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South
Asia
CHAPTER 22
Physical Geography
of South Asia
CHAPTER 23
History and Cultures
of South Asia
CHAPTER 24
South Asia Today
Jaisalmer Fort,
Rajasthan, India
NGS ONLINE For more information about the region,
see www.nationalgeographic.com/education.
Keren Su/CORBIS
Unit 8 • 597
Keren Su/CORBIS
South Asia
60°N
UNITED
STATES
New York City
Islamabad
30°N
Kolkata
(Calcutta)
EQUATOR
A It is about
6,891 miles (11,089 km)
from New York City
to Islamabad.
B It is about 7,928 miles
(12,757 km) from New York
City to Kolkata (Calcutta).
0
0
SOUTH
ASIA
AT L A N T I C
OCEAN
PACI F I C
O CEAN
PAC I FI C
OCEAN
0°
INDIAN
OCEAN
N
30°S
2,000 kilometers
W
E
2,000 miles
S
Robinson projection
60°S
120°W
The region of South Asia is more than half
the size of the continental United States. Its
land area is about 1.7 million square miles
(4.5 million sq. km). Though smaller than
the United States, South Asia has nearly five
times the number of people as the United
States and more than one-fifth of the people
in the world.
0°
60°W
60°E
120°E
Comparing Population
United States and Selected Countries
of South Asia
United States
India
Pakistan
Nepal
= 30,000,000
Sri Lanka
Source: World Population Data Sheet, 2005.
598 • Unit 8
Longest Rivers
Brahmaputra River (shown)
and Indus River (tied)
1,800 mi. (2,896 km) long
Highest Point
Lowest Point
Mount Everest
(Nepal) 29,028 ft.
(8,848 m) high
Largest Island
Sri Lanka
25,332 sq. mi.
(65,610 sq. km)
Coast of Indian Ocean
(Bangladesh) 0 ft. (0 m) high
Unit 8 • 599
(t) Nature Picture Library/Alamy Images, (cl) DPA/AJI/The Image Works, (bl) Hemis/Alamy Images, (br) David H. Wells/CORBIS
South Asia
40°
N
PHYSICAL
60°E
80°E
K2
100°E
28,250 ft.
.
sR
RT
u
Ind
M
Gan
g
A
GA
es
Kanchenjunga
28,169 ft.
(8,586 m)
L A
Y A
N
R.
TROPIC
R
A
TH
SE
DE
I
Mt. Dhaulagiri
26,810 ft. Mt. Everest
(8,172 m) 29,028 ft.
(8,848 m)
ra
R.
H
EAST ASIA
GES
PLAI
ut
CENTRAL
ASIA
S H KA
RA (8,611 m)
DU KU
KO
RA
M
Khyber Pass
RA
NG
E
HIN
h
Bra
N
Meghna R.
KATHMANDU
VALLEY
OF CAN
CER
.
da R
Narma
20°N
Goda
vari
R.
A
GH
STE
Arabian
Sea
R.
ER
TS
Bay of
Bengal
N
Andaman
Islands
RN
N
GH
AT S
Lakshadweep
ns
arba
EA
WE
na
ST
DE CCAN
Kris PL AT E AU
h
Sund
ahanadi
M
R.
GE
A RAN
SATPUR
E
W
S
0
0° EQUATO
R
0
Nicobar
Islands
400 kilometers
400 miles
Albers Equal-Area projection
Elevations
13,100 ft. (4,000 m)
6,500 ft. (2,000 m)
1,600 ft. (500 m)
650 ft. (200 m)
0 ft. (0 m)
Below sea level
Pass
Mountain peak
20°S
p
ma
INDIAN
OCEAN
1 Location Which country is
located nearest the Equator?
2 Regions How does the far
north of the region differ from
the rest of the region?
South Asia
40°
N
POLITICAL
80°E
60°E
100°E
CENTRAL
ASIA
EAST ASIA
Islamabad
us
Ind
R.
Gan
NEPAL
g
es
New Delhi
Thimphu
h
Bra
Kathmandu
ut
PAKISTAN
ra
R.
BHUTAN
p
ma
R.
TROPIC
INDIA
OF CAN
CER
a R.
Narmad
20°N
Goda
vari
Kris
hna
Dhaka
ahanadi
M
R.
BANGLADESH
R.
Bay of
Bengal
R.
Arabian
Sea
Andaman
Islands
N
Lakshadweep
SRI
LANKA
(India)
Meghna R.
(India)
E
W
S
Nicobar
Islands
(India)
Colombo
MALDIVES
Male
0° EQUATO
R
National capital
0
0
400 kilometers
400 miles
Albers Equal-Area projection
INDIAN
OCEAN
1 Place What country extends
farthest east?
2 Location Where is Pakistan’s
capital?
