Chapter Introduction Section 1: Physical Features Section 2: Climate Regions Visual Summary Place South Asia has a varied landscape that includes the highest mountains in the world as well as lowlands that rise just a few feet above sea level. The region also has a variety of climate zones. How do seasonal weather patterns affect a region? Section 1: Physical Features Geographic factors influence where people settle. Some parts of South Asia have mountains and deserts and are not heavily settled. Other areas of the region have fertile farmlands that support large populations. Section 2: Climate Regions The physical environment affects people. The climate in much of South Asia is marked by contrasts—heavy rainfall during part of the year, and extreme dryness in other periods. If there is too little or too much rainfall, millions of lives are threatened. Geographic factors influence where people settle. Content Vocabulary • subcontinent • delta • atoll • lagoon Academic Vocabulary • eventual • concentration Perched on thin poles driven into the seabed, fishermen in South Asia use baitless hooks without barbs to snare mackerel and herring. On a good day, a fisherman can catch up to 1,000 fish. Each village claims its own section of reef for fishing, and local law prohibits fishing from boats or using nets to catch fish. The stilt fishermen’s poles are passed down from father to son. Read this section to find out how the geography of this region has shaped people’s lives and the area’s economy. Climate influences population density. A. Strongly agree B. Somewhat agree C. Disagree D. Don’t know 0% A A. B. C. 0% D. B A B C 0% D C 0% D Nepal has at least one feature no other country on Earth has—the greatest difference between its geographical low point and high point. Nepal’s physical low point is sea level, and its high point is the top of Mt. Everest, at 29,035 feet (8,850 m), or nearly 5½ miles (9 km). Landforms and Resources The geography of South Asia varies from towering mountains to lowland river plains. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • Most of the seven South Asian countries of India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal, Bhutan, Sri Lanka, and the Maldives are located on the Indian subcontinent, or large landmass that is a part of a continent. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • The Hindu Kush, the Karakoram, and the Himalaya Mountains form South Asia’s northern edge and separate the subcontinent from the rest of Asia. • The Himalaya range is the highest mountain system in the world and includes Mount Everest, the tallest mountain in the world, in Nepal. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • With their rugged terrain and harsh climate, the Himalaya protected Nepal and Bhutan from outside influence until the 1900s. • People from the north, though, entered other parts of South Asia through narrow mountain passes in the Hindu Kush. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • The most famous of these is the Khyber Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan, a passageway to India for trading caravans and armies. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • About 60 million years ago, the South Asian subcontinent was part of the same landmass as Africa. • Then the subcontinent broke away, drifted across the Indian Ocean, and collided with the southern edge of Asia. • The force of this collision thrust up the Hindu Kush, the Karakoram, and the Himalaya. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • Plate movements are still going on, resulting in South Asia’s northern mountains growing a tiny bit taller every year and causing destructive earthquakes throughout the region. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • South of South Asia’s mountains are wide, fertile plains that are watered by the region’s three great rivers—the Indus, the Ganges, and the Brahmaputra. • The people of the region have long depended on these rivers for farming, transportation, and trade. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • The Indus River begins Tibet, China, and flows through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea. • The Ganges flows from the Himalaya through India’s Ganges Plain, a vast lowland with some of the country’s richest soil and home to about 40 percent of India’s population. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • The Ganges River runs through Bangladesh where it combines with the Brahmaputra River to form the world’s largest delta, or soil deposit at the mouth of a river. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • At the base of the subcontinent are two chains of eroded coastal mountains—the Eastern Ghats and the Western Ghats. • Between them lies a highland area known as the Deccan Plateau. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • The Western Ghats block seasonal rains from reaching the plateau, leaving it extremely dry. • The Karnataka Plateau south of the Deccan Plateau receives these rains instead, so the hills there are lush and green. