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Chapter Two: The Changing Global Environment Mapping Workbook Exercises

Exercise One: Regional Impacts of Global Warming

Using Table 2.1 The Worlds Major CO2 Polluters (p. 59) and Mapping Workbook Map 2.1,
complete the following exercise.

Using the data provided in the Per Capita Emissions of CO2, Metric Tons column of Table 2.1
The Worlds Major CO2 Polluters (p. 59), use a colored pencil to shade in the countries with a
per capita emission of CO2 of 1.34.65 metric tons. Using different colored pencils for each
category, shade the countries that possess a per capita emission of CO2 of 4.669.3 metric tons,
9.413.95 metric tons, and 13.9619.8 metric tons. Mark your shading scheme in the maps
legend. Once you have done this, answer the following questions.

Is there a geographic pattern associated with these polluting countries? If so, what is it?

Yes. The countries that have the highest levels of per capita CO2 emissions are in the developed
world and the countries that have the lowest levels of per capita CO2 emissions are in the
developing world.

Do the nations that are the largest emitters of CO2 possess the same level of economic and
industrial development as the nations that are the smallest emitters of CO2?

No. The countries that are the largest emitters generally possess higher levels of economic and
industrial development while those countries that are the smallest emitters generally possess
lower levels of economic and industrial development.

Now read the section in your text called Human Impacts on Plants and Animals: The
Globalization of Nature (p. 63).

On your map use a red or black (or another color that will contrast with your above shading
scheme) colored pencil to pattern in the countries/regions experiencing the highest levels of
tropical deforestation. Mark your shading scheme in the maps legend.

Now read the section called Deserts and Grasslands (p. 66).

On your map use a red or black (or another color that will contrast with your above shading and
patterning schemes) colored pencil to pattern in the countries/regions experiencing the highest
levels of desertification. Mark your shading scheme in the maps legend. Once you have done
this, answer the following questions.

What are the primary causes of tropical deforestation?

The export of timber for uses in developed countries such as Japan (which uses about one-half of
all tropical forest timber); the clearing of tropical forests to create grazing land for cattle; to
create settlement land for the rapidly growing population of the developing world.
What are the primary causes of desertification?

Chronic drought and farming and other agricultural activities on marginal lands. Poor cropping
practices, overgrazing, and salinization (the buildup of salt in the soils from irrigation) have
greatly contributed to desertification.

Compare the areas that are experiencing tropical deforestation and desertification with the
pattern of the major CO2 producers.

Is there a correlation between these two patterns (i.e., are these producers the same nations that
are experiencing the highest rates of tropical deforestation and desertification)?

Generally no. The countries that are the lowest CO2 emitters are the ones that are experiencing
the highest levels of deforestation and desertification.

Another significant problem associated with global warming is sea level rise. On your map use a
red or black (or another color that will contrast with your above shading and patterning schemes)
colored pencil to pattern the coastal areas of those countries that are the major CO2 producers.
Mark your shading scheme in the maps legend.

Now examine Figure 1.21 World Population (pp. 18-19). Once you have done this, answer the
following questions.

Is there a correlation between the regions of highest population density and coastal areas in the
major CO2 producing countries? If so, what is it?

The United States and Japan both possess high population densities along their coastlines.
Germany and Russia are mostly landlocked with the majority of their populations residing in the
country interiors.

It is estimated that sea levels could rise 1 meter (3.3 feet) by the year 2100. If this holds true,
how will sea level rise have an impact on these CO2 producing nations?

The most densely settled regions in the United States (the east coast) and Japan (the southeast
coast) will have to move large numbers of their populations further into the interiors of their
countries. Likewise, these countries will experience a loss of arable lands as they are submerged
beneath rising seas.

Will there also be an impact on the nations that produce small quantities of CO2?

Unfortunately, yes. Many of these countries that are lower emitters of CO2 are developing
countries and are highly populated, such as India, with large portions of their populations
residing near the coasts and in low lying regions in their interiors. As sea levels rise, these
countries will also have to undergo significant rearrangement of their populations and also face
the loss of vast amounts of arable land. As compared to their developing world counterparts, the
demographic and economic restructuring that these nations will have to undergo will be all the
more difficult given their limited economic capabilities.

How equitable is this situation?

Not terribly. The increase in global temperatures and the subsequent sea level rise are, and will
be, caused by developed countries such as the United States and Japan, whereas, countries in the
developing world, which have contributed to this problem far less, will be the ones that pay the
highest price.

Exercise Two: Climate as a Biome Control

Using Figure 2.13 World Climate Regions (pp. 56-57), Figure 2.20 World Bioregions (pp. 64-
65), Figure 1.21 World Population (pp. 18-19), and mapping workbook map 2.2 complete the
following exercise.

Using Figure 2.13 World Climate Regions (pp. 56-57) as a reference, use different colored
pencils to shade in the approximate locations of the major climatic regions. Mark your shading
pattern in the maps legend. Using Figure 2.20 World Bioregions (pp. 64-65) as a reference,
use different colors to represent each bioregion, pattern in the various bioregions in their
respective locations. Mark your patterning scheme in the maps legend. Once you have done
this, answer the following questions.

