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Geography in the News: Eurasia’s Boundaries

Geography in the News: Eurasia’s Boundaries | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

"Europe and Asia, while often considered two separate continents, both lie on the same landmass or tectonic plate, the Eurasian supercontinent. The historic and geographic story of the Eurasian boundary is intriguing."


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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 3:14 AM

Here we can see that the continental boundary between Russia and the rest of Europe has historically been solely based on national borders. However, a large majority of Russia's population and major cities are in the western part of the country, which is closer to Europe than most Asian countries.  Because of this, Europe and Asia gained an imaginary cultural border. It only makes sense that part of Russia began to be considered a European region even though it physically is a part of Asia.  It is better to talk about the entire land mass of Eurasia rather than two split continents when talking about Russia's borders.

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 3, 2014 11:06 AM

I find this discussion very interesting.  How we define the boarders of the continents may not seem important but they do hold much in the way of historical and cultural meanings.  Is Europe separate from Asia or is it one super-continent?  The answer to that has many implications politically and culturally as well as historically.

Wilmine Merlain's curator insight, December 18, 2014 2:26 PM

If Europe and Asia are not different continents based on the tectonic plates that they both share, would that mean that Russia is in a fact a part of Europe. Wouldn't its ties be closely link to that of Asia, because growing up in school, I was taught that Russia was closely related to the Asian continent than it was to Europe. Though Russia is sometimes perceived as being its own continent, I wonder what this discovery will mean for them long term.

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Finding the True Border Between Yankee and Red Sox Nation Using Facebook Data

Finding the True Border Between Yankee and Red Sox Nation Using Facebook Data | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

"By using Facebook data from the 2.5 million people in New York or New England that ‘like’ either the Red Sox or Yankees I was able to create a more accurate rivalry map than ever before."


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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:12 PM

A fun map i can relate to a lot being a New Yorker living in RI. I also believe theres more Yankee fans in Red Sox territory then Red Sox fans in Yankee territory.

trampolinecalf's comment, September 27, 2013 2:55 AM
nice
Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 6:26 AM

Pretty neat use of mapping and facebook to create this. This map is around the idea of what i expected it to look like with a few exceptions. As a yankee fan i expected a little bit more out of fellow Rhode Islanders when it came to the distribution but i guess i was wrong. i would also like to point out that cultural diversity probably has a role to play in this, with western connecticut being more ethnically diverse than eastern.

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South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government

South Sudan’s President relieves VP and dissolves government | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

July 23, 2013 (JUBA) – South Sudan’s president, Salva Kiir Mayardit, has issued a presidential decree removing the vice-president, Riek Machar Teny, and dissolved the whole government.


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Ryan Amado's curator insight, December 11, 2013 4:37 AM

Unfortunately, these actions seem to be the one of a man who is trying desperately to hold on to his power. It is known that there was a power struggle between him and members of his government. It is the last thing this young country needs when it is trying to establish itself.  Hopefully this move does not lead to the very thing South Sudanians were trying to get away from.

Joseph Thacker 's curator insight, March 24, 2014 9:59 PM

It is very difficult for a country this young to be politically and economically stable. The president must have a difficult time earning the peoples respect when the country is struggling.  Removing the vice president only upset some locals as they felt he showed signs of a dictator.  

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:56 PM

He wants to get rid of the entire political cabinet. Who does he think he is, Superman? There is no way this president can take on a whole nation by himself. He needs to reconsider his actions and think about South Sudan and its needs.

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BBC Country Profiles

BBC Country Profiles | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
BBC Country Profiles: instant guide to history, politics and economic background of countries and territories, and background on key institutions.

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Al Picozzi's comment, July 25, 2013 4:55 PM
Great site for quick info. Thanks
Sabrina Wesley's curator insight, July 26, 2013 12:53 AM

Use for History, Geography, and Math

Carol Thomson's curator insight, July 30, 2013 5:06 AM

I need a one-stop shop for my classes and maybe this is it.

