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AP Human Geo. Summer Assignment

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FRQ 1: “Rising Seas”

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Climate change is changes to regional climates due to increasing amounts of carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. One of the things Climate change is causing is a steady rise in Ocean water levels. These continuously rising levels raise concerning problems for those who live-in low-lying areas like the Netherlands, Florida, and the coastal cities of Vietnam. All these coastal communities are experiencing the problem of flooding and could become submerged. These communities, more specifically Florida are facing the threat that their water supply is being poisoned by the salt water of the seas. The Dutch being more experienced in dealing with the flooding problems are having many of these communities facing these problems reach out to them for help. The Dutch constructed dams and dikes as methods of flood control. They also combated the flooding by reclaiming land taken by the sea by distributing sand across the coast, where the sand and sediments had been taken. Florida has made “salinity control structures” in response to their problem, about 30 in total. These structures are dams and pumping stations that are supposed to control the saltwater influx. These structure however will eventually become useless as they provide and “maintain a wall of fresh water behind them to block underground intrusion of saltwater”, the water needed to keep this block in the future would submerge the areas around it due to the continuous sea level rise. Humans in North America have compounded this problem in a couple of ways. We as a “fossil-fuel-driven society” we have released so many greenhouse gasses that even if we stopped burning these fossil fuels the existing gas would continue to heat the Earth for a while. As we continue to use fossil fuel and release things such as carbon emissions we increase the rate at which the sea water rises.

FRQ 2: “Fertilized World”

In comparison developing countries and developed countries have a great difference in what they can do with fertilizer. A developed country such as North America can do a great deal with all the farming practices that exist to this day. North America can afford and has the resources to use many different fertilization techniques. North America due to us having lots of land available for cultivation can use crop rotation more efficiently. Our technological advances allow available land to have a higher yield than less developed countries. This technology such as irrigation and tools better our agricultural harvesting techniques to achieve the better yield. The less developed countries such as Africa use and require different means of agricultural production. This is due to their own lack of resources and arable land use very little of anything when cultivating. Much of Africa does not use Fertilizer as it must be imported due to its low demand and expensiveness. Africa has been using up its land’s nutrients faster than it can replace itself, leading the land to progressively become less useful for agriculture. Although Africa cannot afford fertilizers it does not mean that can’t fertilize the land. The cultivators of Africa have begun using nitrogen-fixing plants such as peas to replenish the land which increases the yield for the next harvest. The way China uses fertilizer meets it food requirements with a surplus, however it also causes a great deal of trouble for the health of the country’s environment. China would rather use too much fertilizer than too little as less food is more harmful then more food in thier mindset. The excess fertilizer would get carried away by runoff into the surrounding bodies of water causing pollution. The organic approach to farming has its benefits. It has been used as resolution to fix the worlds nitrogen pollution problems. The plants do not contribute fertilizer runoff and they naturally fix nitrogen back into the soil.

FRQ 3: “Fast Food Nation: Popular food, diets, and agriculture”

Fast food can be found all over America. The fast food industry effects and influences our nation in all sorts of ways. The fast food industry and its many chains and companies have been growing and spreading for a while now. As it continues to grow and spread so does its impacts on job markets, agricultural landscapes, and urban landscapes. Fast Food chains are one of the country’s biggest employers. For example, “Mcdonalds is responsible for 90% of the country’s new jobs.” and Mcdonalds approximately hires 1 million workers a year. Most of these hired workers are unskilled and paid low wages, this causing the employees to be part time workers and quit after a couple of months of work. Agricultural landscaping also is being affected by the fast food industry. The fast food companies are pushing famers off their own lands and monopolizing their agriculturally based products. They purchase the farmlands to make fundamental changes to the way’s cattle is raised, slaughtered, and processed to ensure all the product turns out the same or similar. These fundamental changes have made the work environment for the workers more dangerous and prone to injury. These injuries or work accidents often are either not compensated for or unrecorded, another leading cause to why workers chose to leave. Urban landscapes have also been affected by the fast food industry. Fast Food chains are typically easily accessible and affordable. This easy accessibility and cheapness of the products is also raising some alarm. The fast food sold at these establishments have been through many dangerous pathogens and are extremely unhealthy for the body, it’s one of the leading causes for our country’s obesity problems.

FRQ 4: “European Union”

European states face tension between integration and sovereignty. Tension between sovereignty and integration has happened in multiple ways. Tension is caused when one or few states within the union don’t join to a certain agreement. An example of this would be when all of Europe except Great Britain agreed upon using the Euro as a single European-wide currency and continued to use the pound as its own form of currency. This brought tension as it created the need for exchange rates and made trade harder without the uniform currency being used. In the last year Great Britain has opted out of the European Union. This is the first country to succeed from the European Union, it has raised many issues of the process and impact it will have on trade and open borders. A future problem that the European Union could run into is other countries choosing to succeed from it. For example, is a country with strong economics like Germany left and it would not have to be obligated to support a country like Greece. A challenge to European integration would like how when Greece went into debt and required assistance. Strong leading Economic countries like Germany had to come in and institute new economic policies for Greece even though they were a sovereign country. The European Union has benefited its member states through trade. The trading system that the European Union provides allows for there to be more economic flow for the countries within it. The European Union also has harmed its member states. The entirety of the Europe Union can decide to place sanctions in certain locations, sanctions prevent trade and restrain it.

FRQ 5: Agricultural Planning

Geographic Information Systems are systems that attain, store, and analyze geographic information. (GIS) has changed the way Farmers view thier crops and fields. It has allowed them to know their land more and how to better respond to its current conditions. Geographic Information Systems gather data in a manner of ways. The systems use manly drones and satellites for remote sensing. These remote sensing tools are used to collect information on vegetation, topography and weather from an aerial point of view. Farmers and other agricultural professions use this information to map out fields. This allows farmers prevent an over use of fertilizer(s) and to reduce the amount of runoff. An example of how (GIS) has led to better planning would be (SMOS) Soil Moisture Ocean Salinity, this allows crop growers to predict thier own crop yield and allows for a better prediction of when drought or flooding may occur.

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