20°S
Unit 8 • 601
South Asia
40°
N
P O P U L AT I O N D E N S I T Y
80°E
60°E
CENTRAL
ASIA
Peshawar
Rawalpindi
Faisalabad
Multan
TROPIC
Karachi
OF CAN
CER
20°N
100°E
EAST ASIA
Srinagar
Lahore
Ludhiana
Meerut
Delhi Faridabad
Jaipur
Lucknow
Agra
Patna
Kanpur
Hyderabad
Varanasi
Dhaka
Asansol
Bhopal
Ahmadabad
Jamshedpur
Indore
Khulna Chittagong
Jabalpur
Kolkata
Rajkot
Vadodara
(Calcutta)
Surat
Nagpur
Durg-Bhilai
Nasik
Bay of
Mumbai
Pune
Bengal
(Bombay)
Hyderabad
Sholapur
Vishakhapatnam
Vijayawada
Arabian
Sea
Bengaluru
(Bangalore)
Chennai (Madras)
N
Coimbatore
0
400 kilometers
0
Cochin
400 miles
Albers Equal-Area projection
Madurai
E
W
S
POPULATION
Per sq. mi.
1,250 and over
250–1,250
62.5–250
25–62.5
2.5–25
Less than 2.5
Uninhabited
Per sq. km
500 and over
100–500
25–100
10–25
1–10
Less than 1
Uninhabited
Cities
(Statistics reflect metropolitan areas.)
Over 5,000,000
2,000,000–5,000,000
1,000,000–2,000,000
20°S
0°
EQUATOR
INDIAN
OCEAN
1 Place Which country has the
highest average population
density?
2 Human-Environment
Interaction What geographic
feature is associated with the
band of high population density in northern India?
South Asia
40°
N
ECONOMIC RESOURCES
80°E
60°E
CENTRAL
ASIA
100°E
Khyber
Pass
EAST ASIA
BHUTAN
PAKISTAN
TROPIC
20°N
OF CAN
CER
NEPAL
INDIA
Resources
Bauxite
BANGLADESH
Chromite
Bay of
Bengal
Coal
Copper
Gold
Arabian
Sea
Andaman
Islands
Iron ore
N
Lead
Limestone
SRI
LANKA
Manganese
E
W
S
Nicobar
Islands
Natural Gas
Petroleum
Zinc
MALDIVES
0
0° EQUATO
0
R
Land Use
Commercial farming
Subsistence farming
Nomadic herding
Manufacturing and trade
Commercial fishing
Little or no activity
20°S
400 kilometers
400 miles
Albers Equal-Area projection
INDIAN
OCEAN
1 Place What mineral resources
can be found in western India?
2 Place What economic activities take place in and around
Sri Lanka?
Unit 8 • 603
South Asia
Country and
Capital
Literacy
Rate
Population and
Density
Land Area
Life
GDP*
Expectancy Per Capita
(Years)
BANGLADESH
Dhaka
Thimphu
BHUTAN
43.1%
42.2%
New Delhi
INDIA
Male
MALDIVES
NEPAL
Kathmandu
Islamabad
PAKISTAN
SRI LANKA
Colombo
59.5%
97.2%
45.2%
45.7%
92.3%
144,200,000
2,594 per sq. mi.
1,001 per sq. km
55,598 sq. mi.
143,998 sq. km
61
1,000,000
55 per sq. mi.
21 per sq. km
18,147 sq. mi.
47,001 sq. km
63
1,103,600,000
869 per sq. mi.
336 per sq. km
1,269,340 sq. mi.
3,287,575 sq. km
62
300,000
2,586 per sq. mi.
1,000 per sq. km
116 sq. mi.
300 sq. km
72
25,400,000
447 per sq. mi.
173 per sq. km
56,826 sq. mi.
147,179 sq. km
62
162,400,000
528 per sq. mi.
204 per sq. km
307,375 sq. mi.
796,098 sq. km
62
19,700,000
778 per sq. mi.
300 per sq. km
25,332 sq. mi.
65,610 sq. km
73
296,500,000
80 per sq. mi.
31 per sq. km
3,717,796 sq. mi.
9,629,047 sq. km
78
Television
Sets
Flag and
Language
(U.S. dollars) (per 1,000 people)
$2,000
7
Bengali
$1,400
6
Dzongkha
$3,100
75
Hindi, English
$3,900
38
Maldivian Dhivehi, English
$1,500
516
Nepali
$2,200
105
Punjabi, Urdu, English
$4,000
102
Sinhala, Tamil, English
UNITED STATES
Washington, D.C.
97%
*Gross Domestic Product
$40,100
844
English
Countries and flags not drawn to scale
Sources: CIA World Factbook, 2005; Population Reference Bureau, World Population Data Sheet, 2005.
For more country facts, go to the Nations of the World Databank at glencoe.com.
604 • Unit 8
Braga, Nepal
Unit 8 • 605
Eye Ubiquitous/CORBIS
Distinguishing Fact
From Opinion
Learn It!
A fact is something that can be proved by evidence such as
records, documents, or historical sources. An opinion is based on a
person’s values or beliefs. Distinguishing fact from opinion can help
you make reasonable judgments about what others say and write.
Follow these steps to identify facts and opinions.
• Read or listen to the information carefully. Which statements
can be proved from a reliable source? These are facts.
• Identify opinions by looking for statements of feelings or
beliefs. Do statements include words like should or always?
Read the following statements. The chart below can help you
distinguish fact from opinion and explain why.
1. Call center jobs include answering customer questions or
entering data online.
2. [Some] call centre employees answer telephones but some
also do highly skilled back office jobs on-line.
3. Indeed, so glamoured are many of them [Indians] by the
prospect of working for a multinational [worldwide corporation]
. . . that they feel that they are already half-way to America.
