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BOUNDARIES OF THE CONTINENT:

North: Arctic Ocean


South: Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, South China
Sea
East: Pacific Ocean
South East: Indonesian Archipelago and islands near Australia
West: Ural Mountains and Caspian Sea (Eurasia)
Southwest: Mediterranean Sea, Red Sea (Isthmus of Suez; Suez Canal)

EXTENT OF THE
CONTINENTAL MAINLAND:
South end of the Malay
Peninsula to Cape Chelyuskin in
Siberia
Westernmost Point: Cape Baba
in Northwest Turkey

Easternmost Point: Cape Dezhev in


Northeast Siberia
Greatest Width from East to West: 8, 500
300 mi)

GENERAL FACTS ABOUT ASIA:

Area: 17, 176, 102 sq. mi. (44, 485, 900 sq. km.)
Population: estimate of 4 billion

km (5,

Highest Point: Mt. Everest, China-Nepal (29, 028 ft. above sea level)
Lowest Point: Dead Sea, Israel-Jordan (1, 312 ft. below sea level)
Largest Country: (by area) Russia (excluding European portion, 4, 845,
580 sq. mi)
Largest Country: (by population) China: estimate of 2 billion
Largest Metropolitan Area(s): (by population)
Tokyo, Japan
Bombay, India
Shanghai, China

Longest Rivers:
Yangtze (Chiang Jiang)
Yenisey-Angara (Russia)
Largest Lakes:
Caspian Sea (Asia-Europe)
Baikal (Russia)
Largest Desert:
Gobi (China-Mongolia)

NORTHERN ASIA
-

from Ural Mountains to the Pacific (Siberia, part of Russia)

northern part lies inside the Arctic Circle


treeless plains, with long, cold winters and short,
warm summers
Summer: 10 degrees C but most of the ground
still frozen (Permafrost)
Tundra
southern part: wide expanses of steppe
(grasslands) and some forests
Southern edge marked by the Tien Shan, Sayan
and Yablonovyy ranges and by Lake Baikal
(worlds deepest lake; 5, 700 ft.)
three biggest rivers: Ob, Yenisey, Lena flow to
the Arctic Ocean while Amur flows eastward to the Pacific Ocean (all four rivers are
frozen for part of the year)

CENTRAL ASIA
-

one of the least explored parts of the world


northern boundary: Tien Shan and Sayan ranges
and extends to the Himalayas
includes: Mongolia and Western Chinese provinces
of Sinkiang (Chinese Turkestan) and Tibet
Mongolia and Sinkiang are areas of high, barren
plateau with some grasslands and deserts (Takla
Makan and Gobi)
Tibetan plateau is extremely high (cold deserts,
stark mountains and deep valleys)
Turfan Depression (near Tien Shan and Sinkiang),
about 500 ft. below sea level, partly occupied by
salt lakes

SOUTHERN ASIA
-

countries of the Indian sub-continent: Pakistan, India,


Bangladesh in
the South; Bhutan and Nepal in the North
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) and Maldives also form parts of
the region
Northwestern areas bordered by the Hindu Kush which
tangles from North to East (called Pamir Knot)
Eastwards from the Pamir Knot, stretched the Karakoram
ranges
and the Himalayas (worlds highest and most rugged mountain
range)
Mt. Everest, on the frontier between Nepal and Tibet (1953, first
successful
attempt to climb the Everest)
2 main areas: (1)series of wide plains watered by rivers flowing
from
Himalayas (2) Deccan; a triangular plateau that occupies most
of central and
southern India
strongly influenced by monsoons (winds that change direction
from one season to
another)
June to September, SW monsoon blows from the Indian Ocean bringing torrential rains to
large areas (heaviest rains are in the Western Ghats and in the Northeast, causing severe
flood in the Ganges delta and Bangladesh)

October to March, winter monsoon , a much lighter wind , blows from the North over the
Himalayas, bringing cool, dry weather

SOUTH-EASTASIA
-

consists of Burma (Myanmar) and the Indochina


Peninsula, Malay Peninsula, lying to the East of
India and the South of China, and a large
number of large and small islands (East Indies)
Mainland:
North: broadly a mixture of wooded mountains,
South: wide river plains
plains are well drained and fertile but in marshy
and swampy in some places
islands tend to have similar terrain with
mountains covered by almost impenetrable
woodland
Largest: Southeast:Borneo, Sumatra, Java,
Celebes (Sulawesi);
North: Philippine archipelago
2 Main Rivers of Mainland: Irrawaddy (Burma) and Mekong (Indochina)

