2Chapter 4 Physical Geography of Europe. The Five Themes of Geography Location, Place, Human- Environment Interaction, Movement, and Region
3The Bigger Picture Section 1: Physical Features BIG IDEA Geographic factors influence wherepeople settle. Europe has a variety of landformsand plentiful natural resources that have attracteda large population. Most people live on Europe’splains, where industry and agriculture flourish.Such successes, however, have contributed toenvironmental problems in the region.
4Snowdrifts? What is Pumice? These snow like mounds were formed about 1,500 years ago during a volcanic eruption on the island of Lipari, off the coast of Sicily, in Italy. Themounds are made of pumice.
5Landforms and Waterways Main Idea Europe’s landforms and waterways have greatly influenced where and how Europeans live.
8Waterways Europe’s long coastline is framed by the Atlantic and by several seas. These includethe Baltic, North, Mediterranean, and BlackSeas. Most land in Europe lies within 300miles (483 km) of a coast. Only a few countriesare landlocked, meaning they do notborder an ocean or a sea. Relatively longrivers, however, do give these
10Plains Europe’s major landform is the Northern European Plain. This large lowlandarea stretches like a rumpled blanket acrossthe northern half of mainland Europe.
11Plains Cont. The Northern European Plain also has important energy and mineral resources.Deposits of coal, iron ore, and other mineralslie underground. These resources aidedEurope’s industrial growth.
13Mountains and Highlands Highlands mark the northern border of the Northern European Plain. Steeper mountains lie south of the plain. Europe’s highest mountain ranges form the Alpine Mountain System, which stretches from Spain to the Balkan Peninsula. The system takes its name from the Alps of south-central Europe. It also includes the Pyrenees, which lie between France and Spain, and the Carpathians, in east-central Europe.The region’s highest peak is Mont Blanc.
14Like some of Europe’s other landforms, mountains have helped isolate certain countries and peoples. Switzerland, for example, is located high in the Alps. While European wars have raged around it, the country has remained free from conflict and invasion for many centuries. Europe’s mountains have never completely blocked movement though. Passes, or low areas between mountains, allow the movement of people and goods.
15WaterwaysMany European rivers are navigable, or wide and deep enough for ships to use. People and goods can sail easily from inland areas to the open sea and, from there, around the world. The Danube and the Rhine, two of Europe’s longest rivers, are important for transporting goods. Canals link these rivers, further improving Europe’s water transportation network.
16WaterwaysRivers carry rich soil downstream, creating productive farmland along their banks and at their mouths. For this reason, river valleys have long been home to large numbers of people. Today, fast-flowing rivers are also used to generate electricity to support these large populations.
17Europe’s ResourcesMain Idea Europe has valuable resources that strengthen its economy.Geography and You Think of the products that you use every day. What are these products made of? As you read, think about how Europe’s natural resources benefit people around the world.
18Energy ResourcesCoal has been a major energy source in Europe for many decades . By burning coal, Europeans fueled the development of modern industry in the 1800s. Today, almost half of the world’s coal comes from Europe. Coal mining provides jobs for people from the United Kingdom in the west to Ukraine, Poland, and the Czech Republic in the east.
19Other Natural Resources European mines produce about one-third of the world’s iron ore, which is used in making steel.
20Other Natural Resources Forests once covered a large part of Europe. Long ago, however, people cleared the land for farms and used much of the wood for building and for fuel. Today, only small pockets of forest remain. Sweden and Finland have the most forestland and produce the most lumber.
22Environmental IssuesMain Idea Europe’s plentiful resources have helped its economy, but environmental problems are a growing concern. Geography and You Do you recycle at home and try to use energy wisely? As you read, see how Europeans are taking similar steps to protect their resources.
23Environmental IssuesBy taking advantage of its natural resources, Europe has become an economic powerhouse. The impact on the environment, however, has sometimes been harmful. For instance, in deforested areas of Southern Europe, tree roots no longer hold the soil in place. Valuable topsoil can be washed away.
