Chapter 22 - Burnet Middle School

Chapter Introduction
Section 1: Physical
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
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
A. Strongly agree
B. Somewhat agree
C. Disagree
D. Don’t know
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
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
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
• 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
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
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
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
0%C. 0%
Environmental Concerns
South Asia’s growing
population is creating more
demand for food and fuel and
threatening the region’s
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
• This growth seriously affects the
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
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
Environmental Concerns (cont.)
• To meet the demand for water, South
Asian countries are tapping underground
• 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
• 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
• 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
• 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
The physical environment affects
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
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.
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
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
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
A. Drought
B. Monsoon
C. Blizzard
D. Cyclone
Climate Zones
South Asia’s climate zones
are affected by location,
landforms, and monsoon
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 Zones
• 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
• 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
• 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
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.
• 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.
• 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.
large landmass that is part of a
area formed by soil deposits at the
mouth of a river
circular shaped islands made of coral
shallow body of water in the center of
an atoll
seasonal winds that blow steadily
from the same direction for several
months at a time but change
directions at other times of the year
a storm with high winds and heavy
happening at a later time
large amount in one area
clearly different from one another
to be different
showing the difference between two
things when they are compared
to remain alive
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