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Geog. 120 Notes

Geog. 120 Notes - Aral Sea Lake Balqash shrinking o...

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Introduction o Large, compact, remote region within the Eurasian landmass o Until 1991, the region contained only two independent countries, Mongolia and Afghanistan o Soviet Union's breakup added several independent countries to the region o After Sept. 11, Central Asia became more familiar to Americans o Historically, Central Asia has been weakly integrated into international trade networks Environmental Geography o Major Environmental Issues Shrinking Aral Sea Use of water from rivers feeding the sea for irrigation 60% of the sea's total volume has disappeared Economic and cultural damages Relatively clean environment due to low population density Desertification The Gobi Desert has gradually spread southward Desertification in northern Kazakhstan Much of the region has been deforested Shrinking and Expanding Lakes Caspian Sea - world's largest lake; construction of reservoirs on the Volga River is diverting water from Caspian Sea, reducing its volume and area
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Unformatted text preview: Aral Sea - Lake Balqash shrinking o Physical Regions • Central Asian Highlands Formed by collision of Indian subcontinent into Asian mainland • Himalayas, Karakoram Range, Pamir Mountains • Pamir Knot - a tangle of mountains where Pakistan, Afghanistan, China, and Tajikistan converge • Hindu Kush, Kunlun Shan, Tien Shan: peaks over 20,000 ft • Tibetan Plateau - source area of many of Asia's large rivers • Plains and Basins Central Asia's Desert Belt • Arid plains of the Caspian and Aral Seas to the west • Kara Kum and Kyzyl Kum Deserts • Taklamakan Desert in the Tarim Basin • Steppe and taiga in the north o Climates • Central Asia is a dry region dominated by desert and steppe climates. Arid conditions prevail even in the highlands. Central Asia is located in the interior of a large continent; its continental climate is characterized by significant differences between summer and winter temperatures....
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Geog. 120 Notes - Aral Sea Lake Balqash shrinking o...

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