EAST ASIA
-

lies between uplands of Central Asia and the Pacific


highlands, deep valley, fertile plains
Main Rivers: Yangtze, Huang He
Along the eastern coast: Kamchatka Peninsula and
a series of islands: Japan (Hokkaido, Honshu,
Shikoku, Kyushu)
farther South: Taiwan (Formosa)
opposite Japan: Korean Peninsula

SOUTHWEST ASIA
-

Near East/Middle East


two large peninsulas:
(1) Anatolia (runs between the Black Sea and the Mediterranean Sea, to its South,
lies the island country of Cyprus); rugged plateau with lakes and rivers that are
dry for much of the year
(2) Arabian (extends between the Red Sea, the Persian Gulf and Arabian Sea); hot
and dry with areas of sandy desert

land bordering eastern Mediterranean is a mixture of


arid deserts and fertile valleys
River Jordan flows southwards to the Dead Sea
(saltiest body of water)
Dead Sea, Jordan Valley, Red Sea (areas of natural
fault in the earths crust)
Caspian Sea (largest inland body of water)
Aral Sea (fed by Amu Darya and Syr Darya)
eastern part (Iran and Afghanistan), semi-arid and
sparsely vegetated with cool winters, hot summers
only light rainfall

hot,

and

IMPORTANT LAND FORMS AND BODIES OF WATER


NORTH
ASIA:

Ob
River
Yenisey
River
Lena
River
Amur
River
Aral
Sea
Lake
Baikal
Tatan
Strait
Ural
Mountai
ns

ENTRAL ASIA:
- Gobi Desert
- Altai
Mountains
- Mt. Everest
- Takla
Makan
Desert
- Kunlun
Mountains
- Tibetan
Plateau

EAST
ASIA:

Huan
g Ho
Yangt
ze
River
Gang
gaShan
Moun
tain
Yello
w Sea
China
Sea
Mt.
Fuji

SOUTH-EAST
ASIA:
- Mekong
River
- Irrawadd
y River
- Salween
River
- Tonkin
Gulf
- Sunda
Strait
- Chao
Phraya
River
- Red River
- Gulf of
Thailand
- Strait of
Malacca

SOUTH
ASIA:

SOUTHWEST
ASIA:
Dead Sea
Caspian Sea
Taurus
Mountains
Rub-AlKhali Desert
Tigris-

Ganges
River
Indus
River
Brahma
putra
River
Bay of
Bengal
Great
Indian
Desert
Hindu
Kush
Mountai
ns
Karakor
am
Mountai
ns
E&W
Ghats

Euphrates
River
Zagros
Mountains
Syrian
Desert
Persian Gulf
Gulf of
Oman

MINERAL RESOURCES OF ASIA


-

Asia is so immense that there is certainty that many areas rich in mineral resources
remain undiscovered

NORTH ASIA (Asiatic part of Russia)


-

major coal deposits (East and West)


many untapped resources in the permafrost regions of the North
Oilfields actively exploited to the North of Caspian Sea and the long slender island of
Sakhalin, off the Pacific Coast to the North of Japan
other important minerals: asbestos, chrome, cobalt, copper, gold, iron, mercury,
manganese, nickel, tin, silver uranium and vanadium
rivers are harnessed as source of energy (hydro-electric power)

CENTRAL ASIA
-

largely unexplored
gold, iron and other metals are mined there together with coal and petroleum

EASTERN ASIA
-

rich in coal, large deposits of mineral ores (iron ore, antimony and tungsten)
smaller amounts of petroleum

SOUTHWEST ASIA
-

rich in petroleum and coal


areas around Persian Gulf is the worlds chief sources of oil
coal in Iran and Turkey

SOUTH ASIA
-

rich in iron ore and valuable supplies if coal (concentration in India)


has petroleum
Pakistan and Bangladesh possess natural gas deposits
other minerals are scarce but surveys are still being conducted

SOUTHEAST ASIA
-

good supplies of petroleum in the islands


coal fields and beds of iron ore

relatively plentiful are bauxite (aluminum ore), gold, lead, nickel, tin and zinc