—from pages 658–659
cts to
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o
e
p
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e
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emSometi
ions. Rem
in
p
o
ir
e
se
support th
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r
u
o
s
e
th
ck
able.
ber to che
ey are reli
th
e
r
u
s
e
facts to b
Facts
Opinions
1. This fact could be proven
by checking employment
advertisements or call center
job descriptions.
3. The author describes many
Indians as having the same
feelings about work, which is
not a proven fact.
2. This fact could be proven
by checking employment
advertisements or call center
job descriptions.
Read to Write
Activity
Practice It!
Read the following paragraph from this unit.
• Draw a chart like the one shown below.
• Write facts from the paragraph in the column on
the left.
• Rewrite the paragraph so that it reflects your opinion about arranged marriages in South Asia.
Marriage in South Asian countries is commonly viewed
as the joining of two families. As a result, parents often
arrange marriages for their children by choosing partners
they consider suitable. After a woman marries, she becomes
part of her husband’s family. In India and Pakistan, several
generations often live together in the same house.
Identify a problem
that challenges
South Asia today. In
an editorial, discuss
this challenge and
how you think it
could be resolved.
Cite facts to support
your opinion. Then,
exchange your editorial with a partner.
Above each sentence
that is a fact, write
“F.” Above each
sentence that is an
opinion, write “O.”
Discuss the editorials as a class.
—from page 643
Facts
Opinions
Bride and groom in
Pakistan
Apply It!
As you read the chapters in this unit, identify topics that you
have an opinion about. Share your opinions with the class, using
facts from your reading. Identify where you might be able to
find additional information to support your opinion.
Unit 8 • 607
WOLFGANG LANGENSTRASSEN/dpa/Landov
Physical Geography
of South Asia
Place South Asia has a varied landscape that includes
the highest mountains in the world as well as lowlands
that rise just a few feet above sea level. The region also
has a variety of climate zones. How do seasonal weather
patterns affect a region?
608 • Chapter 22
Robb Kendrick/Aurora Photos
Section 1: Physical Features
BIG IDEA Geographic factors influence where
people settle. Some parts of South Asia have
mountains and deserts and are not heavily settled.
Other areas of the region have fertile farmlands
that support large populations.
Sherpa agricultural
workers, Nepal
Section 2: Climate Regions
BIG IDEA The physical environment affects people.
The climate in much of South Asia is marked by
contrasts—heavy rainfall during part of the year,
and extreme dryness in other periods. If there is
too little or too much rainfall, millions of lives are
threatened.
Organizing Information Make this Foldable to help you organize information about South Asia’s landforms and climates.
Step 2 Then fold
the paper to form
5 equal sections.
Step 3 Cut along the
folds on the top flap to
create tabs.
Step 4 Label the tabs
as shown.
Landforms
Natural
Resources
En
v
Co ironm
nc en
ern ta
s l
Step 1 Fold a
piece of paper in
half lengthwise.
Monsoons
Climate
Zones
Reading and Writing As you read the chapter, write notes under the correct tab on the
Foldable. Use your notes to write a short essay describing South Asia’s various landforms,
climates, and seasonal climate patterns.
Social Studies
ONLINE
To preview Chapter 22, go to glencoe.com.
Chapter 22 • 609
Robb Kendrick/Aurora Photos
Geographic factors influence where
people settle.
Content Vocabulary
• subcontinent (p. 611)
• delta (p. 612)
• atoll (p. 613)
• lagoon (p. 613)
Academic Vocabulary
• eventual (p. 613)
• concentration (p. 614)
Reading Strategy
Organizing Information Use a
diagram like the one below to list key
facts about the physical environment
of South Asia.
South Asia
610 • Chapter 22
Torleif Svensson/CORBIS
Physical
Features
Perched on thin poles driven
into the seabed, fishermen in South Asia use
baitless hooks without barbs to snare mackerel and herring. On a good day, a fisherman
can catch up to 1,000 fish. Each village claims
its own section of reef for fishing, and local
law prohibits fishing from boats or using nets
to catch fish. The stilt fishermen’s poles are
passed down from father to son. Read this
section to find out how the geography of this
region has shaped people’s lives and the
area’s economy.
Stilt fishing, Sri Lanka
Landforms and
Resources
Main Idea
The geography of South
Asia varies from towering mountains to
lowland river plains.
Geography and You How would you like to feel truly
“on top of the world”? You could if you climbed Mount
Everest, the highest peak on Earth. Read to learn about
this mountain in South Asia and the region’s other physical features.
South Asia is made up of seven countries. India is the largest among them, covering three-fourths of the region. South Asia
also includes Pakistan, Bangladesh, Nepal,
Bhutan, Sri Lanka (SREE LAHNG∙kuh), and
Maldives (MAWL∙DEEVZ). Most of these
countries are located on the Indian subcontinent. A subcontinent is a large landmass
that is a part of a continent.
Northern Mountains
Three huge walls of mountains form
South Asia’s northern boundary and separate the subcontinent from the rest of Asia.
These mountain systems are the Hindu
Kush, the Karakoram (KAH∙rah∙KOHR∙ahm),
and the Himalaya (HIH∙muh∙LAY∙uh). The
Himalaya range is the highest mountain
system in the world. Among the snowcapped peaks of Nepal is Mount Everest,
which, at 29,028 feet (8,848 m) is the tallest
mountain in the world.
