Monday, November 12, 2007

Geography Awareness Week 2007: Asia Introduction

November 11 through 17 is Geography Awareness Week with this year's theme being Asia.

Asia plays a massive role in the world due to its size and population. Here are just some facts about physical nature of Asia:
  • Even though Asia expands less than nine percent of surface, that is slightly under thirty percent of Earth's dry land.
  • The world's largest country, Russia with 6,592,812 square miles (17,075,400 km sq), is mostly in Asia.
  • The world's two most populous countries are China and India.
  • The Tokyo metropolitan area is the world's largest urban agglomeration with 30,724,000 people.
  • Mount Everest is the highest sea level elevation in the world at 29,035 feet (8,850 m).
  • The Dead Sea is the lowest surface elevation in the world at 1,316 feet (401 m) below sea level.
  • The Caspian Sea is the largest lake, surface area of 142,000 square miles (367,000 km sq) in the world and currently at geopolitical hot spot due to its oil and natural gas wealth.
  • Lake Baykal is the deepest lake in the world at 5,135 feet (1,620 m).

And on the human side:
  • There are four billion people in Asia which is approximately sixty percent of the world's population.
  • Judaism, Christianity, Islam, Zoroastrianism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Shintoism, and many other faiths all have their origin in Asia.
  • About 7.5 million Asians have AIDS with more than 4.5 million infected living in India.
  • The Gross Domestic Product of Asia is $18.077 trillion and per capita is $4,518 (the United States is $13.675 trillion/$43,444 and the European Union $13.08 trillion/$29,900)

Asia will play an increasingly daily role in people's lives with markets being globalized, jobs being outsourced and insourced, the rise of China, wars against extremism, and the spreading of new diseases.

To celebrate Geography Awareness Week 2007 Asia GTWC! will have a series of special posts.
  • Tuesday: Where is Asia? A look at the physical and cultural boundaries
  • Wednesday: The Geographical Oddity of the Dead Sea
  • Thursday: Stalin's Zion - Jewish National District
  • Friday: The Ancient Asian Faiths - A look at Orthodox/Catholic Rites of Asia

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