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Interactives: War and Refugees

Interactives: War and Refugees | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

UNHCR has been attempting to count the world's refugees since it was created. If you want to find out which years resulted in the worst displacement, which were the biggest countries of origin and which were the biggest countries of asylum, use the interactive map.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 27, 2013 10:02 AM

This interactive on refugees is especially timely, given that the Syrian civil war has created refugee situations in many of the neighboring countries.  One of my favorite elements of the Guardian's interactive is that they provide the raw data, so students can create their own maps with the same high quality data.  Equally important, this interactive shows the regional power bases of all the various factions of the Syrian rebellion that is seeking to overthrow the Assad regime.  The political conflict has huge demographic implications.    

Tags: refugees, Syria, migration, conflict, political, MiddleEast, war.

Emilie Kochert's curator insight, September 8, 2013 4:25 AM

via gduboz

Courtney Barrowman's curator insight, October 6, 2014 12:16 PM

unit 2

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This Guy's Never Met a Map He Didn't Want to Fix

This Guy's Never Met a Map He Didn't Want to Fix | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Just not always for the better: "I've deliberately designed maps that are deliberately horrible to look at, and succeeded."

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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 30, 2013 10:46 PM

All maps are compromises; the Mercator projection preserves shape but distorts size, and so on.  What about sacrificing locational accuracy to preserve the aesthetic design or readability?  Just some things to think about as you peruse these redesigned subway maps.  


Tags: visualization, transportation, mapping, NYC.

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Population Density

Population Density | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

"[This map's] an unabashedly generalized interactive population density map inspired/stolen from a map by William Bunge entitled Islands of Mankind that I came across on John Krygier‘s blog. I thought Bunge’s map was a novel way to look at population density, and I’ve tried to stay close to the spirit of the original."


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Matthew DiLuglio's curator insight, October 12, 2013 5:23 PM

This interactive map shows the varying intensities of population density, and the first thing that I thought of was how low the population density is in my hometown, compared to some of the bigger cities or areas around the world.  I am from a rural area of Rhode Island, and there are plenty of farms near my home, as well as woods and ponds.  It really is a beautiful area, which made me think that if population densities were so high- the maximum density on the interactive map was over 500 people per square kilometer- that there would  be less room for the beauty of the natural world in those densely populated areas.  I grew up playing in my woods, and I am always shocked by city-dwellers that live in places where their yards have one or two trees (and are considered to live in 'woodsy' areas of their towns), or have no yards at all.  My town has a low population density, and much of the land is occupied by the reservoir, farms, and woodland areas that are not permissible for development.  Although my hometown is not a city, it serves the more populated areas- such as Providence- by providing water to their city.  It seems the more populated areas drain the surrounding areas of their natural beauty and resources.

Steven Flis's curator insight, December 17, 2013 12:31 PM

Mindblowing interractive map dealing with the population desinty of the world.  From tinkering around with this ive seen some scary things. As we all know the North East metropolis area is compact with people from rhode island to delaware and everything in between. but when you take the map to 100 people per square to kilomete it almost disapears. This in itself wouldnt be that bad but when you move the image to 500 per kilometer almost the entireity of India is still there. This is a perfect compaitive example of how jam packed south eastern asia is and its actually pretty scary.

Katelyn Sesny's curator insight, October 31, 2014 12:22 PM

While most articles talk about population growth, this article provides factual and visual evidence to show population density. -UNIT 2

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Australians push into China to reap the economic benefits - The Daily Telegraph

Australians push into China to reap the economic benefits - The Daily Telegraph | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Australians push into China to reap the economic benefits The Daily Telegraph These expatriate Australians have adapted to the very different culture of China, where city air can be almost unbreathable, where the ever-watchful government routinely...
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Has China's economy hit a dead end?

