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com/ IB World Geography September 9, 2009
Population Demographics, Cont.
Cultural Factors humanCultural ecology is the geographic study of human-environment interactions. Some 19th century geographers argued that human actions were scientifically cause by environmental conditions an approach conditions, called environmental determinism Modern geographers reject this approach in favor of Possibilism determinism. Possibilism, arguing that the physical environment may limit some human actions, but people can adjust to their environment. People choose a course of action among alternatives in the environment, and endow the physical environment with cultural values by treating it as substances for use, a collection of resources For resources. example, the climate of any location influences human activities, especially food production. Human and Physical Factors Human geographers use this cultural ecology, or human-environment approach, to explain many global issues. issues People can adjust to the capacity of the physical environment by controlling their population growth, technologies, foods, locations, growth adopting new technologies consuming different foods migrating to new locations and other actions. A people’s level of wealth can also influence its attitudes toward modifying the environment environment. Modern technology has altered the relationship between people and the environment. Physical Processes: Climate Geography students need some familiarity with global environmental processes to understand the distribution of human activities. C limate is the long-term average weather condition at a particular location. Geographers frequently classify climates according to a system developed by German climatologist Vladimir Koppen, Koppen which divided the world’s climate into 5 zones: Tropical (Equatorial), Dry (Arid), Temperate, Cold(Snow), Polar Cold(Snow) and Pola r . The climate of a particular location influences human activities, especially production of the food needed to survive. Physical Processes: Vegetation Some form of plant life covers nearly the entire land surface of the Earth. Earht’s land vegetation includes 4 major forms of plant communities, called biomes forest savanna grassland and desert Their location biomes: forest, savanna, grassland, desert. and extent are influenced by both climate and human activities Vegetation and soil, in turn, influence the activities. types of agriculture that people practice in a particular region. Physical Processes: Soil Soil, Soil the material that form son the Earth’s surface, is the thin interface between the air and the rocks. Not merely dirt, the soil contains nutrients necessary for successful growth of plants, including those useful to humans. The U.S. Comprehensive Soil Classification System divides global soil types into 10 orders. The orders are subdivided into suborders, great groups, subgroups, families, and series. More than 12,000 soil types have been identified in the U.S. alone. Two basic problems contribute to the destruction of soil: erosion and depletion of nutrients nutrients.
http://guidesbyjulie.blogspot.com/ IB World Geography September 9, 2009
Population Demographics, Cont.
Physical Processes: Landforms Geographers find that the study of Earth’s landforms landforms—a science known as geomorphology geomorphology—helps to explain the distribution of people and the choice of economic activities at different locations. Geographers use topographic maps to study the relief and slope of localities. Relief is the difference in elevation between any two points. It measures the extent to which an area is flat or hilly. Space: Distribution Features Geographers think about the arrangements of people and activities found in space and try to understand why those people and activities are distributed across space as they are. Distribution is the arrangement of a feature in space. Geographers identify 3 main properties of distribution across Earth: density density, concentration, pattern. concentration and pattern Density density, Density is the frequency with which something occurs in space. Arithmetic density which is the total area, number of objects in an area is commonly used to compare the distribution of population in different countries. It involves 2 measures: the number of people and the land area A large population does not area. necessarily lead to a high density. Physiological density is the number of people per unit of arable (suitable land. density. for agriculture) land The number of farmers per unit of area is called agricultural density A more recent measurement of density is housing density which is the number of dwelling units per area. density, Concentration is the extent of a feature’s diffusion over space. Clustered objects are close together, dispersed are far apart. organization Pattern is the organi zation of features within a given area.