Edison High - AP Human Geography
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The Strategic Importance of the Caspian Sea

"Stratfor Eurasia Analyst Eugene Chausovsky examines the Caspian Sea's large energy reserves and its conflicting maritime boundaries."


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Matt Ramsdell's curator insight, November 25, 2015 2:48 PM

The Caspian Sea, an area of importance for the middle east, is divided between 5 countries. It was once divided between 2 but was divided post soviet era. The sea is a area of importance because it is a hub of transportation and economic significance for transporting goods and services. Because of the waterway in Azerbaijan they have a significant way of gaining ecnomic growth by controlling the trade in and out of the Caspian sea.  

Adam Deneault's curator insight, December 14, 2015 2:09 PM

The Caspian Sea which is bordered by five countries, Russia, Turkmenistan, Iran, Kazakstan and Azerbaijan. The seas importance come from its abundance of resources. It contains large volumes of oil and gas, an estimated 48 billion barrels of oil lies within and 8.7 trillion cubic meters of gas. Much of offshore oil has not been tapped because of disputes over maritime borders. Europe is interested in energy sources as well in the southern corner as a release from Russia's grip. Both Iran and Russia seem to disagree because of the idea of a TransCaspian pipeline.    

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 12:44 PM

The Caspian Sea is an intriguing geopolitical situation. The region was once dominated by the Soviet Union but  after the collapse is shared by multiple countries. Further complicating matters is the sea is full of untapped oil deposits. Territory disputes in such a situation are almost inevitable raising tensions in the region. Azerbaijan also wants to make a deal with Turkmenistan and Europe to move gas through a pipeline to diversify their income and provide Europe and alternative to Russian fuel. Naturally the Russians with the help of Iranians are making this difficult because it would threaten their profits. It seems that  the whole area likely needs a neutral party to try and arrange fair economic usage zones in the area. The Ukrainian conflict has further exasperated this since Europe is sanctioning their key fuel provider which in turn leads to more tension over pipelines. Hopefully all the oil exploitation doesn't also lead to poor environmental consequences such as the Aral sea economic usage. It is clear that central Asia while free from communist rule is still very much tied to Russia and its past decisions.

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A New Way to Illuminate Inequality Around the World

A New Way to Illuminate Inequality Around the World | Edison High - AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

Want to know where the poor live? Look at where the light isn’t.

 

"Satellite photos of Earth’s artificial lights at night form a luminescent landscape. But researcher Chris Elvidge of NOAA and colleagues from the University of Colorado and the University of Denver realized that they could also illuminate something much darker: the magnitude of human poverty. By comparing the amount of light in a particular area and its known population, they realized that they could infer the percentage of people who are able to afford electricity and the level of government spending on infrastructure development. This allowed them to extrapolate levels of human development—a measure of well-being that includes such factors as income, life expectancy and literacy."


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Egypt to 'escalate' Ethiopian dam dispute

Egypt to 'escalate' Ethiopian dam dispute | Edison High - AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

While construction of Africa's largest hydroelectric dam continues apace, downstream neighbour Egypt is crying foul.  Egypt's main concern is water security, as the country faces a future of increasing scarcity. Nearly all of Egypt's water comes from the Nile, and its population of 83 million is growing at nearly two percent annually."


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Seth Dixon's curator insight, April 22, 2014 4:16 PM

85% of the Nile's water comes from the Blue Nile that originates in the Ethiopian highlands--it is the Blue Nile that Ethiopia has been working on damming since 2011.  The Grand Ethiopia Renaissance Dam (GERD) will be located ocated near the border with Sudan (see in Google Maps).  As stated in this BBC article (with a nice 1-minute video clip), Egypt and Sudan currently get the majority of the Nile's waters because of outdated colonial-era treaties that ignored upstream riparian states.  This explains why Egypt is adamantly opposed to Ethiopia's plan and is actively lobbying the international community to stop construction on the dam, fearing their water supply with be threatened.  Oil might be the most economically valuable liquid resource in North Africa, but water is the most critical for human habitation.   


Tags: Ethiopia, Africa, development. environment, water, energy, borders, political.