Has China's economy hit a dead end? | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
China's disappointing economic growth in the first quarter is leading to a loss of confidence in the outlook for the world's second largest economy.
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The No Good, Very Bad Outlook for the Working-Class American Man

The No Good, Very Bad Outlook for the Working-Class American Man | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

The U.S. economy once worked like a finely meshed machine. That is not true anymore. The U.S. economy is still a powerful engine, but workers aren’t seeing the benefits, less-educated men are struggling, and the rich have disconnected from everyone else.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, December 16, 2012 3:39 PM

The problems with the economy are not universally spread throughout society.  Certain segments are impacted more than others by the current struggles, especially when with look at axes of identity, such as class, gender and ethnicity.  While planning on a blue-collar job in the 1950s could have been a solid career plan for a young man in the United States, not so in the 21st century.     


Tags: labor, gender, class, industry, education.

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Want to Get High-Skill Immigration Right? Think About Detroit

Want to Get High-Skill Immigration Right? Think About Detroit | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Rust Belt cities are hoping that immigrants can help rebuild our their shrinking communities. Washington should gear policy to helping them.

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Mark E. Deschaine Ph.D.'s curator insight, May 16, 2013 9:44 PM

Not tech .... But we are impacted in Michigan .....

Nganguem Victor's curator insight, June 3, 2013 8:07 AM

j'aime ça

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Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It - NPR

Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It - NPR | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Red River Radio
Mapping A History Of The World, And Our Place In It
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Climate change may bring another mosquito-borne illness to US - The Courier-Journal

Climate change may bring another mosquito-borne illness to US - The Courier-Journal | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Climate change may bring another mosquito-borne illness to US
The Courier-Journal
The chances of a U.S.
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T-Shirt Travels

When filmmaker Shantha Bloemen was stationed in a remote village in Zambia as a worker with an international aid organization, she had to adjust to living in a different culture. But one thing struck her as oddly familiar: almost everyone in the village wore secondhand clothing from the West. Bloemen began to imagine stories about the people who used to wear the clothing, wondering if the original owners had any idea that the castoffs they had given to charities ended up being sold to Africans half a world away.


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Kristen McDaniel's curator insight, July 19, 2013 9:48 AM

It's fascinating to look at the effects of globalization, and a great look at how economies change.  When people in the Western world drop a bag of clothes off at a charity, I doubt we think they'd end up in a village in Africa. Warning:  it does get a little preachy at the end. 

Mr Ortloff's curator insight, October 8, 2013 12:44 PM

Is direct aid a good thing or not? How does secondhand clothing impact local economies?

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:57 PM

Westernization is a popular theme thats happening in the East. Even though people don't know it, the clothes they give away may be some that are taken to places like Africa. Hand-me-downs are popular in the U.S. but even more so in Africa. The t-shirt you give away to someone might end up across the world. Who knows.

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In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map

In Kenya, Using Tech To Put An 'Invisible' Slum On The Map | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
A billion people worldwide live in slums, largely invisible to city services and governments — but not to satellites.

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John Blunnie's curator insight, July 28, 2013 1:11 PM

Great how tech and globalization can help represed people in other countries.

Meagan Harpin's curator insight, October 6, 2013 5:07 PM

The slum-mapping movement began in India almost a decade ago and migrated to africa, the idea of this is to make slums a reality to people who have never set foot in one before. The maps can be used in court to stop evictions or simply to raise awarance. I think this idea is on the right track of what needs to be done. These people need help and so many people incuding the governement pretend they arent their but with these maps as proof they can no longer do that.    

Elizabeth Bitgood's curator insight, March 19, 2014 10:24 AM

Slums and squatter settlements are a problem that a lot of the developing world has to deal with.  The unsafe and unsanitary buildings cause headaches and problems for the leaders of the cities they surround.  This story is hopeful in that the city did manage to bring a water line out to get clean water to the people living in this area.  Perhaps this will lead to a better quality of life of the inhabitants of this particular slum.  Also the project of mapping such areas can be a useful tool for city planners to better regulate these areas and help the people that live there.,

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Can You Name These Cities by Their Starbucks Locations?

