of tens of millions of urban residents from central cities to suburbs and subsequently to exurbs even farther away from the urban core; the return migration of millions of African Americans from the deindustrializing North back to growing opportunities in the South (in metropolises such as Atlanta and Charlotte); the strong and steady influx of immigrants from outside North America including in recent times, Cubans, Mexicans, and other Latinos; South Asians from India and Pakistan; and East and Southeast Asians from Hong Kong, Vietnam, and the Philippines
estimated number of illegal immigrants
in 2010, an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants from Mexico were in the United States at a time when the Hispanic minority had already become the country's largest (about 50 million or 16 percent of the total population)--transforming neighborhoods, cities, and even entire regions
created in 1999 this newest Territory is the outcome of a major aboriginal land claim agreement between the Inuit people (formerly called Eskimos) and the federal government, and encompasses all of Canada's eastern Arctic as far north as Ellesmere Island, an area far larger than any other province or territory; with one-fifth of Canada's total area, Nunavut, which means "our land," has about 34,000 residents, of whom 80 percent are Inuit
First Nations
name given Canada's indigenous people of American descent, whose U.S. counterparts are called Native Americans; a foremost concern of these people is that their aboriginal rights be protected by the federal government against the provinces of which they are a part; this is especially true for the First Nations of Quebec, the Cree, whose historic domain covers the northern half of the province; secured the right to control their own economic and community development
cross-border linkages
already strongly developed; likely to intensify in the future: the Atlantic Provinces with neighboring New England; Quebec with New York State; Ontario with western Michigan and adjacent Midwestern States; the Prairie provinces with the upper Midwest; and British Columbia with the Pacific Northwest (U.S.); the ties between two closely-connected localities or regions that face each other across an international boundary; these relationships are often longstanding, and intensify further as supranationalism proceeds (especially among the neighboring countries of western Europe); such ties (ex: neighboring southwestern Ontario and southeastern Michigan) propel movements of people and goods across that stretch of the U.S.-Canada border
when spelled with a lower-case m, a synonym for conurbation, one of the large coalescing supercities forming in diverse parts of the world; when capitalized, refers specifically to the multimetropolitan (Bosnywash) corridor that extends along the northeastern U.S. seaboard from north of Boston to south of Washington D.C.; in the 1950s, geographer Jean Gottman combined the Greek words "megalo" (great) and "polis" (city) to describe these coalescing metropolitan areas; Megalopolis (north of Boston to south of Washington D.C.) was the economic anchor of the North American core area: the seat of the U.S. government, the nucleus of business and finance, the hearth of culture, and the trans-Atlantic trading interface between much of the realm and Europe
Canada's Main Street
Canada's predominant megalopolis is its most highly urbanized zone extending from Windsor (adjacent to Detroit) through Toronto to Montreal and Quebec City; urban geographers call this Windsor-Quebec axis Main Street, and it also forms part of the realm's core area
core's dominance declining or increasing
the dominance of the historic North American Core has been declining
long lots
the French cultural imprint on the region's cities and towns is matched in the rural areas by narrow, rectangular long lots perpendicular to the river, also of French origin
what the Arcadians of New Brunswick promote
the largest cluster in Canada of French-speakers outside Quebec; not only do they reject the notion of independence for themselves, but they also promote actively all efforts to keep Quebec within the Canadian federation; accommodation with the Anglophone majority and acceptance of multiculturalism in New Brunswick set an example for the rest of French Canada
which two regions represent the old South
Appalachia and rural Mississippi still represent the Old South, where depressed farming areas and stagnant small industries restrict both incomes and change
Miami: as a world city, compare to L.A.
South Florida's largest urban center; emerged in the 1980s as an important world city and is often viewed as a sort of safety valve between the hemispheres north and south; this new role is certainly as result of the growth of its large, well-educated Hispanic population; also note Miami's longitude: it is not only located at the southern end of North America's Atlantic Seaboard, but also lies on the same meridian as Guayaquil, Ecuador, the westernmost major city in South America; Miami's relative location compared to that of Los Angeles (three time zones to the west) makes clear why Miami is far better connected to countries such as Brazil, Colombia, and Venezuela--while L.A.'s southern linkages are almost entirely with Mexico, L.A. is mainly a part of the Pacific Rim, whereas Miami is the realm's most important world city focused on the Americas
tar sands photo caption
as the price of a barrel of oil (and a gallon of gasoline) rises, it becomes profitable to derive oil from sources other than liquid reserves; the Canadian province of ALberta contains vast deposits of "oil sands" in which the petroleum is mixed with sand, requiring a relatively expensive and complicated process to extract it; the quantity of oil locked in these Athabasca tar sands is estimated to constitute one of the world's largest reserves, and this huge open-pit mining project is under way around the town of Fort McMurray to recover it; given the enormous size of the area to be mined, exploitation is not without its environmental critics; those who assume that Canada will sell this oil to the United States should be aware that the Chinese are offering to fund construction of a pipeline across the mountains to Canada's Pacific Coast; the rising cost of oil has political as well as economic ramifications