|The Regional Impacts of Climate Change|
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10.1. Regional Characteristics
This report covers countries in Temperate Asia between 18°N and the Arctic
Circle, including the Japanese islands, the Korean peninsula, Mongolia, most
parts of China, and Siberia in Russia (see Figure 10-1).
Geographically, the region is located on the northeastern part of the Eurasian
continent-the world's largest continent-and borders the Pacific, the world's
largest ocean. The east-west distance of the area is about 8,000 km, and its
north-south extent is about 5,000 km. The world's largest plateau-the Qing-Zang
plateau (Tibetan plateau), with an average elevation of more than 4,000 m-is
located in southWest China. Mt. Qomolangma (formerly Mt. Everest), the highest
peak in the world (8,848 m), lies near the southern border of the plateau. The
lowest point of the region (-154 m) is found in the Turfen Depression, northeast
of the Taklamakan Desert.
Human activities through the ages have brought profound changes to the landscape of the region: Except for the boreal forests in Siberia, for example, natural forests in the region have long been destroyed. Only in mountain areas do secondary forests remain (Numata, 1974). Broad plains have been cultivated and irrigated for thousands of years, and natural grasslands have been used for animal husbandry.
The present population and projected population in 2025 for each country or
region in Temperate Asia, except Siberia and Taiwan, are listed in Table
10-1, based on statistics from United Nations Population Division (1993)
and FAO (1995). The region's population is expected to grow from 1.42 billion
in 1995 to 1.72 billion by 2025. Table 10-1 also shows
the current land use in each country or region.
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