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Chapter 27 Guided Notes Answer Key
Physical Geography of East Asia: A Rugged Terrain
The mountainous landscape, open ocean, and harsh climate of East Asia isolate
the region and present challenges for the people living there.
Section 1: Landforms and Resources
East Asia has a huge mainland area that includes rugged terrain.
East Asia has a number of important islands off its eastern coast.
Landforms: Mountains and Plateaus
A Survey of the Region
East Asia stretches from western China to the east coast of Japan
- also includes Mongolia, Taiwan, North Korea, South Korea
Landscape has high mountains, deserts, cold climate, Pacific waters
Rugged terrain created by tectonic plates colliding
- Natural barriers limit human movement, increase isolation
Mountain Ranges of the Region
High mountains limited China’s contact with rest of Asia
- world’s highest mountains located on western edge of region
Kunlun Mountains are located in west China
- source of Huang He (Yellow) and Chang Jiang (Yangtze) rivers
Qinling Shandi Mountains divide northern China from the south
Plateaus and Plains
Mountainous area includes some sparsely populated basins, deserts
- includes Plateau of Tibet (Xizang Plateau)
- western China’s Tarim Pendi Basin and Taklimakan Desert
Gobi Desert stretches from northwest China into Mongolia
- covers 500,000 square miles
Mongolian Plateau is in northeastern China
Northern China includes Manchurian Plain, North China Plain
Peninsulas and Islands
The Coast of China
Eastern coast of China has several peninsulas
- Shandong, Leizhou, and Macao Peninsulas
- Portugal owned Macao; returned it to Chinese control in 1999
China’s long coastline has several major port cities like Shanghai
Korean Peninsula is on eastern border of China
- contains independent nations of North Korea and South Korea
The Islands of East Asia
East of China is continental shelf—the submerged border of continent
Isolation of shelf islands allows them to develop in peace, security
Chinese islands include Hainan and part of Hong Kong
- Hong Kong was Britain’s; returned to China’s control in 1997
Japan is a small island nation with large economic power
Taiwan once belonged to mainland China, which still claims it today
River Systems
The Huang He
Huang He (Yellow River)—northern China river
- starts in Kunlun Mountains in west, winds east for 3,000 miles
- empties into Yellow Sea, named for yellow silt the river carries
The Chang Jiang
Chang Jiang (Yangtze River)—longest river in Asia
- flows 3,900 miles from Xizang (Tibet) to East China Sea
- major trade route; floods often causing great damage
The Xi Jiang
Xi Jiang (West River) flows southeast through south China
- joins Pearl River (Zhu Jiang) to flow into South China Sea
- Xi Jiang, three other rivers form estuary between Hong Kong, Macao
Other Rivers of the Region
Yalu Jiang river flows 500 miles along North Korea, China border
- Chinese troops cross it in 1950
- attack UN forces, enter Korean War
Resources of East Asia
Uneven Distribution
China, Mongolia, North Korea have natural, mineral resources
Japan, South Korea, Taiwan have limited natural resources
Land and Forests
Limited farmland in sparsely populated, mountainous, western areas
Most Chinese are in fertile eastern river basins where rice is grown
Abundant forests in China, Japan, Taiwan, North and South Korea
- Japan reserves forests by buying timber from other regions
Mineral and Energy Resources
China has large petroleum, coal, natural gas reserves
- energy resources make China self-sufficient
China’s mineral resources include iron ore, tungsten, manganese
- also molybdenum, magnesite, lead, zinc, copper
North and South Korea have coal, tungsten, gold, silver reserves
Japan has lead, silver, coal, but must trade for most resources
Water Resources
China’s long river systems are important to its economy
- provide crop irrigation, hydroelectric power, transportation
- Three Gorges Dam on Chang Jiang will control floods, create power
- Huang He and Xi Jiang provide hydroelectric power, transportation
Sea is important food source for East Asia
- Japan has one of world’s largest fishing industries
Section 2: Climate and Vegetation
East Asia has a dry highland climate in the west.