The Himalaya attract adventurous
climbers and hikers, but their rugged terrain and harsh climate once kept travelers away. The mountains protected Nepal
and Bhutan from outside influence until
the 1900s. However, people from the north
entered other parts of South Asia through
narrow mountain passes in the Hindu
•
Mount Everest, Nepal
Most people use portable oxygen tanks
when they climb Mount Everest. They need
extra oxygen to maintain their ability to breathe
comfortably. Place Which three mountain systems
make up South Asia’s northern edge?
Kush. The most famous of these is the Khyber Pass between Afghanistan and Pakistan. For centuries, trading caravans and
conquering armies marched through the
Khyber Pass and on to India.
Scientists believe that South Asia’s
northern mountain ranges were formed by
tectonic plate movements. About 60 million years ago, the South Asian subcontinent was part of the same landmass as
Africa. Then the subcontinent broke away,
drifted across the Indian Ocean, and collided with the southern edge of Asia. The
force of this collision thrust up the Hindu
Kush, the Karakoram, and the Himalaya.
Plate movements are still going on.
As a result, South Asia’s northern mountains grow a tiny bit taller every year. Plate
movements also cause destructive earthquakes throughout the region.
Social Studies
ONLINE
Student Web Activity Visit glencoe.com and complete
the Chapter 22 Web Activity about the Khyber Pass.
Chapter 22 • 611
Jake Norton/Aurora Outdoor Collection/Getty Images
Northern Plains
South of South Asia’s massive mountains are wide, fertile plains. These areas
are watered by the region’s three great
rivers—the Indus, the Ganges (GAN∙JEEZ),
and the Brahmaputra (BRAHM∙uh∙POO∙
truh). The people of the region have long
depended on these rivers for farming,
transportation, and trade.
The Indus River begins north of the
Himalaya in Tibet, China, and flows southwest through Pakistan to the Arabian Sea.
The Ganges flows from the Himalaya in
a different direction—southeast through
India’s Ganges Plain. This vast lowland
area boasts some of the country’s richest soil and is home to about 40 percent
of India’s population. In eastern India, the
Ganges River turns south through Bangladesh. There it combines with the Brahmaputra River to form the world’s largest
delta. A delta is a soil deposit at the mouth
of a river.
Southern Landforms
The landscape in the south is quite different from that in the north. At the base of
the subcontinent are two chains of eroded
coastal mountains—the Eastern Ghats and
the Western Ghats. Between them lies a
highland area known as the Deccan Plateau. The Western Ghats block seasonal
rains from reaching this plateau, leaving
it extremely dry. The Karnataka Plateau
south of the Deccan Plateau receives these
rains instead, so the hills there are lush
GLOBAL CITIZENS
NAME:
ZAEEMA ISMAIL
HOME COUNTRY:
Maldives
PRASHANT PANJIAR (2)
ACHIEVEMENT: Zaeema Ismail, 14, lives on an island the size of a soccer field in the middle of the Indian
Ocean. In 2004 a tsunami devastated her island and killed her grandmother. Ismail’s mother was so grief
stricken that she could not speak or eat, and her brother Mohammed, 2, had nightmares about the event.
To find help, Ismail traveled to a nearby island to attend a UNICEF trauma workshop.
She learned that her family’s behavior was normal in tragedy. She encouraged her
family to do chores together to keep them busy and distracted. The plan worked.
Today, Ismail’s mother eats normally, her brother sleeps soundly, and their tin hut
is alive with laughter.
PRAISE FROM OTHERS:
Mohamed Naeem, a UNICEF
officer who met Ismail at the
trauma workshop, says, Zaeema
was a simple girl who did some
simple things and achieved
something extraordinary. She
Ismail walks through her village with her
held her family together.
mom and her brother and sisters.
“
”
CITIZENS Ismail found inner strength to help her family. Have there been
IN ACTION situations in which you have found inner strength to help others?
612 • Chapter 22
Prashant Panjiar
and green. You can smell spices growing
on plantations in this area. You can also
see wild elephants moving through the
plateau’s dense rain forests.
Islands of South Asia
South Asia includes two island nations:
Sri Lanka and Maldives. Sri Lanka, the
larger of the two nations, lies off the southeast coast of India. Shaped like a teardrop,
the country has a small pocket of highlands in the interior. This area is made
up of ridges, valleys, and steep cliffs that
offer spectacular scenery. Coastal lowlands
encircle these highlands and cover more
than 80 percent of the island.
Maldives, which lies off India’s western coast, is one of the smallest countries
in the world. Maldives includes more than
1,300 islands, though people live on only
about 200 of them. Many of the islands
are atolls, circular-shaped islands made of
coral. Coral is a rocklike material formed
from the skeletons of tiny sea creatures.
As coral deposits build up, many of them
eventually become covered by soil and
sand to make islands. Atolls have a shallow body of water in the center called a
lagoon. The outer ring of the island protects the lagoon from the sea.
Natural Resources
South Asia is not a land of plenty. Even
good farmland is scarce outside of India,
Bangladesh, and Pakistan. Although most
South Asians grow crops or tend livestock,
plots of land are small, and many farmers
barely earn a living.
