latin america resources, climate, hei ch. 9.1-9.3

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Latin America Resources, Climate, HEI

Latin AmericaResources, Climate, HEICh. 9.1-9.3ResourcesLatin America is home to many natural resources. Mineral resources (gold, silver)Energy resources (oil, natural gas)The region is also rich in agricultural and forest resourcesResourcesMineral ResourcesMining provides Latin America with many resources including tin, lead, titanium, copper, and nickelEnergy ResourcesMajor oil reserves can be found in Mexico and VenezuelaHydroelectric power is rich in Brazil because of the Amazon RiverTrinidad is a major exporter of natural gas

ClimateLatin America has a varied climate for many reasonsLatin America spans a great distance on each side of the equatorThere are big changes in elevation throughout Latin AmericaOcean currents from both the Atlantic and Pacific affect the climate

Tropical climate ZonesRain Forests and grasslands are abundant throughout Latin AmericaTropical wet: Rain forests (like the Amazon) Tropical wet and dry: savannas and grasslands with seasonal rain are found in Brazil, Columbia, and Argentina

Tropical Climate Zones

Dry Climate ZonesDry climate zones are mainly found in Mexico and various countries in South AmericaThere are not any dry climate zones in Central America nor in the CaribbeanSemiarid: found in Mexico, Uruguay, Brazil, and ArgentinaDesert: Parts of northern Mexico and PeruThe Atacama Desert is in northern ChileThe Atacama is the driest desert in the worldPatagonia in Argentina also contains a desertDry Climate Zones

Mid-latitude Climate ZonesMost moderate climate zones in Latin America are located south of the equatorHumid Subtropical: varied vegetation, rainy winters and hot, humid summerSouthern Brazil ParaguayUruguayNorthern ArgentinaMediterranean: hot, dry summers and moist wintersChileChaparral vegetation: plant life unique to the Mediterranean climate

Mid-latitude Climate ZonesMarine West CoastSouthwestern South AmericaHighlandsFound in the mountains of Mexico and South America

HEI: AgricultureNative people were the first in the Western Hemisphere to change the environment to grow food. A few tactics were used: Slash-and-Burn: The slash-and-burn technique was used to clear fieldsFarmers cut trees and brush, then burn debris and use the ashes for soilSometimes this process can be destructive to surrounding natureAfter a few years and slashing, burning, and repeating, the soil is exhausted and the farmers move on to a new location. This is one reason for the steadily shrinking rain forestsHEI: AGricultureTerraced Farming: an ancient technique for growing crops on hillsides and slopesFarmers cut step-like fields into hillsidesAllows steep land to be cultivatedThis technique reduces soil erosion because it makes it harder for the soil to be transported along the slopes (steps instead of smooth)The Inca and the Aztecs used terrace farming

UrbanizationPeople are moving from rural areas to the city throughout Latin AmericaToday Latin America is as urban as Europe and North AmericaThe most urbanized countries in South America include: Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, and BrazilMost people move to cities in search of better livesurbanizationThere are multiple push/pull factors at work regarding urbanizationThe push factors that push people away from the farm/rural areas includePoor medical carePoor educationLow-paying jobsThe pull factors that bring people into the city includeHigher-paying jobsBetter schoolsBetter medical careUrbanizationSome large cities in Latin America includeRio de JaneiroSao PauloBuenos AiresThe largest city in Central America is Mexico City

urbanizationSome of the problems growing cities face includeUnemploymentCrimeEnvironmental problemsLocal governments cannot afford to handle the population growth in many of these citiesThis problem strains the infrastructure including sewers, electricity, transportation, and housing