Can You Name These Cities by Their Starbucks Locations? | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

"Can you recognize it by its Starbucks locations?  Let’s find out. This quiz shows all of the Starbucks locations within the city boundaries of 20 domestic or foreign cities, and for each you must name the city depicted from four choices."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, July 24, 2013 1:19 PM

This is my favorite place-based guessing game since GeoGuessr (5 locations in GoogleMaps "StreetView" and you have to guess where).  This isn't about knowing Starbucks locations, but understanding spatial urban economic patterns (just as this article showing the locations where McDonald's and Burger King will place stores also relies of understanding urban economic patterns).  In this Starbucks game you have to recognized the shape of the city, major street patterns and the economic patterns just to name a few.  This is one way to make the urban model more relevant.       


Tags: urbanmodels, economic, trivia.

Courtney Burns's curator insight, November 24, 2013 6:53 PM

Unfortuntaley I wasn't very good at this game. I believe I ended up getting 5 answers correct. However what was intersting about this article was to see how each starbucks was placed in certain areas. There were so much more starbucks locations in city areas. The starbucks' also typically were off of main highways or corners. This is for similiar reasons to what we dicussed about dunkin donuts in class. People are only going to travel so far for coffee. If it is not convienent then people will go else where. It is not like car dealership where people will drive out of their way to look. For a coffee people on average may drive 5 minutes. Anything too out of the way people will avoid. That is why there are so many starbucks and dunkins so close to eachother. They are set up equdistant from each other in locations that are convient for people around the area to try and get them to choose their coffee. It is typical to put a coffee shop on the main roads like we see in the maps, as well as in numerous locations to convience the whole area. The more convient the shop the more money they will make. That is why there are some many locations so close to each other. It is interesting to see it visually on a map just how many locations there actually are. 

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AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa

AIDS, TB and Malaria in Africa | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Despite the gains, more Africans still die from Malaria even as the spotlight remains firmly fixed on HIV/AIDS.

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Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 1, 2014 10:41 AM

This infographic shows how pervasive disease is in Africa. Though HIV gets a lot of attention, malaria and tuberculosis are just as prevalent as HIV/AIDS. The attention given to HIV/AIDS is reflected in the amount of aid sent to Africa, with a significant amount more being spent to halt the spread of HIV. These efforts are not entirely in vain as there have been decreases for all three diseases, but the funding necessary to make serious progress not on its way.

 

Though there is an even greater need to fight malaria, more international aid for HIV/AIDS is likely because most of the countries sending aid are not as familiar with malaria and HIV/AIDS has become sensationalized.

Jess Deady's curator insight, May 4, 2014 3:52 PM

Disease is a global problem. Not having enough resources to keep diseases such as malaria out of Africa is unfortunate. People are dying every day and in efforts to save these people, it still can't be done. In the past, AIDS was the main disease that killed people in Africa. More recently, malaria is working its way through humans and killing them more than AIDS.

TavistockCollegeGeog's curator insight, July 4, 2014 7:41 AM

Fantastic infographic on health risks in Africa. Particular focus on infectious diseases.

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Geography in the News: World Fisheries

Geography in the News: World Fisheries | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
By Neal Lineback and Mandy Lineback Gritzner, Geography in the NewsTM DECLINE IN OCEAN FISHERIES The world may be running out of places to catch wild fish.

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Sally Egan's curator insight, August 5, 2013 6:42 PM

Useful for consideration of Fish as a resource in the topic Natural Resource Use in Global Challenges. 

Josue Maroquin's comment, August 12, 2013 9:11 PM
its scary to see how much fishing grew over the pat years due to the growing population
Victoria McNamara's curator insight, December 12, 2013 1:39 PM

Overtime as the population has increased you can see on the map that areas have been over fished. This has caused people to move near the water to fish and it has created some jobs for them. This could be bad becuase as the population increases the fish will decrease due to the over fishing. 

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Political and Economic Geography Presentations

Political and Economic Geography Presentations | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

6 conference presentations on various economic and political geography topics given at NCGE 2013 as a part of the APHG strand.