India is luckier than its neighbors. As
South Asia’s largest country, it not only has
productive land, but it also has most of the
region’s mineral resources. These include
iron ore, manganese, and chromite, which
are all used in making steel. Pakistan, too,
Indian Wind Farm
•
India is a world leader in generating power
from wind energy. Leaders plan to use the technology
to bring electricity to 25,000 rural villages. HumanEnvironment Interaction What other energy
resources are found in South Asia?
has some valuable minerals, especially
limestone, which is an ingredient for making cement.
To meet their energy needs, the countries of South Asia rely heavily on imported
oil. Pakistan and Bangladesh also have
reserves of natural gas, while India is rich
in coal. Bangladesh has coal deposits too,
but they lie so deep in the ground that mining them is difficult.
Another source of energy for South Asia
is water. The mountainous landscape creates swift-flowing rivers that can be used
to generate electricity. Bangladesh already
has one hydroelectric plant, and India has
several. Nepal and Bhutan, too, are pursuing hydroelectric projects. These plants provide power and also control flooding, which
is a serious problem for South Asians.
Explaining Why is the
Ganges Plain important in India?
Chapter 22 • 613
Michael S. Yamashita/CORBIS
Environmental
Concerns
Main Idea
South Asia’s growing
population is creating more demand
for food and fuel and threatening the
region’s environment.
Geography and You Have you ever been on a street
or in a stadium crowded with people? What kind of an
experience was that? Read to find out how the masses of
people in South Asia affect the environment.
Few places on the planet are more
densely settled than South Asia. The
region is home to more than 20 percent of
the world’s people, but they live on only
3 percent of the world’s land. To add to
the pressure, South Asia’s population is
increasing.
This growth seriously affects the environment. For one thing, greater numbers of people mean greater demand
for animal products. Farmers then raise
more livestock. This leads to overgrazing, which causes grasslands to dry up.
It is not just land that is at risk, though.
South Asia’s growing population also
threatens the water, the forests, and the air.
water is being pumped out, saltwater
enters the aquifers. The higher salt content
makes the water less useful. This problem
is particularly troublesome in the cities
of Dhaka in Bangladesh and Karachi in
Pakistan.
Water pollution is increasing, too. The
Ganges River is among the most polluted
waterways in the world. The water it brings
to urban areas is dirtied by sewage, runoff
from factories, and waste products. Rural
water supplies are often no cleaner. Even
rural Nepal has seriously polluted rivers.
Many farmers apply fertilizers to fields to
increase crop yields. Runoff from fertilizers then makes the drinking water unsafe.
Deforestation
Only a small part of South Asia is forested. Most of the land was cleared centuries ago. However, many of the forests that
Urban Scene
Water
Because South Asia has such a huge
concentration of people, supplies of freshwater are low. The climate, which brings
long dry seasons to much of the region,
contributes to water shortages. In addition, farmers, the largest consumers of
water, often use wasteful irrigation methods. Much water is also wasted in cities
because of old, leaky distribution pipes.
To meet the demand for water, South
Asian countries are tapping underground
aquifers. In urban areas, however, as fresh
614 • Chapter 22
Deshakalyan Chowdhury/AFP/Getty Images
The city of Kolkata (Calcutta) suffers from some of
the worst air pollution in India. Human-Environment
Interaction What other environmental problems
threaten South Asia?
•
remain are now being cut down to provide
building materials as well as wood for fuel.
Rural people throughout South Asia rely
on wood for heating their homes and for
cooking. For example, almost 70 percent
of the energy used in Nepal comes from
burning wood.
When trees are cut down, new seeds
are rarely planted. People need the land
for crops instead. However, the clearing
of trees has led to erosion and flooding.
Nepal and India have now introduced
programs at the local level to limit forest
loss. Villages are given control of managing nearby woodlands. As encouragement
to restore cut areas, they also are allowed
to receive all the income from the sale of
wood products.
Air Pollution
Air pollution is another challenge that
affects parts of South Asia. The number
of cars in the region’s cities has risen rapidly in recent decades. More automobiles
Section
Review
Vocabulary
1.
Describe the physical geography of South
Asia in a paragraph in which you use each of
the following terms: subcontinent, delta, atoll,
and lagoon.
mean the release of more exhaust fumes
that make the air in urban areas dangerous
to breathe.
Air pollution is affecting rural areas as
well. Many villagers cook and heat their
homes by burning wood, kerosene, charcoal, or animal dung. These substances
release smoke and chemicals that are harmful in closed spaces. As a result, many people develop breathing problems, and some
die of lung diseases.
Air pollution from South Asia (and from
Southeast Asia as well) is so severe that a
brown cloud of chemicals, ash, and dust
has formed over the Indian Ocean. The
cloud decreases the sunlight reaching the
Earth’s surface there by 10 percent. Scientists worry that this clouding may be changing the region’s climate and disrupting rain
patterns. That, in turn, may cut crop yields
and threaten people’s livelihoods.
Analyzing Why are South
Asia’s freshwater supplies low?
Social Studies ONLINE
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Critical Thinking
4.
Identifying Central Issues What effect does
South Asia’s growing population have on the
environment?
5.
Compare South Asia’s Deccan Plateau and Karnataka Plateau.
6.
Challenge Do you believe South Asian countries are dealing effectively with deforestation? Explain.
Main Ideas
2.
Illustrating Use a diagram like the one
below to explain how the northern mountains
of South Asia were formed.
