geog_7 - CH: 7 Southwest Asia and North Africa Region...

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CH: 7 Southwest Asia and North Africa Region extends 4,000 miles b/t Morocco’s Atlantic coastline and Iran’s eastern boundary with Pakistan. Middle East is a zone of conflicting cultures and politics between the Jewish, Christians, and Islamic peoples. The area is in the global economic spotlight b/c of its extraordinary petroleum resources. Regions economic geography reveals great differences in wealth; this region has been a pivotal human crossroads for thousands of years and is known as a cultural hearth : an area of many cultural innovations. OPEC (Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries) includes many key members found in this region. The region’s strategic importance has made it increasingly vulnerable to outside influences. Islamic fundamentalism : a movement within the Shiite and Sunni Muslim traditions to return to a more conservative, religious-based society and state; also it rejects the western culture and blames the West for creating poverty in their world. This can be seen as the disruptive role globalization has played. Environmental Geography - a lengthy legacy of human settlement has left its mark on a fragile environment, and the entire region will be faced with increasingly daunting ecological problems in the decades ahead o Legacies of Vulnerable Landscape Socotra’s isolation off the Yemen coast has resulted in a unique environmental setting of exotic plants found to be nowhere else on earth. Vast deserts dominate much of the physical setting. Long human occupancy has contributed to deforestation, irrigation-induced salinization, and expanding desertification. Managing Water Long-term environmental price will far outweigh any immediate and short- lived gains in agricultural production. Egypt’s Aswan High Dam completed in 1970 on the Nile River south of Cairo; promoted more year-round cropping and expansion of cultivated land along the Nile; greatly increased salinization with accumulating sediments Libya’s “Great Man-made River” taps fossil water , underground water stored during wetter climatic periods; being depleted more rapidly than being recharged Hydropolitics: interplay of water resource issues and politics, raised tensions between countries that share drainage basins. The Jordan river system Israelis fear Palestinian and Syrian pollution, Jordanians argue for more water from Syria. o Regional Landforms Maghreb region includes Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia; varies between rocky plateaus (Atlas mtns) and extensive lowlands Levant , or Middle Eastern region, is more mountainous Arabian Peninsula forms a massive tilted plateau North and East of Arabian Peninsula are the great two upland areas of SW Asia: the Iranian and Anatolian plateaus o Patterns of Climate Aridity dominates large portions of the region from western Morocco to eastern Iran where subtropical high-pressure systems offer only limited opportunities for precipitation.
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Mild midlatitude climates with wet winters are found near the Mediterranean
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This note was uploaded on 05/03/2008 for the course GEOG 202 taught by Professor O'reilly during the Spring '07 term at Texas A&M.

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geog_7 - CH: 7 Southwest Asia and North Africa Region...

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