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-The Seasons-
Learning Goals
1) How did the Sun, Earth and Moon form?
2) Why does Earth have seasons?
The Constellation Orion
The Orion Nebula
The Sun is an intensely hot star that
radiates energy in the form of light
The Sun formed from a massive
molecular cloud 4.6 billion years ago
Gas, in the form of hydrogen began
to condense and concentrate
It grew hotter and hotter until a
protostar formed
Eventually nuclear fusion kicked in
forming our Sun
Formation of the Sun
The Sun is in a constant tug of war
Gravity is attempting the crush the
condensed gas
Fusion however is trying to explode
and push outward
As hydrogen atoms are forced
together, they are fused creating
When this occurs, photons/neutrons
are released
These photons of electromagnetic
energy travel to Earth in the from of
light, heat and radiation
Formation of the Sun
As the Sun sparked to life, gas and
dust continued to coalesce
Much of it was heavy, iron, minerals,
and rocks
At first, Earth was comprised of hot
burning rocks that was struck
repeatedly by meteorites
Over time, the Earth began to cool
and solidify
A cooled crust of plates formed,
floating on a bed of liquid magma
Formation of the Earth
At the center of Earth lies its core, a
ball of liquid iron
As the Earth rotates, it generates a
magnetic field from its iron core
This field shields Earth from
destructive cosmic rays
It can be seen in the north as the
Aurora Borealis
Volcanos then emerged and leaked
gas from the interior of Earth
Water vapor cooled and formed
Formation of the Earth
Formation of Earth
Rain fell to Earth from the clouds and
formed Oceans, lakes and rivers
From these warm water bodies
emerged Earths first life forms
Around 100 million years after Earth
formed, a huge object crashed into it
A massive piece of Earth was blown
into space forming our moon
The moon also plays a critical role
It cycles Earths oceans and slows the
Earths spin on its axis
Formation of the Earth
The Earth has another unique feature
that allows it to warm and sustain life
The atmosphere is a multi-band of
gas, water vapor and dust
A description usually involves
temperature, moisture/precipitation
and wind
These bands are responsible for
creating weather on Earths surface
Climate and Weather
As light passes through the
atmosphere it becomes trapped
These bouncing light rays create heat
This effect can be witnessed in a car
on a hot summer day
Trapped light cannot escape easily
It creates a greenhouse effect
This keeps Earths surface warm and
allows for plant and animal life
Climate and Weather
Without the greenhouse effect, Earth
would be too cold to sustain life
Not all places on Earth receive the
same amount of sunlight
As the Earth moves, it spins on a
central axis like a top
This spinning motion is called
The Earth spins from West to East
This causes the Sun to appear to
move from East to West
A complete rotation takes 24 hours
Climate and Weather
The Earth also moves in a circular
orbit around the Sun
This movement, which takes one year
to compete is called a revolution
365 and 1 quarter days in a year
Leap year takes into account the 1/4
to keep everything balanced
In addition, the Earth tilts 23.5
degrees to and away from the Sun
Light strikes the Earth differently at
certain distances
Climate and Weather
The Earth tilts to the North each year
and then slowly back again to the
South as it moves along its orbit
The maximum mark in the North is
called the Tropic of Cancer
When it reaches the southernmost
point it is called the Tropic of
We call those maximums the
They occur on June and December
21st of each year
Climate and Weather
Another term that is used is Equinox
This is when the Sun appears in the
middle of trips either North of South
These points occur on March and
September 21st
In the ancient world these dates were
June 21st is Midsummers Day
December 21st was Sol Invictus to
the Romans
March 21st were the Ides of March,
dedicated to Mars
Climate and Weather
When the Sun is at its highest in the
sky we have summer
When it is at its lowest we experience
Its rise to greater highest means
Its descent means Autumn
Regions near the equator experience
very little fluctuation in temperature
Climate and Weather
The Sun heats the air and the water of
Warm air rises and cool air falls
Convection causes wind and ocean
Warm air flows from the equator to
the poles
Cold water flows from the poles back
to the equator
The motion is the same for both air
and water
Climate and Weather
-Climate and Weather and Biomes-
As a people, we are obsessed with
News, conversations, weather is
always a big topic
People dedicate their lives to
studying weather and predicting
Weather has a mind of its own, it
changes and affects our lives
What then is weather?
