All Notes for GEOG 2253

Decline

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Unformatted text preview: opical ecosystems of Americas (Western Hemisphere) Relatively isolated flora and fauna Between the Tropic of Cancer and Tropic of Capricorn Inspired Darwin’s theory of evolution (Galapagos) Environmental Issues— Large size and low population density Equals Moderated environmental damage Less environmental degradation than East Asia or Europe Huge areas relatively untouched Latin America has the opportunity to avoid mistakes that other regions have made Deforestation and loss of biodiversity is main issue Deforestation Grassification— Degradation of farmlands 2/13/12 Deforestation— Deforestation: Destruction of tropical rainforests Causes: commercial logging, agriculture, settlement, ranching Grassification—conversion of tropical forest to pasture (for cattle grazing) Some deforestation linked to trade in gold and coca leaf (for cocaine production) Affected regions: Atlantic coastal forests of Brazil and Pacific forests of Central America 1/5th of the Amazon deforested in last 40 years Environmental issues—discussion— Tropical rain forests cover only 6% of the Earth’s landmass, but at lest 50% of the world’s species are found in this biome We are losing 137 plant, animal and insect species every single day due to rainforest deforestation. That equates to 50,000 species a year InBrazil alone, European colonists have destroyed more than 90 indigenous tribes since the 19000s Knowledge of plants are lost The Amazon rainforests is an important global resource that is being exploited Degradation of farmlands Modern agriculture is squeezing out indigenous crops Industrialized farming is pushing substances farms to marginal areas Urban sprawl Loss of native plant diversity Soil erosion Chemical fertilizers and pesticides Contaminate local water Exposure to chemicals—rashes, burns, birth defects Climate— In tropical Latin America— Temperatures have little variation Precipitation extremely variable (wet & dry seasons) In midlatitude Latin America—...
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