Essay: Geography of South America

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Geography of South America

Geography is the study of how people are interacting with the world around them. Where, there is focus on how the impact of human activities will affect the formation of geographic features, the climate and natural resources. ("What Does Geography Mean") in the case of South America, the continent is known for the wide range of geographic features, climates and natural resources. However, over the last several years human activity has been helping to create vast changes within the continent itself. Part of the reason for this is because of the increased demand for a variety of natural resources that can be extracted from the continent, thanks to globalization. As a result, a shift has occurred where the various economic issues are beginning to have a major impact on geography of the continent. What is happening is the forces of globalization have increased the overall amounts of competition for the different natural resources. In order to effectively, extract these resources, means that various ecosystems and geographic features are being destroyed. Where, during the process of searching for various natural resources the total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere increases. This has a ripple effect on the geography of the continent as the warmer temperatures; means that that there will be tremendous changes in the various ecosystems and the different geographic features. To fully understand the overall extent that economic forces are having on the geography of the continent; requires examining how globalization is contributing to the problem and how it could affect the continent in the future. Together, these two elements will highlight how contemporary economic issues are vastly changing the geography of South America.

How Globalization is Changing South America

Globalization is when there is increased competition among the different areas of the world. Part of the reason for this is improvements in communications and a variety of government reforms (such as reducing trade barriers / quotas), which have increased the economic opportunity for many nations. This increased opportunity, is pushing many countries on the continent; to encourage economic development of various regions that are known to have large amounts of natural resources. ("Globalization") for example, Venezuela, Ecuador and Columbia all are known as oil exporters. The problem is that extracting oil and natural gas from the Earth can release methane gas into the atmosphere. ("Latin America at Risk") This is considered to be one of the greenhouse gases that are helping to contribute to the problem of global warming. As more of the various natural resources are extracted, other regions of the continent are sought out to extract even more natural resources. Once this takes place, it becomes a self feeding cycle, where the different countries throughout the region are encouraging the development of these natural resources. The problem is extracting and finding them, will often lead to the destruction of ecosystems during the process. Where, large sections of forest are destroyed to be able to reach the different natural resources. An example of this can be seen in the Brazilian Amazon, where the government has encouraged the poor and speculators to develop the land. As they are destroying large amounts of rainforest, they are changing the geography of the region by replacing the forests with traditional pastures (often used in farming). Then, once they begin using the land for its intended purposes such as farming or mining various natural resources, the environmental impact will continue. (Butler, 2010) as these different methods, of using the land will often involve the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere in one way or another. This is significant because it underscores how the increased competition from globalization and the increased economic opportunities for many countries throughout the region; is changing the geography of the continent.

The Effects on Globalization on South America in the Future

The short to medium term effects of globalization has allowed many of the different countries throughout the region to experience above average economic growth. An example of this can be seen with the average rate of growth that continent has been seeing of 5%… [END OF PREVIEW]

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Geography of South America.  (2010, May 12).  Retrieved June 16, 2019, from https://www.essaytown.com/subjects/paper/geography-south-america/857403

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