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Blog notes

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  • 1. The Pacific World
  • 2. Australia & New Zealand
  • 3. Physical Geography Truly Unique Places  Physical features, variety of climates, unusual wildlife, & plentiful resources
  • 4. Physical Features Differ Widely Australia  Wide, flat stretches of dry land  Surrounded by water  3 million square miles (considered a continent, not just an island)  Huge plateau covers western half  Home to Uluru or Ayers Rock  Low mts., valleys, & a major river system cover eastern half  Fertile plains along the coast  Great Barrier Reef off NE coast
  • 5.  New Zealand  Green hills & tall mountains  1,000 miles SE of Australia  2 main islands  North Island:  covered by hills & coastal plains  Volcanoes, geysers, & hot springs  South Island  Large mt. range (Southern Alps  Thick forests, deep lakes, & glaciers  Fertile hills & rich plains  Fjord
  • 6. Climate Australia  Desert & steppe climates  Temps are warm & rain limited  More temperate along the coasts New Zealand  Marine climate  Plentiful rainfall & mild temps
  • 7. Wildlife & Resources Home to unique animals  Kangaroo, koala, & kiwi Australia’s Resources  World’s top producer of bauxite, lead, diamonds, & opals  Energy resources: coal, natural gas, & oil  Poor soil, but grow/raise: wheat, cotton, & sheep New Zealand  Fertile land & few mineral resources  Main resources: wool, timber, & gold
  • 8. History Similar history  Both settled by settler from the Pacific Early Settlers  Aborigines  1st humans in Australia  Came from Southeast Asia 40,000 years ago  Hunted animals & gathered food from wild plants  Had many different languages, traditions, & customs  Maori  Came 1,200 years ago to New Zealand  Were fishers & hunters  Also used farming to survive
  • 9. The Arrival of Europeans European explorers 1st sighted countries in 1600s British  1769 James Cook explored New Zealand & the following year Australia  British settled in Australia 20 years later  1st were prisoners  Other settlers came and built farms & ranches & took over Aborigines’ lands  Many died of disease  British arrived in New Zealand in 1800s.  Signed a treaty with Maori in 1840  Became part of British Empire  Tensions led to a series of wars over the land
  • 10. Independence Early 1900s independence granted to Australia & New Zealand Today both are members of the British Commonwealth of Nations Also close allies of the U.K. Helped British & allies during WWI & WWII
  • 11. Australia & New Zealand Today Both are rich and well-developed despite their isolation Government  British style gov’t influence  British monarch is head of state in both countries  Both have parliamentary democracies  Citizens elect members to represent them in parliament  Both have prime minister  Prime minister & Parliament runs the gov’t  Both have similar features of U.S. gov’t  Federal system (central power shares power w/ states)  Parliament consists of two houses (House of Reps & Senate)  Bill of Rights protects individual rights of New Zealand’s citizens
  • 12. Economy Rich, economically developed country Agriculture is very important Leading producer of wool Both export meat & Dairy products Mining is also important  Bauxite, gold, & uranium in the Outback Industries  steel, heavy machines, & computers Banking, insurance, & tourism
  • 13. People Diverse populations  Most are of British ancestry  Many groups from around the world have migrated to both countries in recent years  Native groups make up small % of populations Challenge  Improving economic & political status of Aborigines & Maori Most live in urban areas  90% of Australians live in large cities along the coasts  10 % in the Outback  In New Zealand most people live on North Island
  • 14. The Pacific Islands
  • 15. Pacific Islands 3 Regions:  Melanesia  Micronesia  Polynesia  Regions have high & low islands
  • 16.  High islands  2 types:  Oceanic = formed by volcanoes rising from the sea floor  Tahiti & Hawaii  Continental = formed from continental rock; lie on Australia’s continental shelf  New Guinea: world’s second largest island; Mt. range stretches across the central part (highest peak reaches 16,535 feet); western part is called Irian Jaya & is part of Indonesia; Papua New Guinea occupies eastern half of island Low Islands  Most made of coral  Barely rise above sea level  Many are atolls
  • 17. Climate & Resources All but 2 island countries lie in the tropics  Most have humid tropical climate  Temps are warm & rainfall is common all year  Some islands have tropical savanna climate (rain falls mostly in summer)  Cool highland climate also found  Mts. of New Guinea Resources vary widely  Low Islands have few resources  Little freshwater & thin soil limit farming  Smaller populations  Coconut palms & the sea are important sources of food  High Islands have freshwater, good soils, & forest resources  Farms produce crops such as coffee, cocoa, bananas, & sugarcane  New Guinea has copper, gold, silver, & oil  Mining difficult due to rugged highlands & dense tropical forests