Nicole Kearsch's curator insight, October 31, 2014 12:30 AM

This is interesting, and I found it tough to decide what side I want to take.  For Egypt I could see this as being a very real scare.  Ethiopia is building a dam for a resource for power which will cause less water to get to the people of your country.  This is scary considering the Nile is the only source of water.  Ethiopia on the other hand is just pushing through with the project insisting they will work with Egypt on when they fill the reservoir.  They argue that the loss of water to Egypt will not be a huge loss and people will still be able to go about their business as normal.  I think that production of the dam should be paused for the time being and research should be done as to the effects this dam will have on both countries.  With this if the dam is going to cause too many issues, all the time, effort, and money that went into it wouldn't be wasted.

Chris Costa's curator insight, October 26, 2015 2:32 PM

In a complicated geographical issue, both Egypt and Ethiopia have ample reason to oppose the plans of the other concerning the damming of the Blue Nile. The damming of the Nile could prove devastating for Egypt, which draws 85% of its water supply from the river. With an increasing population and issues with water scarcity already abundant, it is clear why Egypt is fearful of the proposed plan, as the ecological effects could be devastating. For Ethiopia, the damming of the Nile could prove incredibly fruitful, allowing the nation to more easily engage in trade and could encourage some serious international investment in the region- a move that would not only benefit Ethiopia, but Egypt as well. It is for that reason that Egypt is willing to compromise on the issue, but until its water supply can be protected and secure, tensions over the dam are going to continue to escalate.

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Unnatural Landscapes

Unnatural Landscapes | Edison High - AP Human Geography | Scoop.it

In a world where photoshop has made the unreal seem ordinary, these unearthly seemingly landscapes might seem likely fakes.  The world can be that extraordinary.  Pictured above is the "Door to Hell" in Turkmenistan.  Rich with natural gas, Soviets were drilling in 1971 when the drilling rig collapsed and left a huge (230 feet wide) hole.  In an attempt to stop gas leaks they hoped a fire would burn off any discharge, but it is still burning today.  Enjoy this gallery of 25 'unnatural' images.   


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Louis Mazza's curator insight, March 12, 2015 4:58 PM

Unnatural landscapes. Amongst all the new technology and graphics, the world still holds phenomena’s that can leave any persons jaw dropped. This article on buzzfeed shows 25 images that can amaze you. In Mt. Roraima, Venezuela there is a slab of land that seems to be suspended in the clouds. The Metro in Stockholm, Sweden resembles a space station in the rocks. The tunnel of love in the Ukraine looks like a path carved out of bush and also a romantic place for a date. The tulip Fields in Lisse, Netherlands looks like a grounded rainbow. Lapland, Finland is home to massive natural snow creatures. The mountains of Zhangye, China resembles the colors and look of Zebra stripe gum. Lake Rebta in Senegal looks like your floating in tomato soup.

Kevin Cournoyer's curator insight, May 6, 2015 11:43 AM

Physical geography and landforms are something that have amazed people for millennia. The world's tallest mountains, deepest oceans, widest rivers, and largest deserts have, at various times, astounded, baffled, and hindered human beings. Some physical features are helpful to human progress (cities built on hills are more defensible, rivers allow for irrigation for agriculture) and others delay it (mountains are difficult to traverse, oceans are large and treacherous to navigate). And then there are landforms or geographic features that are just downright strange or unusual, like the ones listed in this article. 

 

While looking at pictures of these places or visiting them may be fun, they also provide us with a valuable lesson about nature. Nature is a force to be reckoned with, as it can produce some pretty amazing and unusual things. People sometimes do not stop to think what nature can do and as a result, suffer the consequences (Napoleon, and later Hitler's ill-fated invasions of Russia, for instance). Geography and natural landforms can be invaluable tools in human progress, but it should also be kept in mind that they are part of nature, and that nature is an unpredictable and sometimes violent force. As with anything, then, nature and geography must be respected and feared to avoid making the same mistakes that others have made in the past. 

Nicholas A. Whitmore's curator insight, December 17, 2015 11:34 AM

Another interesting failure of the Soviets during the Cold War. One really begins to question their competence when reading about this, Chernobyl and the Aral Sea. I honestly don't see how anyone would consider lighting a major gas leak on fire would help the situation either. Regardless this site stands as a testament to the influence we have on the geography of area through our reshaping for society. The incident also now helps Turkmenistan economically because it offers tourist attraction revenue. Additionally while the gallery had many fascinating images from around the world this one captivated me due to its historical nature and affect it would have had on the region. Hopefully the site doesn't ever become too dangerous do to the flammable substances because I would imagine that is a possibility (also hopefully there is not too much environmental damage from it either).