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, August 3, 2013 2:27 PM

The last two mornings in Denver, CO there was a series of presentations of economic and political geography given in front of a capacity crowd.  6 of the educators have agreed to share the slides of their presentations with the broader geography education community and you can access them all here.  See also this livebinder with resources for teaching APHG to 9th graders (which can be adapted to older students as well).  This was a fantastic professional development event and we are all thankful that they were willing to share these resources.  


Tags: APHG, NCGE, political, economic.

Anhony DeSimone's curator insight, December 19, 2013 9:42 AM

These conference presentations show the importance that geography plays in the roles of both politics and economics. The impact that geography has on economics is a huge one. You could argue that geography is used as a scale in some instances in economics because of the land structure and locating were certain areas are.If you are able to locate certain things or find out where you want to put certain things in a place geography allows you to do so using economics.

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India's Green Revolution Is Stunted as Fertilizer Subsidy Backfires

India's Green Revolution Is Stunted as Fertilizer Subsidy Backfires | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
India has been providing farmers with heavily subsidized fertilizer for more than three decades. The overuse of one type—urea—is so degrading the soil that yields on some crops are falling and import levels are rising.

SOHIAN, India—India's Green Revolution is withering.

In the 1970s, India dramatically increased food production, finally allowing this giant country to feed itself. But government efforts to continue that miracle by encouraging farmers to use fertilizers have backfired, forcing the country to expand its reliance on imported food.

Popularized during the Green Revolution of the 1960s and 1970s, fertilizers helped boost crop yields and transformed India into a nation that could feed itself. But now their overuse is degrading the farmland. WSJ's Geeta Anand reports.

 

India has been providing farmers with heavily subsidized fertilizer for more than three decades. The overuse of one type—urea—is so degrading the soil that yields on some crops are falling and import levels are rising. So are food prices, which jumped 19% last year. The country now produces less rice per hectare than its far poorer neighbors: Pakistan, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh.

Agriculture's decline is emerging as one of the hottest political issues in the world's biggest democracy.

On Thursday, Prime Minister Manmohan Singh's cabinet announced that India would adopt a new subsidy program in April, hoping to replenish the soil by giving farmers incentives to use a better mix of nutrients. But in a major compromise, the government left in place the old subsidy on urea—meaning farmers will still have a big incentive to use too much of it.

Journal Community Vote: Can India's Rice Yields Recover?

The setback of the Green Revolution matters enormously to India's future. The country of 1.2 billion has positioned itself as a driver of global growth and as a significant commercial power in coming decades.

India likely will struggle to get there, and to return to the heady days of 9% economic growth, unless it figures out how to reinvigorate its agricultural sector, on which the majority of its citizens still rely for a living.

India's Food Crisis

View Slideshow

Akshay Mahajan for The Wall Street Journal

Bhupinder Singh's wheat yield on this 10-acre plot used to increase every year. But for the last five years it's been barely holding steady.

More photos and interactive graphics

 

 

 

Agriculture has lagged behind other industries such as manufacturing and services, posting less than 2% growth in the latest reports on gross domestic product. And double-digit food inflation and declining yields spell less money in the pockets of rural Indians.

India spends almost twice as much on food imports today as it did in 2002, according to the Ministry of Agriculture. Wheat imports hit 1.7 million tons in 2008, up from about 1,300 tons in 2002. Food prices rose 19% last year.

To be sure, there are bright spots. Indian officials say the country may produce a record wheat harvest this year because of good weather conditions, unless rain or hail appear. The wheat harvest last year was better than expected, making some hopeful that the importing trend will be reversed.

Behind the worsening picture is the government's agricultural policy. In an effort to boost food production, win farmer votes and encourage the domestic fertilizer industry, the government has increased its subsidy of urea over the years, and now pays about half of the domestic industry's cost of production.

Enlarge Image

European Pressphoto Agency

Indian commuters pass a rice shop as a shop keeper waits for customers in Calcutta, India, on Feb. 18.