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • Sri Lanka, an island nation, lies off the southeast coast of India. • The country has a small pocket of highlands in the interior made up of ridges, valleys, and steep cliffs. • Coastal lowlands encircle these highlands and cover more than 80 percent of the island. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • Maldives, which lies off India’s western coast, is one of the smallest countries in the world. • Maldives includes more than 1,300 islands, though people live on only about 200 of them. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • Many of the islands are atolls, circularshaped islands made of coral—a rocklike material formed from the skeletons of tiny sea creatures. • Atolls have a shallow body of water in the center called a lagoon. • The outer ring of the island protects the lagoon from the sea. Landforms and Resources (cont.) • Hydroelectricity is an important energy source for the region. • These plants provide power and also control flooding, which is a serious problem for South Asians. How do scientists believe the northern mountain ranges in South Asia were formed? A. Earthquakes B. Erosion C. Tectonic plate movement D. Meteors A. A B. B C 0%C. 0% A D.B D 0% C 0% D Environmental Concerns South Asia’s growing population is creating more demand for food and fuel and threatening the region’s environment. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • South Asia has more than 20 percent of the world’s people living on 3 percent of the world’s land, and the population is increasing. • This growth seriously affects the environment. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • Problems resulting from greater numbers of people include threats to the water, the forests, and the air. • An increased need for animal products results first in more livestock. • Grasslands are drying up because of overgrazing. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • The region’s freshwater supplies are lowered by South Asia’s huge concentration of people; the region’s long dry seasons; wasteful irrigation methods; and old, leaky distribution pipes in the cities. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • To meet the demand for water, South Asian countries are tapping underground aquifers. • In urban areas, however, saltwater is entering the aquifers, making the water less useful. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • The Ganges River is among the most polluted waterways in the world. • The water it brings to urban areas is dirtied by sewage, runoff from factories, and waste products. • Even the rivers of rural Nepal are seriously polluted from farm fertilizers. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • Most of South Asia’s land was cleared centuries ago, but many of the forests that remain are now being cut down to provide building materials and fuel for heating and cooking. • People need the cleared land for crops, so trees are rarely replanted after they are cut down, even though the clearing of trees has led to erosion and flooding. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • Nepal and India have introduced programs at the local level to limit forest loss. • Villages are given control of managing nearby woodlands. • As encouragement to restore cut areas, they are allowed to receive all the income from the sale of wood products. Environmental Concerns (cont.) • Air pollution—caused by automobile exhaust in the cities and by burning wood, kerosene, charcoal, or animal dung for heating and cooking in the rural areas—is another challenge in parts of South Asia. Population increases in South Asia threaten its environment. A. True B. False A. A B. B 0% B A 0% The physical environment affects people. Content Vocabulary • monsoon • cyclone Academic Vocabulary • distinct • contrast • vary • survive This long-haired, short-legged, oxlike mammal of the Himalaya is a yak. The Sherpas of Nepal call the male of the species “yak” and the females “nak.” The yak is a valued animal in this part of the world. In a region where climate limits plant growth, the yaks can eat the low-quality scrub found in the area. The yak produces high-fat milk and is a source of lean meat. Its wool is used to make clothing and tents. Yaks are also a reliable source of transportation in this rocky, mountainous region. They are as stable on their feet as mountain goats. Read this section to learn more about the climates in South Asia and the effects they have on the animals and people who live there. The physical environment has an effect on the way people live. A. Strongly agree B. Somewhat agree C. Disagree D. Don’t know 0% A A. B. C. 0% D. B A B C 0% D C 0% D Scientists studying South Asian monsoons since the mid-1900s have discovered that the amount of rainfall per year has stayed the about the same but that the amount of rain that falls at one time has changed. These heavier rains put the countries at risk of disastrous floods and mudslides, many of which have already occurred. Monsoons Seasonal dry and wet winds are the major factor shaping South Asia’s climate. Monsoons (cont.) • Much of South Asia experiences three