Writing About Geography
7.
3.
Explaining Why is air pollution also affecting rural areas of South Asia?
Using Your
Use your Foldable to
create a map of South Asia that describes the
region’s physical geography for tourists.
Chapter 22 • 615
Sacred Waters
What happens when a place
people see as holy is being
spoiled by pollution?
The Sacred River Millions of India’s
Hindus hold the Ganges River as the most
sacred, or holy, of all waters. Called “Mother
Ganges,” the river is believed to have the
power to wash away sins. Thousands of
people bathe in the river each morning.
Hindus also place the remains of deceased
family members in the Ganges. The remains
are either ashes after the body has been
burned or the body itself. It is believed that
the waters of the holy Ganges will ease the
person’s path into the next life.
The Polluted Ganges Unfortunately,
the Ganges has become one of the most polluted rivers in the world. Besides human
remains, the remains of dead cattle—
animals that Hindus hold as sacred—are
placed in the river. Waste from factories
and fertilizer runoff from farms also pollute the Ganges.
Washing clothes in the Ganges River
The Ganges River at Rishikesh, India
The biggest source of pollution, though,
is the waste, garbage, and trash from the
millions of people who live along the
Ganges. The germs in the Ganges pose a
serious infection risk to people using the
water for drinking and cooking.
Cleaning Up the River In the 1980s,
India built new sewage treatment plants to
clean up the river. These did not work well,
partly due to India’s wet monsoon season.
In addition, government officials have
found it difficult to enforce laws against
industrial waste pollution. This is because
of the small industrial workshops in the
Ganges area. Today groups are trying to
make cleanup efforts more citizen-based,
encouraging Indians to protect the waters
of “Mother Ganges.”
Think About It
1. Place Why is the Ganges River important
to India’s Hindus?
2. Human-Environment Interaction Why
is the Ganges so polluted?
616 • Chapter 22
Michelle Burgess/Visuals Unlimited, f1 online/Alamy Images
The physical environment affects
people.
Content Vocabulary
• monsoon (p. 618)
• cyclone (p. 619)
Academic Vocabulary
• distinct (p. 618)
• vary (p. 619)
• contrast (p. 619)
• survive (p. 620)
Reading Strategy
Outlining Use an outline like
the one below to summarize the
monsoon cycle.
I. First Main Heading
A. Key Fact 1
B. Key Fact 2
II. Second Main Heading
A. Key Fact 1
B. Key Fact 2
Climate
Regions
This long-haired, shortlegged, oxlike mammal of the Himalaya is a
yak. The Sherpas of Nepal call the male of the
species “yak” and the females “nak.” The yak
is a valued animal in this part of the world.
In a region where climate limits plant growth,
the yaks can eat the low-quality scrub found in
the area. The yak produces high-fat milk and is
a source of lean meat. Its wool is used to make
clothing and tents. Yaks are also a reliable
source of transportation in this rocky, mountainous region. They are as stable on their feet
as mountain goats. Read this section to learn
more about the climates in South Asia and the
effects they have on the animals and people
who live there.
Traveling through a mountain
pass in the Himalaya
Chapter 22 • 617
Andrew Errington/Getty Images
Monsoons
Main Idea
Seasonal dry and wet
winds are the major factor shaping
South Asia’s climate.
Geography and You How does the environment
where you live change from season to season? The pattern
in your area is probably quite different from that in South
Asia, as you will read in this section.
Much of South Asia experiences three
distinct, or unique, seasons—hot, wet,
and cool. These three seasons depend on
seasonal winds called monsoons. Figure 1
shows the yearly pattern of the monsoons.
During the cool season, from October to
late February, dry monsoon winds blow
from the north and northeast. The hot season follows from late February to June. During this period, warm temperatures heat
the air, which rises and causes a change in
wind direction. Moist ocean air then moves
in from the south and southeast, bringing
monsoon rains. The wet season lasts from
June or July through September.
The monsoon rains are heaviest in eastern South Asia. When the rains sweep
over the Ganges-Brahmaputra delta, the
Himalaya block them from moving north.
Instead, the rains move west to the Ganges
Plain, bringing water needed for farming.
See StudentWorks™ Plus or glencoe.com.
Figure 1
0
0
South Asia: Winter and Summer Monsoons
400 kilometers 70°E
N
90°E
0
400 miles
Albers Equal-Area projection
0
E
W
NEP
AL
TROPIC O
CANCER F
Arabian
Sea
IN D IA
N
S
NEP
AL
PAKISTAN
TROPIC O
CANCER F
Arabian
Sea
IN D IA
10°N
SRI LANKA
MALDIVES
INDIAN OCEAN
1 Regions Which areas receive the heaviest rain
during the summer monsoon?
618 • Chapter 22
30°N
BHUTAN
BANGLADESH
Bay of
Bengal
Bay of
Bengal
Rainfall,
May to September
More than 60 in.
(150 cm)
20 to 60 in.
(50 to 150 cm)
Less than 20 in.
(50 cm)
Winds
E
W
30°N
BHUTAN
BANGLADESH
90°E
400 miles
Albers Equal-Area projection
S
PAKISTAN
400 kilometers 70°E
Rainfall,
November to March
More than 60 in.
(150 cm)
20 to 60 in.
(50 to 150 cm)
Less than 20 in.