Climate and Weather
Weather is the condition of the
bottom layer of the Earths
The atmosphere is a multi-band of
gas, water vapor and dust
A description usually involves
temperature, moisture/precipitation
and wind
Weather is erratic and constantly
Climate is a term for weather patterns
in a particular area over a long period
of time
Climate depends on altitude, latitude
and longitude, relation to nearby
Climate can change but changes are
small over long periods of time
Climate is what you expect, weather
is what you get
Climate and Weather
Humidity is the amount of water
vapor in the air
Precipitation is water that falls out of
the atmosphere towards Earth
Warm air is less dense. It rises and
absorbs moisture
As the air rises it cools and
condensation occurs
When enough water condensates, it
turns into a liquid and falls back to
There are different types of
One that occurs in the Tropical
Regions is called Condensation
Humid air rises from jungles and
areas of great vegetation
This then cools and falls back in the
form of rain
Creates many rainstorms and greater
vegetation and life
Orographic Precipitation occurs
when clouds pass over high
Moist air condensates, originating
usually over the ocean
As clouds pass over land, they let
forth water and rain in order to pass
over mountain peaks and highlands
This typically creates a lush green
region on one side of the mountain
and a dry desert on the other
The last form of precipitation is
called frontal
This occurs when two air masses of
different temperature run into one
The warm air is forced up by the cool
air creating precipitation
This kind of weather pattern is also
responsible for creating violent
storms such as tornados
Next we turn to Earths biomes
Rain is more abundant near the
equator due to convection
There are two large regions near the
equator in particular where this takes
First is the Amazon Basin
Second is the Congo River Basin in
Rainforest's account for only 6% of
the worlds surface but contain 1/2
its animals
Trees and plants slightly north and
south of the equator develop
Here, like at the equator, they keep
their leaves year round
Vast deciduous forests form
Deciduous forests shed their leaves
in preparation for winter
Before doing so they turn color
They once covered most of North
America but now only a fragment
At the northern and southernmost
latitudes coniferous trees grow
Most of these develop narrow needles
that last year round
Many grow very slowly due to short
growing seasons
The final kind of forest and tree is
called chaparral
It is essentially bush type trees that
grow dry regions of Arizona and
Many continents are covered by vast
Like forests, they vary greatly from
region to region
Near the equator and the tropics they
are called Savannas
Savannas typically have three seasons
Wet, Dry, and Fire
The most renowned is the African
In cooler regions like North America,
grasslands appear differently
Here they go by the name of prairies
Other names are Steppes and Pampas
They differ in the types of grass due
to the amount of rainfall and soil
While these once covered great
portions of the US, few remain
Most were plowed under to create
What has grown in their place is not
the same
Deserts also dot the globe
Many are not the vast wastelands we
Gobi has snow for example
Mojave has cacti and grass
Plants, animals and life abounds in
Plants and animals have evolved to
survive in the most inhospitable
Tundra regions exist in areas that are
cool or cold
Alpine tundras exist high in the
mountains where no trees grow
Small plants, grasses and wildflowers
grow in these regions as well as
lichen on rocks
Trees in tundra regions have short
growing seasons
For certain parts of the year plants
have no light
Tundra regions have a layer of
permafrost and soggy surfaces
The final biome is the Taiga
In many ways it is similar to the
The Taiga is characterized by
coniferous forests
The Taiga is the worlds largest biome
and makes up 29% of the worlds
It is found in Canada, Russia and in
Arctic regions
It has very short growing seasons and
typically is very cold
-Land Formations-
a large mass of land projecting into a body of water
a narrow stretch of land connecting two larger land areas
a triangular area of marshland formed by deposits of silt at the mouth of a river
a narrow passage of water connecting two large bodies of water
a sheltered port where ships can take on or unload cargo
a group of connected mountains
a long, steep-sided glacial valley now lled by seawater
a point of land that extends into a river, lake, or ocean
-The 5 Themes-
An easy way to understand
geography is to divide things
into 5 themes
They are:
Location is the address of the
place, where it is located
It answers the question, Where
is it?
Location can be either relative
or absolute
Relative = Mt. St. Helens is
located in the North West of the
Absolute = Mt St Helens is
located at 46 degrees lat and
122 degrees long
Place determines the
characteristics that make a
location unique
It answers the question What is
Place is divided into two
Physical Characteristics =
Greece is rocky and warm
Human Characteristics =
China has a lot of rice patties
[man made]
Interaction defines how people and
the environment affect each other
It answers the questions How and
why do human interact with their
It explains how humans are
dependent on the environment to
survive and how they adapt to survive
It also explains the positive and
negative reactions to those
adaptations and changes
Egyptians built dams to collect water
for farms
Movement defines how people,
goods and ideas move from place
to place
It answers the question: How
and why do people move?