The region has a humid climate in the east.
High Latitude Climate Zones
Subarctic
Small subarctic zones on Mongolia’s and China’s Russian borders
Summers are cool or cold; winters are brutally cold; climate is dry
Vegetation is northern evergreen forest, mosses, lichens
Highland
Western China’s highland zone temps vary with latitude, elevation
Vegetation also varies; forests, alpine tundra are typical
Tundras have no trees, frozen soil a few feet below surface
- only mosses, lichens, shrubs grow on tundras
Mid-Latitude Zones
Humid Continental
Climate zone includes northeastern China, northern Japan
- also North Korea, northern South Korea
Forests are coniferous; temperate grasslands provide grazing
- agriculture has replaced many forests
Humid Subtropical
Southeastern China, southern South Korea, south Japan, north Taiwan
Deciduous forests in north, coniferous in southern, sandy soil
Dry Zones
Semiarid
Includes parts of Mongolian Plateau
Vegetation is mostly short grasses, food for grazing animals
Desert
Most of region’s deserts are in west central mainland
Taklimakan Desert—in west China, between Tian Shan, Kunlun mountains
Gobi Desert—in north China, southeast Mongolia
- prime area for dinosaur fossils
Tropical Zones
Tropical Wet
Typhoon—tropical storm that occurs in western Pacific
Tropical climate zone in East Asia is small
- strip of land along China’s southeastern coast
- island of Hainan, southern tip of Taiwan
High temperatures, heavy rainfall, high humidity all year
Tropical rain forest has tall, dense forests of broadleaf trees
Section 3: Human-Environment Interaction
The Chinese are building the Three Gorges Dam to control flooding.
The Japanese have developed creative ways to use their limited amounts of
land.
Section 3: Human-Environment Interaction
The Three Gorges Dam
An Engineering Feat
In 1993, China began construction of the Three Gorges Dam
- being built on China’s Chang Jiang river
- should reduce flooding, generate power
China’s largest construction project will be world’s biggest dam
- will be 600 feet high, spanning a mile-wide valley
- will create 400-mile-long reservoir, covering 1,000 towns
Positive Effects
Government believes dam will control Chang Jiang flooding
- river irrigates half of China’s crops, drains one-fifth of land
Giant turbines should generate 10% of China’s electrical power
Will make it easier for ships to reach China’s interior through locks
- river carries more than half the goods moved on China’s waterways
- dam, locks will increase shipping capacity, decrease costs
Negative Effects
Most observers feel dam will also have negative effects
- negative environmental impact may outweigh any benefits
One to two million people will have to move
- hundreds of historical sites, scenic spots will be submerged
Dam could cost $75 billion rather than original $11 billion estimate
- costs scare away many potential investors
Negative Effects
In building dam, government has not protected the environment
New reservoir will flood land, reduce animal habitats
- submerged factories could leak chemicals into water
- region’s climate, temperature will be affected
- some species (alligator, river dolphin, others) may vanish
International groups slow to invest due to environmental concerns
Use of Space in Urban Japan
Crowded Living and Working Spaces
60% of 127 million people live on 3% of land along coastal plains
- 80% live in largest cities: Tokyo, Yokohama, Osaka, Nagoya, Sapporo
- 25 million in Tokyo, one of world’s largest cities
Cities poisoned with mercury, PCBs—factory pollutants—in 1950s, ’60s
- PCBs build up in animal tissue; cause disease, birth defects
- PCBs banned in 1977
Adapting to Limited Space
Houses are small, sparsely furnished
Many in cities live in apartments
- family of four in a one-bedroom apartment is common
Some move to suburbs, but must commute several hours to work
Coastal cities reclaim land with landfill
- landfill is solid waste buried in layers of dirt
- Tokyo puts factories, refineries on landfill