24Air Pollution and Acid Rain Air pollution has another serious effect. When pollutant particles mix with precipitation, acid rain falls to Earth. Acid rain can make trees vulnerable to attack from insects and disease.Acid rain falls on Europe’s waterways as well as its forests. As acids build up in lakes, rivers, and streams, fish and other wildlife are poisoned and die.
25Water PollutionWater pollution is another challenge for Europe. Sewage, garbage, and industrial waste have all been dumped into the region’s seas, lakes, and rivers. As populations and tourism have increased, the problem has worsened.Runoff is precipitation that flows over the ground, often picking up pesticides and fertilizers along the way.Runoff spilling into the Danube River, for example, has killed much of its marine life.
26What Can Europe do to Help its Environment? Many are working to prevent air pollution and acid rain by limiting the amount of chemicals that factories and cars can release into the air. Europeans are also making their lakes and rivers cleaner by treating waste and sewage. In addition, some countries encourage farmers to use less fertilizer to reduce damaging runoff. Recycling is another strategy for protecting the environment. Europeans now recycle more paper, plastics, and glass than in the past. This saves energy that would otherwise be needed to produce these goods and cuts down on wastes.
27Section 2 Climate Regions In the Côte d’Or (“Golden Hill”) region of Burgundy, France. The region has been producing wine since a. d. 900, and the grape harvest is vital to the local economy. Because of this, and because grapes are highly sensitive to the climate, big changes in temperature are always cause for concern.
28Wind and WaterMain Idea Wind patterns and water currents shape Europe’s climate.Geography and You Doesn’t a cool breeze feel great on a hot day? Read to learn how winds are helpful to Europe too.
29Look at the physical map of the world in the Reference Atlas. Because Europe is farther north than the United States, you might expect Europe’s climate to be colder than ours. In fact, much of Europe enjoys a milder climate. Why?
30WesterliesThe North Atlantic Current carries warm waters from the Gulf of Mexico toward Europe. Winds from the west pass over this water and carry more warmth to Europe. These prevailing winds, known as westerlies, are a major influence on warming the European climate. Warm winds from Africa contribute to thehigh temperatures in southern Europe.
31Climate ZonesMain Idea Europe has eight climate zones, each with different vegetation.Geography and You What is your ideal climate? Chances are, you can find it in Europe! Read to learn how Europe’s climate varies from area to area.
32Most of Europe falls into three main climate zones Marine west coast, humid continental, and Mediterranean.Figure 2 also shows five other climate zones that appear in smaller areas—subarctic, tundra, highland, steppe, and humid subtropical.
34Marine West CoastThis climate has two features, one of which is mild temperatures. The North Atlantic Current carries so much warmth that southern Iceland has mild temperatures, even though it is near the Arctic Circle. Because of the mild temperatures, this climate zone has surprisingly long growing seasons.
35Marine West CoastThe second feature of the marine west coast climate, besides mild temperatures, is abundant precipitation. This typically falls in autumn and early winter. Although the zone as a whole gets plenty of rain, certain mountainous areas stay dry because of the rain shadow effect.
36Temperatures Stay Mild Although temperatures stay mild, differences do exist across the region. In the north, summers are shorter and cooler. Also, the farther away you get from water, the wider the range of temperatures will be. besides mild temperatures, is abundant precipitation.
38Deciduous TreesForests thrive in much of Europe’s marine west coast climate zone. Some forests consist of deciduous trees, which lose their leaves in the fall.
39Coniferous treesConiferous trees, also called evergreens, grow in cooler areas of the marine west coast climate zone.
40Humid ContinentalEastern Europe and some areas of northern Europe have a humid continental climate. Cool, dry winds from the Arctic and Asia give this zone cooler summers and colder winters than the marine west coast zone. The city of Minsk in Belarus does not get much warmer than 70°F (21°C) in July. By January, however, you would definitely need a warm jacket—the high temperature averages only 22°F (–6°C)!
41MediterraneanEurope’s third major climate zone, the Mediterranean zone, includes much of southern Europe. With average high temperatures in July ranging from 83°F to 98°F (28°C to 37°C), Mediterranean summers are hot. They are also very dry. Many Mediterranean areas receive just a trace of rainfall during the summer.