(50 cm)
Winds
SRI LANKA
10°N
MALDIVES
INDIAN OCEAN
2 Regions How do the wind and rainfall patterns
change from summer to winter?
Natural Disasters
The high temperatures of the hot season
and the rains of the wet season have good
and bad effects on South Asians. As long
as water is plentiful, high temperatures
allow farmers to grow crops, especially
the rice that is a huge part of the people’s
diet. The extreme heat, however, causes
water to evaporate quickly and dries out
the soil.
The monsoon winds likewise have
mixed effects. The rains they shower on
Bangladesh and the Ganges Plain help
crops there grow well. However, areas
outside the monsoon’s path—such as the
Deccan Plateau and western Pakistan—
may receive little or no yearly rainfall. If
there is no rain, or not enough, some areas
become scorched, or burnt, by drought.
Too much rain can also bring trouble.
In the low-lying delta of Bangladesh, monsoons often cause devastating floods that
drown the flat land. Water also runs down
from deforested slopes upriver in northern India. Together, these violent flows of
water kill thousands of people as well as
livestock. They also ruin crops, destroy
homes, and wipe out roads.
Another kind of weather disaster often
strikes South Asia. A cyclone is an intense
tropical storm with high winds and heavy
rains. Cyclones are similar to hurricanes
in the Atlantic Ocean and typhoons in the
north Pacific Ocean. In South Asia, cyclones
can be followed by deadly tidal waves that
surge from the Bay of Bengal. In 1999 a
cyclone struck India’s northeast coast with
winds of more than 160 miles (257 km) per
hour. Waves reached over 20 feet (6 m)
high. The storm killed nearly 10,000 people
and left about 15 million people homeless.
Summarizing Information
When do the wet and dry monsoons occur?
Climate Zones
Main Idea
South Asia’s climate zones
are affected by location, landforms,
and monsoon winds.
Geography and You Do you think it ever warms up
at the top of the world’s highest mountain? Read to find
out about the climate on Mount Everest and in the rest of
South Asia.
In many parts of South Asia, the climate
is tropical and the plant life abundant. In
some areas, however, climates vary. They
range from cold in the Himalaya to hot in
the deserts around the Indus River.
Tropical Areas
Much of south central India has a tropical dry climate. The region’s grasslands and
deciduous forests grow green in the short
wet season and turn brown in the long
dry season. Bangladesh and southern Sri
Lanka, by contrast, have a tropical wet climate with warm temperatures year-round.
Monsoon Season, India
•
Heavy monsoon rains can cause flooding and
landslides and leave thousands of people homeless.
Regions How does the monsoon climate help
farmers in the region?
Chapter 22 • 619
Reuters/CORBIS
South Asia’s tropical regions receive
the heaviest rainfalls from the wet monsoons. Most of Bangladesh gets 100 inches
(254 cm) of rain per year. The city of Cherrapunji in northeastern India receives an
annual rainfall averaging up to 450 inches
(1,143 cm), making it one of the wettest
spots on Earth.
Dry and Temperate Climates
The wet monsoons, of course, do not
reach all of South Asia. As a result, some
areas have dry climates. Along the lower
Indus River, the land is dry and windswept.
Farmers must use irrigation to grow wheat
and other crops.
To the east of the Indus River lie the
sand dunes and gravel plains of the Thar
Desert. Surrounding this desert, except on
the coast, is a steppe. Few trees grow on
this partly dry grassland. Another steppe
area crosses the Deccan Plateau, which sits
between the Eastern and Western Ghats.
Section
Review
Vocabulary
1.
Explain the roles of monsoons and cyclones in
The Western Ghats block rainfall in the
area, making the central Deccan dry.
The climate becomes humid and subtropical as you travel north to the Ganges
Plain. This area has high temperatures, with
muggy summers but fairly dry winters.
Highlands
Highland climates are found along
South Asia’s northern edge, where towering mountains rise. Above 16,000 feet
(4,877 m), temperatures are always below
freezing. As a result, snow never disappears, and little vegetation can survive.
Farther down the mountain slopes, the
climate turns more temperate. In Nepal’s
Kathmandu Valley, January temperatures
average a mild 50°F (10°C). The average
July temperature is a pleasant 78°F (26°C).
Identifying What areas of
South Asia receive the most rainfall?
Social Studies ONLINE
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Critical Thinking
4.
South Asia’s climate.
Main Ideas
2.
Explaining How do the high temperatures
of the hot season both benefit and harm the
people of South Asia?
3.
Categorizing Use a main idea chart like
the one below to identify four major climate
zones of South Asia and some characteristics
of each.
South Asian Climate Zones
620 • Chapter 22
Determining Cause and Effect Why is the
central area of the Deccan Plateau dry?
5.
How do monsoons affect the lives
of South Asians?
6.
Challenge Is drought more likely to occur in
Pakistan or Bangladesh? Why?
Writing About Geography
7.
Expository Writing Write a paragraph identifying the natural disasters that can affect
South Asia, the areas where they strike, and
their characteristics.
Visual Summary
Natural
Resources
●
India has most of South Asia’s
natural resources.
●
South Asian countries need to
import energy resources, such as
oil and natural gas.
●
Hydroelectric power is a
promising energy source for
South Asia.
