Chapter 16 - Burnet Middle School

Chapter Introduction
Section 1: Physical
Section 2: Climate Regions
Visual Summary
Interaction If you rode in a
car or a bus to school today,
that vehicle’s fuel probably
came from the region of North
Africa, Southwest Asia, and
Central Asia. This region is the
world’s leading producer of
petroleum and natural gas—
two of the main energy
sources that power modern
society. How have natural
resources made this region
a key player in world affairs?
Section 1:
Physical Features
The physical environment affects
how people live. For centuries, the
people of North Africa, Southwest
Asia, and Central Asia have adapted
to survive in this dry region. During
the past century, however, the
increasing global need for petroleum
and natural gas has brought new
wealth and changing lifestyles to
the area.
Section 2:
Climate Regions
Places reflect the relationship
between humans and the physical
environment. Many areas of North
Africa, Southwest Asia, and Central
Asia have harsh environments. As a
result, people have settled in areas
that can support large populations,
such as river valleys. One of the
most important challenges facing the
region’s people is how to manage
water resources to meet their current
needs while protecting supplies for
the future.
The physical environment affects
how people live.
Content Vocabulary
• silt
• phosphate
• alluvial plain
• poaching
• sedimentary
• refinery
Academic Vocabulary
• intense
• expose
The people of Turkey’s Göreme Valley
dwell in cliffside apartments carved by
nature. These mountain homes have
storerooms on lower levels and family
living quarters that include kitchens.
Telephone-like devices allow family
members to communicate from different
floors. Wind and rain, as well as volcanoes
and earthquakes, have shaped the rock
and valleys of this land. Read on to find
out about the landforms of North Africa,
Southwest Asia, and
Central Asia.
Should the United States government
fund research for technology that
reduces our dependence upon
foreign oil?
A. Yes
A. A
B. B
B. No
According to myth, the ancient hero Hercules split a
mountain in half with his sword, forming the Strait of
Gibraltar. On the European side of the strait is the
massive Rock of Gibraltar. On the North African side is
the Jebel Musa. Together, these rocks are known as
the Pillars of Hercules.
The Region’s Landforms
This region includes a variety
of landforms that affect how
and where people live.
The Region’s Landforms (cont.)
• The region of North Africa, Southwest
Asia, and Central Asia extends from the
Atlantic coast of northwestern Africa to the
middle of Asia.
• The region is surrounded by oceans, seas,
and gulfs that have helped people trade
more easily with the rest of Africa, Asia,
and Europe.
The Region’s Landforms (cont.)
• The Strait of Gibraltar separates Africa and
Europe and links the Mediterranean Sea
with the Atlantic Ocean.
• The Dardanelles Strait, the Sea of
Marmara, and the Bosporus Strait together
link the Mediterranean and Black Seas
and separate Europe from Asia.
The Region’s Landforms (cont.)
• The Suez Canal is a human-made
waterway that allows ships to pass from
the Mediterranean Sea to the Red Sea.
• North of the Arabian Peninsula, the Strait
of Hormuz allows oil tankers to enter and
leave the Persian Gulf.
The Region’s Landforms (cont.)
• The Khyber Pass is a narrow gap between
mountains in the Hindu Kush, used for
centuries as a trade route linking
Southwest Asia to other parts of Asia.
• The ancient Egyptians relied on the Nile’s
yearly flooding, which not only supplied
water, but also carried silt—small particles
of rich soil that made the land fertile for
growing crops.
The Region’s Landforms (cont.)
• Ancient Mesopotamia was located on an
alluvial plain, an area of fertile soil left by
the flooding of the Tigris and Euphrates
Which mountain range is found in the
North Africa region?
A. Zagros
B. Hindu Kush
C. Tian Shan
D. Atlas
Natural Resources
The land in this region is rich
in energy resources.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Oil is common in the Persian Gulf because
the land is made up of sedimentary rock,
or rock created when layers of material are
hardened by the intense weight of more
materials piled above.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Over millions of years, heat and pressure
below the Earth’s surface helped turn the
remains of sea animals and plants into oil.
• Some of the region’s countries have used
the wealth gained from selling oil to
develop new industries and provide
benefits to the region’s people.
North Africa and Southwest Asia:
Oil Reserves and Production
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Television and the Internet have exposed
the cultures of the oil-rich countries to
ideas from other parts of the world.
• Sometimes this results in conflicts
between people who support new ways
and people who favor traditional customs
and values.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Coal, iron ore, and fish are also important
resources in the region, as are
phosphates, mineral salts used to make
• Only Lebanon has enough timber to
support a lumber industry.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Poaching—or illegal fishing or hunting—of
sturgeon, the fish whose eggs are used to
make caviar, has harmed the Caspian Sea
and hurt the region’s fishing industry.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• The Aral Sea was damaged during the
1960s when irrigation projects drained
water from the two main rivers that feed
the sea.
• The water in the Aral Sea also became
saltier—unfit for drinking and harmful to
the sea’s fish populations.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Farmland is both helped and harmed by
• Because the climate is dry, when irrigation
water evaporates, it leaves behind a
deposit of salt on the land that makes it
less fertile or even worthless for farming.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• The Aswan High Dam on Egypt’s upper
Nile River controls the river’s floodwaters
and enables farmers to grow and harvest
food throughout the year.
• A disadvantage of the dam is that it has
blocked the flow of silt down the river,
forcing farmers to turn to chemical
fertilizers, which can pollute the Nile.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• The Aswan High Dam also causes less
freshwater to flow downriver.
• This allows saltwater to back up into the
Nile, ruining some farmlands.
Natural Resources (cont.)
• Air pollution is a growing problem in the
• A large number of cars in the region are
older, and they release more pollutants.