distinct, or unique, seasons—hot, wet, and cool—which depend on seasonal winds called monsoons. • In the low-lying delta of Bangladesh, monsoons often cause devastating floods that kill people and livestock, ruin crops, destroy homes, and wipe out roads. Monsoons (cont.) • The monsoon rains are heaviest in eastern South Asia. When the rains sweep over the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, the Himalaya block them from moving north. • Instead, the rains move west to the Ganges Plain, bringing water needed for farming. South Asia: Winter and Summer Monsoons Monsoons (cont.) • The high temperatures of the hot season and the rains of the wet season allow farmers to grow crops such as rice, but the heat also causes water to evaporate quickly and dries out the soil. Monsoons (cont.) • The rains from the monsoon winds in Bangladesh and the Ganges Plain help crop grow well there, but areas outside the monsoon’s path—such as the Deccan Plateau and western Pakistan—may receive little or no yearly rainfall. • If there is no rain, or not enough, some areas become scorched, or burnt, by drought. Monsoons (cont.) • Another kind of weather disaster often strikes South Asia. • A cyclone is a storm with high winds and heavy rains. Which of the climate problems in South Asia are good for growing crops? A. Drought B. Monsoon C. Blizzard D. Cyclone 0% A A. B. C. 0% D. B A B C 0% D C 0% D Climate Zones South Asia’s climate zones are affected by location, landforms, and monsoon winds. Climate Zones (cont.) • In the north and the west of South Asia, the climates vary greatly, ranging from cold in the highlands of the Himalaya to intensely hot in the deserts around the Indus River. • Much of south central India has a tropical dry climate, with a short wet season and a long dry season. • Bangladesh and southern Sri Lanka, by contrast, have a tropical wet, or rain forest, climate. Climate Zones (cont.) • South Asia’s tropical regions have the heaviest rainfalls from the wet monsoons. • Most of Bangladesh gets 100 inches (254 cm) of rain per year. • The city of Cherrapunji in northeastern India receives an annual rainfall of up to 450 inches (1,143 cm), making it one of the wettest spots on Earth. Climate Zones (cont.) • The wet monsoons do not reach the lower Indus River area, which stays dry and windswept. • The climate becomes humid and subtropical north to the Ganges Plain. • This area has high temperatures, with muggy summers but fairly dry winters. Climate Zones (cont.) • Highland climates are found along South Asia’s northern mountainous edge. • Above 16,000 feet (4,877 m), temperatures are always below freezing, so the snow never disappears and little vegetation can survive. Climate Zones (cont.) • Farther down the mountain slopes, the climate turns more temperate. • In Nepal’s Kathmandu Valley, January temperatures average a mild 50°F (10°C), and the average July temperature is a pleasant 78°F (26°C). The following are all climates of South Asia EXCEPT: A. Tropical B. Arctic C. Highland D. Desert 0% A A. B. C. 0% D. B A B C 0% D C 0% D Mountains and Plains • Three of the world’s largest mountain chains stretch across northern South Asia. • The Indus, Ganges, and Brahmaputra Rivers bring water to South Asia’s heavily populated plains. • Highlands and lowlands dominate southern India. Islands • Sri Lanka has a highland interior and surrounding coastal lowlands. • Maldives includes islands that are coral atolls. Natural Resources • India has most of South Asia’s natural resources. • South Asian countries need to import energy resources, such as oil and natural gas. • Hydroelectric power is a promising energy source for South Asia. Environment • South Asia’s large population has put pressure on limited water resources. • South Asian countries are trying to protect their few remaining forests. • Exhaust from more vehicles and burning wood for fuel have increased air pollution. Climate Patterns • Monsoons, or seasonal winds, dominate South Asia’s climate. • Farmers depend on the monsoons to grow crops. • Cyclones, or powerful storms, can cause damage to coastal lowlands. Climate Zones • Much of South Asia is tropical, although the region also has temperate, desert, and highland climates. • South Asia’s tropical areas receive heavy rainfall. subcontinent large landmass that is part of a continent delta area formed by soil deposits at the mouth of a river atoll circular shaped islands made of coral lagoon shallow body of water in the center of an atoll monsoon seasonal winds that blow steadily from the same direction for several months at a time but change directions at other times of the year cyclone a storm with high winds and heavy rains eventual happening at a later time concentration large amount in one area distinct clearly different from one another vary to be different contrast showing the difference between two things when they are compared survive to remain alive To use this Presentation Plus! product: Click the Forward button to go to the next slide. Click the Previous button to return to the previous slide. 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