South America Region Essay

1207 words - 5 pages

South America is located in the Western Hemisphere. The majority of the continent is located in the Southern Hemisphere, except for a small part that is located in the Northern Hemisphere. South America is bordered by two oceans. The Pacific Ocean on the west, and the Atlantic Ocean on the East. South America is also bordered by the Caribbean Sea to the northwest. South America is made up of twelve sovereign states: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, Guyana, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname, Uruguay, and Venezuela. South America has an area of about 6,890,000 square miles.
The geography of western South America is dominated by the Andes Mountains. The Andes extends form Tierra del Fuego, Chile in the south all the way to northeastern Venezuela. The South American region is made up of wide range of climates including: Arid, highland, humid tropical, and semiarid. The eastern part of the region contains both highland regions and large river basins like the Amazon, Paraná and Orinoco. Most of the continent is located in the tropics. The South American Region also contains the world’s largest rainforest, The Amazon. The Amazon rainforest is located in the Amazon River Basin. It is roughly the size of the contiguous United States, and winds through parts of eight different South American countries. This part of the region also contains the world’s largest and second longest river, the Amazon.
The Amazon rainforest has more species of plants and animals than any other ecosystem in the world. It is estimated that 30% of all the world's species are found in the Amazon. The Amazon rainforests are among the most threatened in the world. Large scale agriculture, clearing land for cattle pastures, and logging are the main causes of this deforestation. It’s estimated that every year an area of Amazon rainforest the size of Ohio is lost. This problem is getting worse thanks to ever growing agro industrial large scale production. South America’s economy is modernizing but, agriculture is still vastly important, and makes up more than 1/5 of its workforce. This includes farming cattle raising and fishing. South America’s main trade commodities are grains, soybeans, coffee, orange juice, and sugar.
Illegal farming of cocaine thrives in the region. In Colombia, Peru, and Bolivia the illegal cocaine trade brings in billions of dollars annually. It also employs tens of thousands of workers. The cocaine industry is made up of tightly organized network of territories that participate in different stages of producing the drug. In Bolivia and Peru, many peasant farmers are abandoning their food crops to produce coca, because if it’s much higher value. This causing yet another problem, because it reduces the country’s ability to feed its people.
South America’s population as of 2011 has been estimated at more than 387.5 Million, with most of the population living near the coast, while the interior and south parts of South America are thinly populated. Of...

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