Mr. Singh's government, recognizing the policy failure, announced a year ago that it intended to drop the existing subsidy system in favor of a new plan. But allowing urea's price to increase significantly would almost certainly trigger protests in rural India, which contains 70% of the electorate, political observers say.

The ministers of fertilizers and agriculture each declined requests for interviews.

"This is politically very difficult," says U.S. Awasti, managing director of the Indian Farmers Fertilizer Cooperative Ltd. and an informal adviser to government officials on the issue. The cooperative of 50 million farmers is the largest fertilizer producer in the country.

Farmers spread the rice-size urea granules by hand or from tractors. They pay so little for it that in some areas they use many times the amount recommended by scientists, throwing off the chemistry of the soil, according to multiple studies by Indian agricultural experts.

Like humans, plants need balanced diets to thrive. Too much urea oversaturates plants with nitrogen without replenishing other nutrients that are vitally important, including phosphorus, potassium, sulfur, magnesium and calcium.

The government has subsidized other fertilizers besides urea. In budget crunches, subsidies on those fertilizers have been reduced or cut, but urea's subsidy has survived. That's because urea manufacturers form a powerful lobby, and farmers are most heavily reliant on this fertilizer, making it a political hot potato to raise the price.

As the soil's fertility has declined, farmers under pressure to increase output have spread even more urea on their land.

Kamaljit Singh is a 55-year-old farmer in the town of Marauli Kalan in the state of Punjab, the breadbasket of India. He says farmers feel stuck. "The soil health is deteriorating, but we don't know how to make it better," he says. "As the fertility of the soil is declining, more fertilizer is required."

Increased demand and the soaring price of hydrocarbons, the main ingredient of many fertilizers, have taken India's annual subsidy bill to more than $20 billion last year, from about $640 million in 1976.

"The only way for agricultural yields to rise again is for the government to give farmers the incentives and the products to provide balanced nutrition to their crops," says Bimal Goculdas, chief executive officer of Dharamsi Morarji Chemical Co., one of the oldest fertilizer firms in India.

Agriculture experts say the country can't afford to wait. "There are big problems for the future of food production in India if these problems are not addressed now," says Reyes Tirado, an agricultural scientist and researcher for Greenpeace Research Laboratories, an arm of advocacy group Greenpeace International.

Under the new plan, the government will offer subsidies to fertilizer companies on the nutrients, such as sulphur, phosphorus and potassium, from which their products are made, rather than the fertilizer products themselves. The idea is to provide incentives for farmers to apply a better mix of nutrients.

Ultimately, the government plans to pay the subsidy directly to farmers, who will be able to buy products of their choice, including but not limited to urea.

Mr. Singh's government, however, said it would continue to subsidize urea, although it would set the price 10% higher.

Mr. Awasti, the fertilizer cooperative head, says the continuing urea subsidy means that farmers likely will still use too much of it. "The government is opting, as with any very difficult change, to adopt it in phases," he says. He says he believes that the urea subsidy will be dropped altogether in a year.

In the early years after India gained independence in 1947, the country couldn't even dream of feeding its population. Importing food wasn't possible because India lacked the cash to pay. India relied on food donated by the U.S. government.

In 1967, then-Prime Minister Indira Gandhi imported 18,000 tons of hybrid wheat seeds from Mexico. The effect was miraculous. The wheat harvest that year was so bountiful that grain overflowed storage facilities.

Those seeds required chemical fertilizers to maximize yield. The challenge was to make fertilizers affordable to farmers who lacked the cash to pay for even the basics—food, clothing and shelter.

Back then, giving cash or vouchers to millions of farmers living all over India seemed like an impossible task fraught with the potential for corruption. So the government paid subsidies to fertilizer companies, who agreed to sell for less than the cost of production, at prices set by the government.

The subsidies were designed to make up the difference between the production price and sale price—and to give the producers a 12% after-tax return on any equity investment.

Enlarge Image

Akshay Mahajan for the Wall Street Journal

Bhupinder Singh's wheat yield has been barely holding steady lately.

Fertilizer manufacturing companies sprang up around the country. Nagarjuna Fertilizers & Chemicals Ltd. became one of the most profitable publicly listed companies in India.