  • 18. History & Culture One of last places settle by humans Because of isolation they have unique history & culture
  • 19. Early History People began to settle Pacific Islands 35,000 years ago Melanesia was first to be settled 1500s  Europeans encountered Pacific Islands  James Cook explored all the main Pacific Island regions 1800s  Spain, U.K., & France controlled most of the Pacific Islands
  • 20. Modern History 1900s  Other countries entered the Pacific Islands  U.S. defeated Spain in Spanish-American War & Guam became a U.S. territory (an area that is under the authority of another gov’t)  Japan expanded empire into Pacific Ocean  During WWII Pacific Islands were place of battles between Allied & Japanese forces  U.N. placed some islands under its control at the end of WWII Many islands became independent in the late 1900s U.S., France, & New Zealand still have territories in Pacific Islands
  • 21. Culture Variety of cultures exist Some traits are common throughout the Pacific Islands  Fishing People  9 million live in Pacific Islands today  Most are descendents of original settlers  Also includes large #’s of Asians (Indians & Chinese) & Europeans  Asians were brought to work on colonial plantations
  • 22.  Before Europeans Pacific Island people practiced hundreds of different religions  Today most are Christians Traditions  Many continue to practice traditional customs  Construct homes of bamboo & palm leaves  Live in ancient villages, practice ancient art styles, & hold ceremonies w/ traditional costumes & dances
  • 23. The Pacific Islands Today Healthy tourism industry  Sunny beaches Important challenges  Developing economies  Fishing, tourism, & agriculture are key  Some export minerals & timber  Regions’ isolation hinders ability to trade  Environment  Islands were used for nuclear testing from 1940s to 1990s  People fear health problems for people of region  Global warming concerns islanders  Rising temps may cause ocean levels to rise
  • 24. Antarctica
  • 25. The Land of Antarctica’s 5.4 million square miles  Ice covers 98%  90% of world’s ice; sheets are more than 1 mile thick  Ice sheets flow slowly off the continent & form an ice shelf when they reach the coast; icebergs often break away and drift into the ocean  Ross Ice Shelf is the size of France  One recent iceberg the size of Luxembourg  Antarctic Peninsula  Temps often warmer than other parts of the continent
  • 26. Climate & Resources Mostly freezing ice-cap climate  Temp below -120 degrees F w/ little precipitation Polar desert: high latitude region that receives little precipitation  Less precipitation than Sahara Desert Planet’s coldest, driest, highest, & windiest continent remains totally dark in winter In summer the sun never sets Temps can drop as low as -120 degrees F Tundra plant life survives in ice free areas A few insects are the land’s only land animals Penguins, seals, & whales live in the icy waters
  • 27. Resources Iron ore, gold, copper, & coal Debate over whether resources should be mined  Mining would harm continent’s environment  Worthwhile for businesses
  • 28. Early Explorers 1775 James Cook sighted icebergs around Antarctica 1800s explorers investigated Antarctica  Motive was to discover South Pole  Norwegian explorers were 1st human expedition to reach South Pole in 1911 Parts of Antarctica have been claimed by countries  U.S., Australia, & China Antarctic Treaty of 1959  agreement reached to preserve Antarctica for science & peace  Prevented claims to the continent & banned military activity & made whole continent a research area
  • 29. Antarctica Today Only continent without permanent human population Researchers only people who live in Antarctica  Live in bases or stations Research covers wide range of topics  Plant and animal life of Antarctica, weather conditions, Earth’s ozone layer
  • 30. Air Pollution Studies show that carbon dioxide levels in the air have risen over time  Discovered by studying gases trapped in old Antarctic ice & compared them to gases in the Earth’s atmosphere today  Some believe this is causing global warming Some scientists are looking for evidence that air pollution is damaging Earth’s ozone layer
  • 31. Environmental Threats Tourists & researchers have left behind trash & oil spills have occurred Oil spills have damaged surrounding seas In 1991 an international agreement was reached forbidding most activities in Antarctica that do not have a scientific purpose  Bans mining & drilling & limits tourism

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