AGRICULTURE, FISHERIES AND LAND USE


-

Best Agricultural Lands: South Asia, Southeast Asia, China, and the southwestern part of
Siberia
two chief subsistence crops: rice and wheat
Rice: needs warmth and plenty of rain; so it grows more in areas affected by monsoon.
Largest crops of rice are produced in China and the drier parts of India
importation of wheat from North America due to failure to produce enough crops

Export

Most of Central and Southwestern Asia, unsuitable for crop growing


in pasture lands of these regions nomadic herdsmen tend goats, sheep, camel (for
transportation)
Southern Asia: cattle are of little use for food, they are preserved for religious purposes
for they symbolize wealth but also widely employed for plowing and drawing carts
Tibet: Yak, a hardy animal is used for transportation and food
wild animals still roam the forests of Asia, but some of them like the Tiger is now an
endangered species (strict laws are in effect in some Asian countries to protect them)
Elephants live wild in South Asia and Burma but many are domesticated and used as
work animals
Reindeers roam the tundra lands of the North (herded, used for work and are valuable
sources of food in regions with few crops)
Forests still cover large parts of Asia including the remote areas of Siberia.
Russians extract a great deal of softwood timber from those forests that lie near rivers or
railways.
In Southeast Asia, there are thick forests exploited for timber but many forests
(especially in Indonesia) are not fully exploited
Fish are important in the coastal lands and islands of East Asia.
China and Japan possess large fishing fleets which roam the waters of the northern
Pacific
South Asia (especially Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Burma) rely heavily on fish for food
River and Lake fishing are important in Southeast Asia
Japan: whaling fleets that reach the Arctic
Pearl fishing in Japan and Persian Gulf

crops:
India, Sri Lanka and China-most of the worlds tea
Malaysia and Indonesia-rubber (introduced from Brazil in the 1870s)
Other important crops: cotton, citrus fruits, jute and tobacco
East Indies: most of the worlds spices (Spice Islands)

LAND USE IS VERY UNEVEN IN ASIA. Half of the worlds people live in six Asian countries: China,
India, Indonesia, Japan, Pakistan and Bangladesh but huge areas of Central Asia and the Arabian
Peninsula are almost uninhabited (desert or semi-desert)
THE ASIAN WAY OF LIFE
-

Asia: largest in terms of area and population


continents population grows very fast
Asians include members of all the main racial groups of man and their ways of life are as
varied as the places in which they live

MONGOLOID
-

live in East Asia and most of Central Asia


some immigrated to Southeast Asia
straight, dark hair and yellowish skins
related to the American Indians (ancestors believed to have crossed the Bering Strait into
North America 20, 000 years ago)
CAUCASOID

related to the Europeans


live in South Asia, Southwest Asia and Siberia
Most European Caucasoid originated from Asia
NEGROID

similar to the people of Africa, south of the Sahara


islands of Southeast Asia, Pygmies called Negritos, also found in Malaya and several of
the largest islands
In most parts of Asia, there is a mixture of races (largest number in Southeast Asia)

Asia also gave birth to all the worlds major religions

Hinduism
-

major religion of India


began nearly 4, 500 years ago

Buddhism
-

from Hinduism
began in 500 BCE
spread eastwards to China and Japan

Confucianism
-

originated in China

Shintoism
-

Judaism
-

originated among the Israelites more


than 3, 000 years ago

Christianity
-

from Judaism, founded 2, 000 years


ago

Islam
-

originated in Japan
-

founded in 600 CE
major religion of Southwest Asia and
parts of South and Southeast Asia
India is largely Hindu
Chinas people are either Buddhist,
Confucian or a mixture of many
religions
Siberias populace are mostly nominal
Christians

Asian way of life dependent on tradition, religion and even the physical characteristics of
the peoples homeland
Southwestern to Central Asia (belt of dry, semi-arid land)
many people are nomadic herdsmen tending herds of such animals as goats, sheep,
camels, cattle and yaks
In the oil rich regions, people adopted a more western way of life
High performing Asian countries mostly found in East Asia (Japan, Hongkong-China,
Singapore and South Korea)
considered as NICs are Indonesia, Malaysia and Thailand
poverty stricken countries: Philippines, Bangladesh, Laos, Cambodia
Population increase, side by side with economic boom (problem: slum areas, increasing
urban crime, prostitution, severe pollution, traffic etc.)
most populous cities of the world found in Asia
Asia is seen to become a region of megacities
about 70% of Asian people still live in the country side (centered on the village, whether
it is in forest clearing, river valleys or upland plain)