In 1991, with the cost of the subsidy weighing heavily on India's finances, Manmohan Singh, then finance minister and now prime minister, pushed to eliminate it. Most fertilizer companies lobbied fiercely to retain the program. Many legislators also resisted ending the subsidy, fearing a backlash from farmers.

"The business interests lobbied and the business interests prevailed," says Ashok Gulati, the director in Asia of the International Food Policy Research Institute, a Washington-based think tank, who was involved in the policy discussions at the time. A last-minute compromise eliminated the subsidy on all fertilizers except for urea.

"That's when the imbalanced use of fertilizers began," says Pratap Narayan, ex-director general of the industry group, the Fertilizer Association of India.

With urea selling for a fraction of the price of other fertilizers, farmers began using substantially more of the nitrogen-rich material than more expensive potassium and phosphorus products.

In the state of Haryana, farmers used 32 times more nitrogen than potassium in the fiscal year ended March 2009, much more than the recommended 4-to-1 ratio, according to the Indian Journal of Fertilizers, a trade publication. In Punjab state, they used 24 times more nitrogen than potassium, the figures show.

"This type of ratio is a disaster," Mr. Gulati says. "It is keeping India from reaching the production levels that the hybrid seeds have the power to yield."

Producers of phosphorus-based fertilizers struggled. The government reintroduced a small subsidy on phosphorus fertilizers, but at times it didn't cover the difference between the government-set price and the actual cost of production. Dharamsi Morarji, one of the oldest fertilizer companies in India, closed some plants.

With scant domestic supply, India had to import seven million tons of phosphorus-based fertilizers last year, according to a senior official at the Ministry of Chemicals and Fertilizers.

Twenty-one percent of the urea, 67% of the phosphorus-based fertilizers and 100% of the potash-rich fertilizers sold in India in the fiscal year ended March 2009 were imported, according to a report this month from Fitch Ratings.

In the northern state of Punjab, Bhupinder Singh, a turbaned, gray-bearded 55-year-old farmer, stood barefoot in his wheat field in December and pointed to the corner where he had just spread a 110-pound bag of urea.

"Without the urea, my crop looks sick," he said, picking up a few stalks of the young wheat crop and twirling them in his fingers. "The soil is getting weaker and weaker over the last 10 to 15 years. We need more and more urea to get the same yield."

Mr. Singh farms 10 acres in Sohian, a town about 25 miles from the industrial city of Ludhiana. He said his yields of rice have fallen to three tons per acre, from 3.3 tons five years ago. By using twice as much urea, he's been able to squeeze a little higher yield of wheat from the soil—two tons per acre, versus 1.7 tons five years ago.

He said both the wheat and rice harvests should be bigger, considering that he's using so much more urea today than he did five years ago. Adding urea doesn't have the effect it did in the past, he said, but it's so cheap that it's better than adding nothing at all.

Land needs to be watered more when fertilizer is used, and Mr. Singh worries about the water table under his land. When his parents dug the first well here in 1960, the water table lay 5 feet below the ground, he says. He recently had the same well dug to 55 feet to get enough water.

"The future is not good here," he said, shaking his head.

Balvir Singh, an agriculture development officer for Punjab state, says it is as if farmers have become addicted to urea.

"One farmer sees another's field looking greener, so he adds more urea," he says. "A farmer will become bankrupt, but he will not stop using urea."

The fertilizer industry, which had lobbied to retain subsidies back in 1991, now sees them as a problem. That's because the government, trying to rein in spending, has been squeezing the reimbursement promised to fertilizer companies.

The subsidy theoretically gives companies a 12% profit margin. Today, in part because of the way the government calculates the subsidy, it offers the average company a 3% margin, according to K. Rahul Raju, joint managing director of Nagarjuna Fertilizers & Chemicals, and Mr. Awasti, the fertilizer cooperative head.

