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The World Today: Concepts and Regions in Geography

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  • Edition: 8th
  • Format: Loose-leaf
  • Copyright: 2020-03-01
  • Publisher: Wiley

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In the 8th edition of this market-leading title, The World Today continues to break new ground in the interpretation and teaching of world regional geography. The text explains the contemporary world’s geographic realms in terms of their natural environments and human dimensions in a clear and concise fashion. The authors look at the ways people have organized their living space, adapted to changing social as well as environmental circumstances, and continue to confront forces largely beyond their control, ranging from globalization to climate change.

This book offers an approach to Geography that meshes theoretical concepts with regional realities. The evolving regional content of the chapters in the 8th edition of The World Today reflects the dynamic nature of the world’s geography; the changing and growing number of concepts mirror the progress of the discipline; and the ongoing introduction of new digital features reflects the instructional possibilities of new technologies.

Table of Contents

Contents xv

1 Introduction: World Regional Geography 3

A World on Maps 4

Technology & Geography: Geospatial Data: Understanding Our World 5

Geography’s Perspective 6

World Geographic Realms 7

Regions Within Realms 11

The Physical Setting 12

Global Climate Change: The Anthropocene 14

Realms of Population 17

Realms of Culture 19

A World of States 24

Geographies of Development 24

Globalization 27

Geographic Information Analysis: The Geography of COEmissions 29

Regional and Thematic Geographies 29

Geographic Information Analysis: Global Migration Flows 30

2 The North American Realm 35

Defining The Realm 37

Population Clusters 38

North America’s Physiography 39

Global Climate Change in North America 41

Native Americans and European Settlement 41

The Federal Map of North America 43

The Distribution of Natural Resources 43

Urbanization and the Spatial Economy 46

The Information Economy and City Regions 48

Geographies of Inequality 50

Technology & Geography: GPS, Sensors, and Self-Driving Cars 51

Geographic Information Analysis: Geography and Elections in the United States 53

The Making of a Multicultural Realm 53

Geographic Information Analysis: Race and Housing Values in Los Angeles 54

Regionalism in Canada: Divisive Forces 56

Regionalism and Ethnicity in the United States 57

Regions of North America 58

Region The Northeast (1) 59

Region North Atlantic Coast (2) 60

Region French Canada (3) 60

Region The Southeast (4) 60

Region The Southwest (5) 61

Region The West Coast (6) 61

Region The Rocky Mountains Region (7) 63

Region The Midwest (8) 63

Region The Northern Frontier (9) 63

3 The Middle American Realm 67

Defining the Realm 68

The Realm’s Northern Boundary 69

Physical Geography of Middle America 71

Cultural Geography 74

Political and Economic Fragmentation 76

Geographic Information Analysis: Connectivity and Economic Development in Middle America 78

Regions of Middle America 78

Region Mexico 80

Region The Central American Republics 85

Technology & Geography: The Shipping Container 90

Geographic Information Analysis: Remittances Between the United States and Middle America 91

The Caribbean Basin 92

Region The Greater Antilles 93

Region The Lesser Antilles 97

4 The South American Realm 101

Defining the Realm 102

States Ancient and Modern 103

Cultural Geographies 106

Economic Geography 107

Technology & Geography: Remote Sensing and Deforestation 108

Urbanization and Its Regional Expressions 110

The United States and China in South America 112

Geographic Information Analysis: Income Inequality in South American States and Cities 113

Regions of South America 114

Region The Caribbean North 115

Region The Andean West 119

Global Climate Change on Bolivia’s Altiplano 123

Region The Southern Cone 124

Geographic Information Analysis: Wine Growing Regions of the World 127

Region Brazil: Giant of South America 128

5 The European Realm 137

Defining the Realm 138

Physical Geography 139

Global Climate Change in Europe 141

Technology & Geography: What is GIS? 142

Modern Historical Geography 142

Contemporary Europe: A Dynamic Realm 144

European Unification 146

Consequences of Unification 149

Recent Challenges of Integration 152

European Geopolitics 154

Geographic Information Analysis: Demography is Destiny? 158

Migration, Multicultural Challenges, and Prospects of Integration 159

Regions of Europe 160

Region Western Europe 161

Region Northern Europe 168

Region Mediterranean Europe 172

Region Eastern Europe 176

Geographic Information Analysis: Ukraine: A Linguistic and Economic Transition Zone 182

Europe’s Future Prospects 183

6 The Russian/Central Asian Realm 185

Defining the Realm 186

Physical Geography of Russia/Central Asia 187

Global Climate Change in Russia 190

Technology & Geography: Russia’s Nuclear Icebreakers in the Arctic Ocean 193

Russia’s Czarist Roots 193

The Soviet Experiment (1922–1991) 196

Post-Soviet Russia and the Near Abroad 198

Regions of Russia and Central Asia 202

The New Russia 203

Geographic Information Analysis: Population Change Across Russia 207

Region The Russian Core 208

Region Southern Siberia 209

Region Northern Siberia 211

Region The Russian Far East 211

Region Transcaucasia 212

Geographic Information Analysis: Ethnic Geographies of Southern Russia and Transcaucasia 215