In the table below, specifically match each bioregion with its mapped climatic region

Bioregion Climate Region

Tropical forests Af-Am

Mediterranean woodland, shrub, and grassland Cs

Broadleaf or mixed broadleaf and coniferous Ca, Cb, Da, Db


forest

Coniferous forest Ca, Dc

Tropical savanna, mixed grassland and Aw, BS


woodland

Middle-latitude prairie and steppe grassland BS

Desert shrub BS, BW

Tundra ET

Ice cap EF
What is the general pattern of world climatic regions?

Tropical climates near the Equator and colder climates poleward. Dry climates are centered
around 30 degrees north and south latitude, extend to the west sides of continents at these
latitudes, are on the leeward sides of mountains, and deep within the continental interiors. Mild
midlatitude climates are on the poleward side of the tropics. Continental midlatitude climates are
located only in the northern hemisphere at higher latitudes (between about 40 and 66 degrees
north latitude). Polar climates are located at very high latitudes (above 66 degrees north and
south latitude).

What are the general controls (i.e., causes or determinants) of these climate regions?

Tropical climates are primarily controlled by the constant high sun angle and fairly uniform day
length within the Equatorial and tropical region. Dry climates are controlled by the descending
air of the subtropical highs, and in these locations extend to the west sides of continents and are
reinforced there because of cold ocean currents. Dry climates are also generated because of the
rain shadow effect on the leeward sides of mountains, and likewise are found deep within
continental interiors as these locations are far from sources of moisture. Greater seasonality
within the near poleward side of the tropics and relatively close proximity to sources of moisture
are the primary controls for mild midlatitude climates. Continental midlatitude climates are
controlled by the significant seasonal contrasts associated with large landmasses. The constant
annual low sun angle is the primary control for polar climates.

What is the general correlation between the climatic regions and the world bioregions?

Tropical forest biomes are found in tropical climates.


Mediterranean woodland, shrub, and grassland biomes are found in Mediterranean
climates.
Broadleaf or mixed broadleaf and coniferous forest biomes are found in mild midlatitude
and continental midlatitude climates.
Tropical savanna, mixed grassland and woodland biomes are found on the poleward side
of tropical rainy and tropical monsoon climates.
Prairie, shrub and grassland biomes our found within dry climates.
Desert shrub biomes are found within steppe and desert climates.
Tundra biomes are found in polar climates.
Ice cap biomes are found in polar climates.

What characteristics of these climatic regions determine these bioregions?

Tropical forest biomes are associated with warm-to-hot-temperatures, lack of seasonality,


high amounts of precipitation because of nearly continuous atmospheric low pressure
(from the ITCZ) found in tropical climates.
Mediterranean woodland, shrub, and grassland biomes are associated with the seasonal
contrast of moisture (usually dry summer, wet winter) that is controlled by the seasonal
movement of the ITCZ.
Broadleaf or mixed broadleaf and coniferous forest biomes are associated with greater
seasonal contrasts in temperature (warm-to-hot summers, and cool-to-cold winters) found
in mild midlatitude and continental midlatitude climates.
Tropical savanna, mixed grassland and woodland biomes are associated with the seasonal
movement of the ITCZ and subtropical high pressure belts (causing a general pattern of
summer moisture and winter dryness) that occur on the poleward side of tropical rainy
and tropical monsoon climates.
Prairie, shrub and grassland biomes are associated with the decreasing amounts of
moisture that is found within continental interiors and on the leeward sides of mountains.
Desert shrub biomes are associated with the decreasing amounts of moisture that is found
within continental interiors and on the leeward sides of mountains, as well as descending
air from the subtropical highs.
Tundra biomes are associated with the low amounts of annual insolation cause be greater
beam spreading and beam depletion at high latitudes.
Ice cap biomes associated with the low amounts of annual insolation cause be greater
beam spreading and beam depletion at high latitudes.

Using Figure 1.21 World Population (pp. 18-19) as a reference, use a red or black (or another
color that will contrast with your above shading and patterning scheme) colored pencil to shade
in the regions possessing the highest population density.

In which climate region(s) does/do the majority of the planets population reside?

Mild and continental midlatitude climates

What are the characteristics of this/these climatic region(s)?

A seasonal contrast in temperature with warm-to-hot summers, and cool-to-cold winters, and
relatively high amounts of moisture year round.

Why do you think the majority of the planets population resides within this/these regions(s)?

The broadleaf and mixed broadleaf forest biomes here have a climate and soils favorable for
agriculture production. In many instances these were the regions of initial successful settlement
and population growth.

Examine the regions of low population density depicted on Figure 1.21 World Population (pp.
18-19).

In which climate region(s) do we see these lower population densities?

Dry and polar climates

What are the characteristics of this/these climatic region(s)?

Low annual amounts of moisture and low annual temperatures


Why do you think this/these climatic region(s) possess lower population densities?

The lower amounts of precipitation and lower annual temperatures make agricultural activities
very difficult and therefore these regions are incapable of supporting large populations.