Farmers in Punjab are increasingly glum. "Farming is in shambles," said Kamaljit Singh, standing with fellow farmers in the courtyard of the village agriculture cooperative. "If we have to support our growing families and our increasing population on this land, we must get higher yields. Otherwise our families and our nation will suffer."


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Interactive: The 50 Largest Ports in the World

Interactive: The 50 Largest Ports in the World | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Investigate for yourself the mechanisms of global trade

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HG Académie de Rennes's curator insight, April 17, 2014 4:00 PM

Ressource numérique interactive mêlant planisphère, routes maritimes, graphiques de l'activité portuaire et vues aériennes des plus grands ports du monde et de leur aménagement notamment pour la conteneurisation du commerce maritime. Une ressource tout à fait exploitable en 4e bien qu'étant en anglais (très peu de texte). On pensera aussi à la classe de terminale et aux DNL anglais.

Vincent Lahondère's curator insight, April 28, 2014 1:57 PM

Un excellent site très utile lorsque l'on traite de la mondialisation


Pour aller plus loin

    - Site de l'Isemar (une mine)

    - Des statistiques très utiles

    - Les grands ports d'Asie orientale (conférence d'Yves Boquet, FIG, 2009) 

    - Conférence de Jacques Charlier : compte-rendu (conférence FIG 2013)

    - Le conteneur, une histoire de la mondialisation


FIG : Festival International de Géographie de Saint-Dié-des-Vosges


Samuel D'Amore's curator insight, December 17, 2014 5:05 PM

While this might simply seem like a group of ports the more important message conveyed is that in fact that the majority of them are located in East Asia. Gone are the days of the industrial centers of the earth being located in Europe and the Americas. Paired with cheap labor and ease of global transportation many of these East Asian countries are quickly over coming many of the earths previous economic giants. 

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The Conflict Zone

The Conflict Zone | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it

"In a new series of four eight-minute videos, National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah is a cultural educator working to build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Israel. In this series of four eight-minute videos, Abu Sarah meets with people from both sides of the conflict in order to better understand and communicate how this international dispute impacts their everyday lives."


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Tea for Two

"We came to Sri Lanka with every intention of filming a video about an organic, fair trade tea farmer. That is exactly what we were planning when we set foot on the small tea farm of Piyasena and his wife Ariyawatha. What we didnt expect was to be so taken with the relationship between the two of them. What started as a farm story quickly turned into a story about love and dedication amongst the Ceylon tea fields."

 


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, May 18, 2013 11:08 PM

The beginning of their love story is rooted in cultural traditions that many would find oppressive (arranged marriage), and yet there is much about their sweet relationship that is near-universally admired. 

James Matthews's curator insight, May 21, 2013 11:16 AM

Definitely a case of oppression versus admiration - what a wonderful story.

Nathan Chasse's curator insight, April 12, 2014 12:38 AM

This video is about a tea farming couple whose arranged marriage has been very successful. The cultural tradition of arranged marriage may seem oppressive to us, but there are a great number of them where the couple stays happy. In these cultures with arranged marriage, divorce is usually not a realistic option, so these couples are possibly more willing to cooperate to make their marriage work than in the United States, but undoubtedly many remain unhappily married.

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Human Geography is essential to understanding our world ...

Human Geography is essential to understanding our world ... | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
What is Human Geography? That is a question I am frequently asked when I tell people that I teach Advanced Placement Human Geography. I have often jokingly told people that Human Geography is the new name for ...
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Lauren Sellers's curator insight, May 27, 2014 12:28 PM

This explains to us the concept of Human geography, while telling us about how it applies in our society and why we should care about it. Many people think of it as a joke or unimportant but for the reasons she lists it shows us otherwise. 

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Burma tourism blossoms with new river cruises - Fox News

Burma tourism blossoms with new river cruises - Fox News | AP Human GeographyNRHS | Scoop.it
Burma tourism blossoms with new river cruises
Fox News
So the opening up of Burma, also known as Mynanmar, and lifting of international sanctions on the military dictatorship for its record of human rights abuses, has me especially intrigued.
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