• Chemicals released by refineries, the
facilities that turn petroleum into gasoline
and other products, also pollute the air.
Building dams and dikes in the Aral
Sea have resulted in:
A. Water levels rising
B. A reduction of salt levels
C. Fish stocks growing
D. All of the above
Places reflect the relationship
between humans and the physical
Content Vocabulary
• wadi
• dry farming
• erg
• aquifer
• oasis
• rationing
• steppe
• desalinization
• nomad
Academic Vocabulary
• sparse
• adequate
A shadoof looks like an abstract sculpture,
but it serves a vital purpose: watering dry
land areas in parts of North Africa. A
bucket is attached by a rope at one end of
the shadoof’s beam and balanced by a
weight at the other end. A person pulls on
the rope, which lowers the bucket into a
well, filling it with water. Releasing the
rope raises the bucket, which can then be
emptied into a ditch to water the soil.
Read the section to learn more about how
the region’s dry climate affect those who
live there.
How have water shortages affected
your life?
A. A great deal
B. Very little
C. A moderate amount
D. Not at all
Although the Sahara region has the world’s hottest
temperatures and very little rainfall, scientists believe
aquifers underneath the desert might hold as much as
4 billion gallons of water!
A Dry Region
Large areas of desert greatly
affect life in the region.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• Dry continental air masses warmed by the
sun blow over much of North Africa,
Southwest Asia, and Central Asia, creating
mostly desert land with a dry, hot climate.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• The Sahara, the world’s largest desert,
covers much of North Africa. Summer
temperatures can climb as high as 136°F
(58°C), but winter temperatures are cooler,
averaging about 55°F (13°C).
• Only about 3 inches (8 cm) of rain fall each
year in the Sahara. Dry riverbeds called
wadis fill with water when it rains.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• Most of the Sahara is dry land covered
with rock or gravel.
• About 20 percent of the desert is covered
by ergs, or large sand dunes.
• The Sahara also contains oases where
the land is fertile as a result of water from
a spring or well.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• In the south of the Arabian Peninsula lies
the Rub’ al Khali, or Empty Quarter, desert,
which averages only about 4 inches (10
cm) of rainfall per year.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• In Central Asia, rain shadow areas created
by high peaks along with dry continental
winds have formed large deserts—the
Kara-Kum and the Kyzyl Kum.
• Both deserts have hot summers but very
cold winters because they are in the
middle latitudes.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• Bordering the region’s deserts are dry,
treeless, but grassy plains called steppes.
• Steppes are found in areas north of the
Sahara, in Turkey, and to the east in
Central Asia.
• Steppe areas receive more rainfall—
between 4 and 16 inches (10 and 41 cm)
per year—than do deserts.
A Dry Region (cont.)
• Some people on the steppe live as
nomads, moving across the steppes to
find food and water for their herds.
• Others in the steppes practice dry
farming, a method in which land is left
unplanted every few years so that it can
store moisture.
Water Resources
Which region has the highest
concentration of population?
A. Highlands of Central Asia
B. Coastal areas in North Africa
C. Steppes of Turkey
D. The Arabian Peninsula
The Need for Water
The lack of water is a growing
problem in this region.
The Need for Water (cont.)
• Rainfall is sparse over much of the region,
so the growing population does not have
adequate water to meet its needs.
• A large amount of water is used to irrigate
dry farmland.
The Need for Water (cont.)
• Some countries, such as Libya, now draw
water from aquifers, or underground rock
layers though which water flows.
• Governments, such as those of Jordan
and Syria, are dealing with water
shortages by rationing, or making a
resource available to people in limited
The Need for Water (cont.)
• Another approach to managing water is
desalinization, a process for making
seawater drinkable.
Why is there a shortage of water in
these regions?
A. Rainfall is sparse.
B. Poor countries cannot afford
desalinization technology.
C. High temperatures cause
surface water to evaporate
D. All of the above
A. A
B. B
C. 0%
D. D
• The seas bordering the region provide trade
routes that connect Europe, Asia, and Africa.
• Physical features include mountains, low-lying
plains and plateaus, and coastal plains.
• Early civilizations based on agriculture developed
along several of the region’s rivers.
• Tectonic plate movements
can cause earthquakes in
some parts of the region.
Natural Resources
• The region holds much of the world’s oil and
natural gas reserves.
• Coal, iron ore, and phosphates are among the
other valuable mineral resources found in the
• Human activities have damaged the Caspian and
Aral Seas in recent decades.
• Dams and too much irrigation have made areas of
land less useful for farming.
• Air pollution is a
growing problem.
• Vast deserts with dry climates cover much of the
• The Sahara, the world’s largest desert, covers
almost all of North Africa.
• Most people live in steppe areas and coastal
plains that receive adequate rainfall.
• The region’s generally dry
climate and a growing
population have led to
a water shortage.
small particles of rich soil
alluvial plain
area built up by rich fertile soil left by
river floods
sedimentary rock
type of rock formed when layers of
sediment, or dirt from the ocean floor,
are compressed together and harden
chemical salt used to make fertilizer
illegal fishing or hunting
facility that turns petroleum into
gasoline and other products
existing in an extreme degree
to put on display; to leave without
shelter or protection
dry riverbed that fills with water when
rare rains fall in a desert
large areas of soft sands and dunes
in the Sahara
fertile area that rises in a desert
wherever water is regularly available
partly dry grassland often found on
the edges of a desert
person who lives by moving from
place to place to follow herds of
migrating animals to hunt or to lead
herds of grazing animals to fresh
dry farming
agriculture that conserves water and
uses crops and growing methods
suited to semiarid environments
underground layer of rock through
which water flows
making a resource available in limited
process of treating seawater to
remove salts and minerals and make
it drinkable
few or scattered
enough to satisfy a particular
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