Region Central Asia 216

7 The North African/Southwest Asian Realm 221

Defining the Realm 222

Ancient Hearths of Cultures 223

Stage for Islam 225

The Ottoman Empire and Its Aftermath 227

Economic Geography 228

Technology & Geography: Global Water Needs and Desalination 232

Pervasive Political Geographies 233

Geographic Information Analysis: Development and Democracy 234

Politics and Religion 235

The Refugee Problem 238

Regions of North Africa/Southwest Asia 239

Region Egypt and the Lower Nile Basin 241

Region The Middle East 243

Region The Arabian Peninsula 249

Region The Empire States 253

Region The Maghreb and Its Neighbors 257

Region The African Transition Zone 259

8 The Subsaharan African Realm 265

Defining the Realm 266

Africa’s Physiography 266

Africa’s Historical Geography 268

Geographic Information Analysis: Ethnic Groups of Subsaharan Africa 270

Human–Environment Relations 273

Population and Health 276

Cultural Geographies 278

Urbanization and Africa’s Dual Economies 280

Africa Rising? 280

Geographic Information Analysis: China’s Exports to Subsaharan Africa 284

Regions of Subsaharan Africa 285

Region West Africa 286

Region East Africa 291

Region Equatorial Africa 295

Technology & Geography: Mobile Money in Subsaharan Africa 296

Region Southern Africa 299

Global Climate Change in Subsaharan Africa 301

9 The South Asian Realm 309

Defining the Realm 310

South Asia’s Physiography 311

Birthplace of Civilizations and Religions 313

Foreign Invaders 314

The Geopolitics of Modern South Asia 317

Emerging Markets and Fragmented Modernization 320

Technology & Geography: Drones of War 321

Geographic Information Analysis: Comparing the Megacities of Dhaka and Los Angeles 324

South Asia’s Population Geography 324

Global Climate Change in South Asia 326

Geographic Information Analysis: Female/Male Sex Ratios across India 330

Regions of South Asia 329

Region The West: Afghanistan’s Transition Zone 331

Region The West: Pakistan 334

Region India: Giant of the Realm 336

Region Bangladesh 343

Region The Northern Mountain States 345

Region The Southern Islands 346

10 The East Asian Realm 351

Defining the Realm 352

Environment and Population 353

Peoples of the East Asian Realm 357

Global Climate Change in China 358

East Asia’s Economic Transformation 360

East Asia’s Population Dynamics 362

Geopolitics in East Asia Today 364

Geographic Information Analysis: Where Can North Korea’s Missiles Reach? 367

China’s Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) 368

Regions of East Asia 369

The People’s Republic of China (PRC) 371

Technology & Geography: High-Speed Rail in China 375

Geographic Information Analysis: Urbanization and Economic Growth in China 376

Region China’s Coastal Core 377

Geographic Information Analysis: Population Change in the Pearl River Delta 380

Region China’s Interior 380

Region China’s Western Periphery 383

Region Mongolia 386

Region The Korean Peninsula 387

Region Japan 389

Region Taiwan 392

11 The Southeast Asian Realm 395

Defining the Realm 396

Physical Geography 397

Population Geography 400

Cultural Geographies 402

Economic Geography of Southeast Asia 405

Geographic Information Analysis: Trade Patterns in Southeast Asia 407

Geopolitics in Southeast Asia 408

Geographic Information Analysis: Maritime Claims in the South China Sea 412

Regions of Southeast Asia 414

Region Mainland Southeast Asia 414

Technology & Geography: Making the Invisible Visible—LiDAR at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat 417

Global Climate Change in Myanmar 422

Region Insular Southeast Asia 423

12 The Austral Realm 433

Defining the Realm 434

Physiography of the Austral Realm 434

The Realm’s Asian Turn 438

Regions of The Austral Realm 439

Region Australia 439

Global Climate Change in Australia 444

Geographic Information Analysis: The Aboriginal Population Distribution 445

New Zealand 446

13 The Pacific Realm and Polar Regions 451

Defining The Pacific Realm 452

Colonization and Independence in the Pacific Realm 453

Technology & Geography: The Tsunami Warning System in the Pacific 454

The Pacific Realm and Its Marine Geography 455

Regions of The Pacific Realm 457

Region Melanesia 459

Region Micronesia 460

Region Polynesia 460

Global Climate Change in the Pacific 461

The Polar Regions 463

Partitioning the Antarctic 463

Geopolitics and Global Climate Change in the Arctic Basin 465

Geographic Information Analysis: The Shrinking North Polar Icecap 467

Appendix Metric (Standard International [SI]) and Customary Units and Their Conversions A-1

Glossary G-1

Index I-1

Supplemental Materials

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