An example: Many boat people
fleeing the Vietnam War became
immigrants to the US
It explains transportation, trade,
migration and connections
Regions define the shared
human and physical traits that
set an area apart from others
It answers the question: What
are the traits of a region? Why
and how did it form? How might
it change in the future?
An example: The Midwest is
sometimes called the
Breadbasket of the US
-Human Geography-
Human geography contains a wide
range of topics
Birth, marriage, migration and death
It also studies culture, a groups
beliefs and actions that define them
Today, the Earth is home to nearly 7
billion people
This is a number that is difficult to
You had lived a million seconds when
you were 11 days old
31.7 years to reach a billion seconds
10,000 Dollars
One Million Dollars
100 Million Dollars
One Billion Dollars
And now for fun....
One Trillion Dollars
In some areas, the population density
is very high
Other regions have very few to none
What factors in to why people move
to live in a certain region?
Natural objects restrict where people
live comfortably
More than 2/3 of Earths surface is
covered by water
Half of all land is arable and suitable
for food
As a result, people live in a small area
of land
They seek areas where food can be
grown, water is plentiful and climate
is mild
People have adapted to live in many
harsh climates
They have built shelters and worn
heavier/warmer clothing
At the same time, humans have
drastically altered the Earths surface
By cutting down trees, growing
crops, giving animals grazing land,
building dams and roads, the Earth
has been changed
Some of these changes have not
altered Earth while others have
drastically changed it
Wherever you go, population has had
an effect
Population density has had a factor in
these changes, for good or for bad
A simple way to calculate population
density is to divide the total population or
a region by its land
This number can at times be misleading
Egypt has a high population and area but
most of its land is inhospitable
Some geographers prefer to use a nations
arable land in order to give a more
accurate number
Egypt has a of 177 people per square
mile measured without arable land
In terms of arable land the figure is 8,839
The densest regions of the world in
terms of population are in East Asia,
South Asia, Europe and North
Many people in these regions cluster
around major metropolitan centers,
such as large cities
Today, most of the population in
these regions are urbanized
Interestingly, urban populations are
growing twice as fast as rural regions
The worlds population has increased
rapidly in the past couple centuries
Several factors have contributed
Technology, food production, health
The overwhelming growth rate
problem does impact poorer regions
Some have predicted that in the near
future mass famine, disease and
natural resource depletion will occur
Other contest that technology will
keep up and food production will
sustain greater populations
Growth rates across the world have
been very uneven
This number is calculated by looking
at birthrates to death rates
This also factors in immigration and
When the combined birthrate and
immigration rate equals the
emigration and death rate a region is
said to have zero population growth
This is the case in many
industrialized nations
In some nations birthrates have fallen
but life expectancy has risen
Some nations have populations that
are in decline, such as Japan
Others are on a rapid incline, such as
The Earth remains a changing and
diverse place
It is hard to predict what the future
-World Governments-
Mankind started out as hunters and
Most time was spent searching out
food to survive
Most groups were very small,
consisting mainly of families
As mankind discovered how to plant
and grow crops, leaders were raised
Soon societies grew and systems of
government were needed to keep the
The world has seen many forms of
government during its history
Forms of government have generally
been categorized in three ways
Autocracy: All power is concentrated
into the hands of one person
Examples: Absolute Monarchy,
Dictatorship, and Totalitarianism
Nations include: Medieval Kings/
Queens and their lands, Nazi
Germany, Fascist Italy, Cuba and
Saudi Arabia
Democracy: Government power is in
the hands of the people
This form of government typically
involves voting
Examples: Direct Democracy,
Representative Democracy,
Constitutional Monarchy
Nations: Ancient Greece, Rome, The
United States, Great Britain, France,
and Germany
The final form of government can be
categorized as special interest
They involved some that you have
heard of and others that you have not
Theocracy: The rule by God or by a
person appointed by God
Examples: Medieval Europe under
the Pope
Stratocracy: Rule by military chiefs
Examples: Burma, Argentina during
the 1970s or any nation whose
military seizes power
Communism or Ideological Party
During the 1700s many great thinkers
speculated on utopian societies
These societies sought to rid the world
of poverty, property, religion and in
some cases marriage
They felt these evils led to war and
Everyone was equal but these systems
have never been effective
Many have developed into groups that
rule, such as the USSR and China
Economic Systems