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Southwest Asia Physical Geography

Chapter 19-2

Emily Busey

on 21 October 2015

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Transcript of Southwest Asia Physical Geography

Southwest Asia Physical Geography
Chapter 19-2
Physical Features of SW Asia
• Rub’ al-Khali is the largest all-sand desert in the world
• Little to no vegetation
• Almost 2/3 of SW Asia is desert
• Oasis: small area in the desert with fresh water; some are big enough to support small villages
Persian Gulf
• Separates Iran and the Arabian Peninsula
• Large supply of oil found there
Arabian Peninsula
Contains the Rub' al-Khali
Mostly desert
Peninsula: an area of land almost completely surrounded by water
Dry Climate
Two Historic Rivers
Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
Begin in Turkey, flow south to Iraq; empty into the Persian Gulf
Some of the most fertile soil in the world found there
Supported one of the world's first civilizations - Mesopotamia
Petroleum (Oil)
Southwest Asia's Major Natural Resources
Oily, flammable liquid formed from remains of ancient plants & animals
Nonrenewable resource: cannot be quickly replaced
Source of gasoline & other fuels
SW Asia's greatest export; brings the most money to SW Asia
Largest oil-producing region in the world
Most of these fossil fuels lie underneath the Persian Gulf and the Tigris & Euphrates river valleys
Saudi Arabia has the largest oil reserves in the world – making up nearly ¼ of the world’s oil supply
Countries use the money from their oil production to pay for:
Building water facilities
Investing in desalination plants
Hiring millions of foreign workers
OPEC: Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries - made up of 12 oil-producing countries, including Saudi Arabia, Iraq, and Kuwait
Main goal is to help members agree on a shared policy
Often agree to limit oil productions and to regulate international oil market prices
Southwest Asia's Major Natural Resources
People have to irrigate land to grow crops
Irrigation: watering of crops using canals & other artificial waterways
Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, and the U.A.E. depend on desalination plants – removal of salt from seawater
Some countries, like Israel, pump water from underground wells called aquifers
Iran uses qanats for water – ancient tunnels built from aquifers that are channeled to villages
Too much irrigation can use up water faster than it can be replaced
Tigris, Euphrates, and Jordan rivers used by different countries, which leads to conflict
Lebanon is the only country with fresh water
Three ways people use land in SW Asia: agriculture, nomadic herding, and producing oil
Most farmland in northern region; commercial farming along coasts with a Mediterranean climate
Many commercial farms located in Israel and Turkey
Bedouins: Arabic speaking nomadic herders that live in SW Asia's deserts - herd camels, goats, and sheep
About 10% of the population in SW Asia made up of Bedouins
Using the Land in Southwest Asia
Mostly arid and semiarid
Receives less than 10 inches of rain a year
Temperatures can get as high as 125°F during the day, and as low as 40°F at night
Some coasts and mountainous areas have Mediterranean climate
Downside to Oil Production
Any disruption of oil exports from this region creates shortages of oil and sends oil prices soaring (i.e. conflict)
Oil production can harm the environment - oil spills kill sea life and pollute shorelines; toxic chemicals pollute soil and rivers of Iraq
Trying to Diversify
Many countries are beginning to realize they must diversify their economies if they want to survive (to go from one or two sources of income to many sources
Improved education for the whole population, including women
Have encouraged investment and entrepreneurship (willingness to take the risks of starting a business)
Bahrain and Dubai have become regional financial centers
What do you notice about this chart?
What percentage of the labor force in Saudi Arabia was made up of foreign workers in 2009?
What has happened to the female unemployment rate in Saudi Arabia according to this chart?
Bedouins: Arabic-speaking nomadic herders that live in the desert
10% of the population of SW Asia
Settlement policies have forced many Bedouins to settle in one place, which affects their culture
Full transcript