Pre-AP World Geography

the cultural change that occurs when individuals in a society accept or adopt an innovation
Islamic god
Amazon River
the 2nd largest river in the world, and one of South America’s three major river systems, running about 4,000 miles from west to east, and emptying into the Atlantic Ocean
Andes Mountains
a large system of mountain ranges located along the Pacific coast of Central and South America
discrimination against Jewish people
an underground layer of rock that stores water
people who live in what is now Ghana, in West Africa, and who are known for their artful weaving of coloring asasia, or kente cloth
a process whereby a minority group gradually gives up its own culture and adopts the culture of a majority group
Aswan High Dam
a dam on the Nile River in Egypt, completed in 1970, which increased Egypt’s farmable land by 50% and protected it from droughts and floods
the layers of gases immediately surrounding the earth
the process of breaking up a region into small, mutually hostile units
Baltic Republics
the countries of Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia, located on the eastern coast of the Baltic Sea
the economic union of Belgium, the Netherlands, and Luxemburg
Berlin Wall
a wall erected by East Germany in 1961 to cut the capital of Berlin in two, and later dismantled in 1989
Biological Weapons
a bacterium or virus that can be used to harm or kill people, animals, or plants
the number of live births per total population, often expressed per thousand population
a heavy snowstorm with winds of more than 35 miles per hour and reduces visibility of less than one-quarter mile
a religion that originated in India about 500 B.C. and spread to China, where it grew into a major religion by A.D. 400
Carrying Capacity
the number or organisms a land can support without having negative effects
Cash Crop
a crop grown for direct sale, and not for use in a region, such as coffee, tea, and sugar in Africa
Caste System
the Aryan system of social classes in India and one of the cornerstones of Hinduism in which each person is born into a caste and can only move into a different caste by reincarnation
a region that straddles the Caucasus Mountains and stretches between the black and Caspian Seas
a military dictator or political boss
Central Asia
a region that includes the republics or Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan
Central Business District (CBD)
the core of a city, which is almost always based on commercial activity
a savannah that has flat terrain and moderate rainfall, which make it suitable for farming
a term, in some locations, for a biome of drought-resistant trees
one of the republics that remains a part of Russia after the collapse of the Soviet Union despite the independent movements and violent upheaval
black topsoil, one of the world’s most fertile soils
the typical weather conditions at a particular location as observed over time
Cold War
the conflict between the United States and the Soviet Union after World War II, called “cold” because it never escalated into an open warfare
Command Economy
a type of economic system in which production of goods and services is determined by a central government, which is usually owns the means of production-also called a planned economy
a system in which the government holds nearly all political power and the means of production
Constitutional Monarchy
a government in which the ruler’s powers are limited by a constitution and the laws of a nation
a region’s distance from the moderating influence of the sea
Cultural Crossroad
a place where various cultures cross paths
Cultural Hearth
the heartland or place of origin of a major culture; a site of innovation from which basic ideas, materials, and technology diffuse to other cultures
the emperor of Russia prior to the Russian Revolution of 1917 and the subsequent creation of the Soviet Union in 1922
Dead Sea
a landlocked salt lake between Israel and Jordan that is so salty that almost nothing can live in its waters; it is 1,349 feet below sea level, making it the lowest place on the exposed crust of the earth
Debt-for-Nature Swap
a debt reducing deal wherein an organization agrees to pay off a certain amount of government debt in return for a government protection of a certain portion of rain forest
the cutting down and clearing away of trees and forests
a type of government in which citizens hold political power either directly or through elected representatives
the removal of salt from ocean water
an expansion of dry conditions to moist areas that are next to deserts
a type of government in which an individual or a group holds compete political power
an earthen bank used to direct or prevent the passage of water
Distance Decay
a term referring to the concept that increasing distances between places tend to reduce interactions among them
Dome of the Rock
a shrine in Jerusalem, located on the Temple Mount, which houses the spot where Muslims believe Muhammad rose into heaven and where Jews believe Abraham prepared to sacrifice his son Isaac to God
long period without rain or with very minimal rainfall
Economic System
the way people produce and exchange goods
the production and exchange of goods and services among a group of people
El Nino
a weather pattern created by the warming waters off the west coast of South America, which pushes warm water and heavy rains toward the Americas and produces drought conditions in Australia and Asia
a person who starts and builds a business
the imaginary line that encircles the globe, dividing the world into northern and southern halves
each of the two days in the year on which day and night are equal in length, marks the beginning of spring and autumn
Ethnic Cleansing
the policy of trying to eliminate an ethnic group
Ethnic Group
a group of people who share language, customs, and a common heritage
Euphrates River
a river of Southwest Asia, which supported several ancient civilizations and flows through parts of Turkey, Syria, and Iraq and empties into the Persian Gulf
the combined continent of Europe and Asia
European Environmental Agency
an agency that provides the European Union with reliable information about the environment
a product or good that is sold from one economy to another
Federal Republic
a nation whose powers are divided among the federal, or national, government and various state and local governments
Fertility Rate
the average number or children a woman of childbearing years would have in her lifetime, if she had children at the current rate of her country
a long, narrow, deep inlet of the sea between steep slopes
Fossil Water
water pumped from underground aquifers
Free Enterprise
an economic system in which private individuals own most of the resources, technology, and businesses, and can operate them for profit with little control from the government
Ganges River
river in South Asia; an important water resource flowing more than 1,500 miles from its source in a Himalayan glacier to the Bay of Bengal
Gaza Strip
a territory along the Mediterranean Sea just northeast of the Sinai Peninsula; part of the land set aside for Palestinians, which was occupied by Israel in 1967
Global Economy
the merging or regional economies in which nations become dependent on each other for goods and services
Global Warming
the buildup of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, preventing heat form escaping into space and causing rising temperatures and shifting weather patterns
Gobi Desert
a desert located in northern china and southeast Mongolia, and a prime area for finding dinosaur fossils
Golan Heights
a hilly plateau overlooking the Jordan River and the Sea of Galilee; a strategic location that has been the site of conflict in Southwest Asia for decades
Great Game
a struggle between the British Empire and the Russian Empire for control of Central Asia in the 19th century
Green Revolution
an agricultural program launched by scientists in the 1960s to develop higher-yielding grain varieties and improve food production by incorporating new farming techniques
Greenhouse Effect
the layer of gases released by the burning of coal and petroleum that traps solar energy, causing global temperature to increase
Gross Domestic Product (GDP)
the value of all goods and services produced within a country in a period of time
Gross National Product (DNP)
the total value of all goods and services produced by a country in a period of time

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