42Winters in the Mediterranean zone With temperatures in the 50s Fahrenheit (low teens Celsius), nobody worries about snow. Rainfall, however, averages 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10.2 cm) per month, so an umbrella comes in handy.
43Mountains Of Southern Europe The Pyrenees and Alps block chilly northern winds from reaching Spain and Italy. Some mountains also create rain shadows. Winds coming over the mountains from the west bring more rain to the western slopes. The eastern side stays drier. The effect is dramatic in Spain, where the northwest region is cool, wet, and green. Inland Spain, on the other hand, is hot, dry, and brown.
44Southern FranceThe lack of a mountain barrier allows a cold, dry wind to blow in from the north. This wind, the mistral (MIHS∙truhl), occurs in winter and spring. It also creates waves, making southern France a popular site for windsurfing. Countries in the Mediterranean climate zone are also affected by hot, dry winds from Africa to the south. In Italy, these winds are called siroccos (suh∙RAH∙kohs).
45The Mediterranean Zone’s Low Rainfall Plants that grow there must be drought resistant. Vegetation includes low-lying shrubs and grasses, as well as the olive trees and grapevines that the region is known for. Forests are rare, and stands of trees appear only on rainy mountainsides or along rivers.
46Subarctic and TundraFarther north, Europe has two zones of extreme cold. The subarctic zone covers parts of Norway, Sweden, and Finland. Evergreens grow in this region at low altitudes. The tundra zone is found in the northern reaches of these countries and in Iceland. The tundra is an area of vast treeless plains near the North Pole. With cool summers that reach only about 40°F (4°C) and frigid winter temperatures that plunge as low as –25°F (–32°C), only low shrubs and mosses can grow in this region. What effect does the Earth’s tilt have on these regions?
47HighlandThe highland zone is found in the higher altitudes of the Alps and Carpathians where the climate is generally cool to cold.
48Other Climate ZonesEurope’s last two climate zones cover a relatively small part of the region. The steppe zone includes the southern part of Ukraine. Steppes are dry, treeless grasslands, much like prairies but with shorter grass. Here the climate is not dry enough to be classified as desert, but not wet enough for forests to flourish.A small sliver of land north of the Adriatic Sea falls into the humid subtropical zone. This zone has hot, wet summers and mild, wet winters.
49Climate Change It’s Getting Hot in Here! Most scientists agree that the world’s climate is growing warmer. Average temperatures have been inching upward for several decades. Measurements and photos show that glaciers are steadily eroding. In 2003 western Europe suffered its worst heat wave since the Middle Ages.What are Some of the effects of a warming climate?
50Kyoto TreatyEuropean officials are taking action. They are trying to slow global warming by encouraging changes in energy use. Most European governments have signed the Kyoto Treaty. This is an international agreement to limit the output of greenhouse gases, but its terms are not yet fully in effect.
51Visual Summary Landforms ● The Northern European Plain is a rich farming region and has a high population density.● Mountains separate much of northern and southern Europe.● Uplands regions are found in northwest and central Europe and in Spain.
52Visual Summary European Resources ● Europe’s energy resources include coal, petroleum, natural gas, and hydroelectric and wind power.● In some areas, good soil promotes farming and dairy farming.● Fishing is important to coastal Europe.
53Visual Summary Waterways ● Waterways have had a major impact on Europe’s population and ways of life.● Rivers provide transportation, good soil for farming, and hydroelectric power.
54Visual Summary Climate Regions ● Europe’s nearness to water and its wind patterns greatly affect its climates.● Europe has eight main climate zones : marine west coast, humid continental, Mediterranean, subarctic, tundra, highland, steppe, and humid subtropical.● Europeans are concerned about the negative effects of global warming.
55Visual Summary Environmental Issues ● The European environment has been damaged by deforestation, pollution, and acid rain.● Europeans are working to protect and improve their environment through recycling and limiting forms of chemical pollution.