chap 6 - Learning Objectives Geography of the Global...

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9/30/2011 1 Geography of the Global Village Sub-Saharan Africa GEOG 202-509 Learning Objectives Learn about Africa’s unique environmental history Understand the roles of slavery, disease, and colonization in shaping Africa Examine Africa’s economic development Understand the following concepts and models: - Apartheid - Berlin Conference - Biofuels - Horn of Africa - Sahel - Pastoralists - Refugees - Swidden - Transhumance - Kleptocracy Introduction Poorer, more rural, young population Similar livelihoods, shared colonial experience Culturally diverse, complex (colonial +native) World’s fastest-growing region >800m people; 48 states and one territory Overall, 43% people are younger than 15 years Overall, population density is low Role of slavery in colonial and post-colonial Africa Note: Sudan included in both Sub-Saharan Africa and N Africa because it shares similar characteristics South Sudan became independent from North Sudan on 9 th July 2011 Physical Environment a. Plateaus and basins High Africa: S and E • >600 m elevation • ~cool climate Rift Valley • Kenya and Tanzania • Lakes: Victoria, Tanganyika Ethiopian Plateau • Blue Nile source Great Escarpment • SW Angola to NE South Africa
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9/30/2011 2 b. Watersheds (river valleys) Congo • Flat basin • Africa’s largest tropical forest - Ituri Niger • Origin: Guinea highlands • Flows through arid Mali and Niger • Empties in humid lowlands of Nigeria Nile • World’s longest river • Origin: Rift Valley lakes; Ethiopia • Crosses Sudan Zambezi • Origin: Angola, flowing E • Energy supplier Major Watersheds in Sub-Saharan Africa Climatic Patterns Warm year-round; rainfall varies regionally Vegetation Tropical forests Africa is the largest landmass straddling the equator Congo Basin contains the second largest expanse of tropical rain forest in the world Savannas Wet and dry savannas surround central African rain forest belt Deserts Sahara, Namib, Kalahari Horn of Africa – northeastern corner (Somalia, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Eritrea) The Sahel – Sahel: ecological transition between the Sahara (N) and ~wet savannas (S) and forests (S) Desertification : desert-like conditions expand because of human action • Livelihoods transhumance : movement of animals between wet-season and dry-season pastures; animals as store of wealth + subsistence Environmental Issues Sahel: desertification? –Drought 1968-74 • “desertification” moving south – Causes? • Overgrazing • Agriculture • Natural climate change Desertification in Sub-Saharan Africa
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9/30/2011 3 Greening of Niger 7 million acres increase • Local-based conservation practices • Famers initiating the planting of goa ” tree • Nitrogen-fixing; does not compete for water or sun during the rainy season; leaves fertilize soils; reduce wind erosion; and the other parts are used for fuelwood. • In the debate over Sahel, this process
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chap 6 - Learning Objectives Geography of the Global...

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