Tea plantation, Sri Lanka
Khyber Pass, Pakistan
Mountains
and Plains
●
●
●
Climate
Patterns
Three of the world’s largest
mountain chains stretch across
northern South Asia.
The Indus, Ganges, and
Brahmaputra Rivers bring water
to South Asia’s heavily populated
plains.
●
Monsoons, or seasonal winds,
dominate South Asia’s climate.
●
Farmers depend on the monsoons
to grow crops.
●
Cyclones, or powerful storms,
can cause destruction to coastal
lowlands.
Bengal tiger, Indian rain forest
Highlands and lowlands dominate
southern India.
Environment
●
Islands
●
Sri Lanka has a highland
interior and surrounding coastal
lowlands.
●
●
Maldives includes islands that are
coral atolls.
●
South Asia’s large population has
put pressure on limited water
resources.
South Asian countries are trying
to protect their few remaining
forests.
Exhaust from more vehicles
and burning wood for fuel have
increased air pollution.
Climate Zones
●
Much of South Asia is tropical,
although the region also has
temperate, desert, and highland
climates.
●
South Asia’s tropical areas receive
heavy rainfall.
Maldives atoll
Study anywhere, anytime! Download quizzes and
flash cards to your PDA from glencoe.com.
Chapter 22 • 621
(tl) Reuters/CORBIS, (tr) Picture Finders Ltd./eStock Photo, (c) Thomas Mangelsen/Minden Pictures, (b) Eugen/zefa/CORBIS
CHAPTER 22
STANDARDIZED TEST PRACTICE
TESTTAKING TIP
After you have finished, review your test to make sure that you have
answered all questions, followed directions carefully for each set of questions, and avoided simple mistakes.
Reviewing Vocabulary
Reviewing Main Ideas
Directions: Choose the word(s) that best completes the
sentence.
Directions: Choose the best answer for each question.
Section 1 (pp. 610–615)
1. Soil and sediment deposited at the mouth of a
river forms a
.
5. The Himalaya are growing slightly taller each
year because
are still occurring.
A lagoon
A earthquakes
B delta
B sedimentations
C peninsula
C tectonic plate movements
D silt
D climate changes
2. Circular-shaped islands made of coral are called
.
A deltas
B lagoons
6. Greater numbers of people in South Asia mean
greater demand for animal products, which
leads farmers to raise more livestock. This can
sometimes lead to overgrazing, which results in
.
C atolls
A higher average cholesterol
D peninsulas
B more overweight people
C more large, corporate-owned farms
3. Much of South Asia experiences three distinct, or
unique, seasons (hot, wet, and cool) that are
caused by seasonal winds called
.
A monsoons
B cyclones
D dried up grasslands
Section 2 (pp. 617–620)
7. The heaviest monsoon rains in the region fall
.
C lagoons
A over the ocean
D deltas
B in eastern South Asia
C north of the Himalaya
4. South Asia occasionally suffers from
, or
damaging storms with high winds and heavy
rains.
A monsoons
D during the cool season
8. Highland climates are found in South Asia’s
, where towering mountains rise.
B deltas
A southern region
C lagoons
B northern region
D cyclones
C central region
D eastern region
GO ON
622 • Chapter 22
ASSESSMENT
Critical Thinking
Document-Based Questions
Directions: Base your answers to questions 9 and 10
on the graph below. Choose the best answer for each
question.
Directions: Analyze the document and answer the
short-answer questions that follow.
In 1999 the television program NOVA sent a team of
experts to Mount Everest to solve a mystery. Liesl
Clark, filmmaker and correspondent, posted online
dispatches from base camp.
Population in Millions
Comparing Populations
1,200
1,100
1,000
900
800
700
600
500
400
300
200
100
0
Pakistan
United
States
In the upcoming weeks, . . . we will attempt . . . to
piece together . . . Mallory and Irvine’s last day on
Mount Everest. By determining, for example, the flow
rate of Mallory’s oxygen bottle, we can figure out
when he may have run out of his last oxygen and discarded his second empty bottle. . . . By analyzing the
photographs taken of Mallory’s remains [we] may be
able to reconstruct Mallory’s final moments and the
exact cause of his death. Did the altimeter give accurate readings and is there a way to determine its
highest rendering? Is there a small particle of rope
left on the blade of the pocket knife to indicate that
Mallory cut himself free from Irvine? After 75 years,
. . . it is possible that a clue . . . may reveal what our
heroes could never tell us—whether they were the
first to reach the highest point on Earth.
India
Source: CIA World Factbook, 2006.
9. About how many more people live in India than
in the United States?
— Liesl Clark, “Unanswered Questions,”
Nova Online Adventures
A nearly 2 times as many
B nearly 4 times as many
11. Based on the document, what are the writer and
her team investigating?
C nearly 8 times as many
D nearly 10 times as many
12. What sort of clues will the team be looking at to
help them solve the mystery?
10. Which of the following statements is true based
on the bar graph information?
Extended Response
A The United States has a larger population
than Pakistan.
13. Write a letter to a United Nations official discussing and offering possible solutions to the
problem of malnutrition in India.
B The United States and Pakistan have similar
population sizes.
C India’s population is about half the amount of
the United States.
STOP
D India has the largest population in the world.
Social Studies
ONLINE
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Chapter 22 at glencoe.com.
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Chapter 22 • 623