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Social Sci LibreTexts

10: Oceania

  • Page ID
    21115
    • 10.1: The Physical Landscape of Oceania
      Oceania is a realm like no other. Nowhere else in the world can one find some of the unique wildlife that is found in this realm, and no other region is as isolated. Oceania is the only world region not connected by land to another region. This is a region of the world at a crossroads where the effects of global changes in climate and pollution could have profound effects. The region of Oceania includes Australia, the realms of the Pacific Islands, and the polar regions of the Arctic and the Ant
    • 10.2: The World's Oceans and Polar Frontiers
      Over 70 percent of the entire surface of the world is covered with water, but who controls it? If the body of water is inland, ownership is quite clear. A lake in the interior of a state belongs to that state. For the 96.5 percent of the world’s water that’s held in oceans, however, ownership is much less clear. Historically, the world’s oceans were considered the “high seas” and while states had control over their immediate coastline extending out three miles, the vast stretches high seas were
    • 10.3: Biogeography in Australia and the Pacific
      The relative isolation of Oceania defines it as a region but has also contributed to perhaps its quirkiest characteristic: its distinctive wildlife. Biogeography is a branch of geography that explores the spatial distribution of the world’s flora (plant life) and fauna (animal life). While every world region has its own, unique plants and animals, some of the creatures found in Australia and the Pacific are found nowhere else on Earth. A number of world regions have an impressive degree of biodi
    • 10.4: The Patterns of Human Settlement in Australia and the Pacific
      Much of the physical landscape of Oceania has been directly shaped by human activity and settlement. Although Australia today is known for its origin as a British prison colony, the continent was inhabited long before Europeans arrived. The indigenous people of Australia are known as Aborigines and comprise a number of different ethnolinguistic and cultural groups.
    • 10.5: The Changing Landscape of Oceania
      The human settlement of Oceania, from the earliest migrations to European colonization, has reshaped the physical landscape of this region. Environmental degradation, disturbances to resources like air, land, and water, is a serious concern as economic growth often comes at the expense of environmental sustainability. In Australia, for example, wide stretches of previously sparsely inhabited Outback have become grazing lands.

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