Geography CH 9 - The Geographic Setting 1 There are few...

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The Geographic Setting 1. There are few flat surfaces in East Asia. Those that are flat are often either too cold or dry for human use. What adaptations do East Asians make to be able to use this land? They have cleared and terraced entire mountain ranges using only simple hand tools, irrigated drylands with water from melted snow, drained wetlands using elaborate levees and dams, and applied their complex knowledge of horticulture and animal husbandry to help plans and animals flourish in difficult conditions. 2. Describe the characteristics of the four steps of East Asia’s landforms. Discuss human habitation in each of the four steps; understand the reasons for very densely populated areas, as well as sparsely populated areas. Top step is the Plateau of Tibet. Many of the rivers of China and Southeast Asian mainland have their headwaters along the eastern rim of this plateau Second step down is a broad arc of basins, plateaus, and low mountain ranges. These landforms include deep, dry basins and deserts of Xinjiang and Qinghai, to the north of the Plateau of Tibet, and the broad, rolling highland grasslands and deserts of the Mongolian Plateau northeast of Xinjiang. East of Xinjiang, this step also includes the upper portions of China’s two great river basins, through which flow the Huang He and, farther east and south, the Chiang Jiang. Far to the south is the rugged Yunnan—Guizhou Plateau, which is dominated by a system of deeply folded mountains and valleys that bends south through the Southeast Asian peninsula. Middle portions of the Nu(Salween), Mekong, and Red rivers are found here. The third step, directly east of this upload zone, consists mainly of broad coastal plains and the deltas of China’s great rivers, with intervening low mountains and hills toward the south. Starting from the south is a series of three large lowland river basins: the Zhu Jiang (Pearl River) basin, the massive Chang Jiang basin, and the Huang He lowland basin on the North China Plain. China’s Far Northeast, The Korean Peninsula, and westernmost parts of southern Siberia are also part of this third step. The fourth step consists of the continental shelf, covered by the waters of the Yellow Sea, the East China Sea, and the South China Sea. Numerous islands— including Hong Kong, Hainan, and Taiwan—are anchored on this continental shelf all are part of the Asian landmass. 3. Compare the climate, vegetation, and population of the dry continental western zone and the monsoon east. The Dry Interior o Because land heats up and cools off more rapidly than water, locations in the middle of large landmasses in the mid-latitudes tend to experience intense cold in winter and intense heat in summer. Because there is too little vegetation or cloud cover to retain the warmth of the sun after nightfall, the difference between summer daytime and nighttime temperatures may be as much as 100F.
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o Grasslands and deserts of several varieties cover most of the land in this dry region. Only scattered forests grow on the few relatively well-watered
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