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Brazil AmazonasState.Storm overthe Amazon Rain Forest.
    Thunderstorms are widespread on Earth,with more than 50,000 occurring every day.Stormsform when warm,unstable air,saturated with water vapor,risesrapidlyandCools,formlng huge cumulo-unimbus clouds that can measure up to 25 kilometers(16miles)acrossand 16 kiometers(10miles)high in the lower latitudes.Thebuild-up of electrical charges in the clouds and on the qround below cilminates in lightning strikes-millions Of volts of electricity passing between the clouds and the ground accompanled bythunder,and usually heavy rain.In Amazonia,heavy evaporation from the Earth’s surface leads to trequent and often verv violent storms.All overthe world storms cause serious damage tO crops and buildings,disrupt air and,and trattic,interferewith communications,and kIl hundreds of people and thousands Of animals.Climatologists forecast that over the coming decades,pollution will cause the average air temperature to increase by several degrees.As a result,evaporaoion will increase,leadinq to greater amounts of rainfall in some areas and drought in Others,Climate change will also likely make extreme weatherevents such as Storms,tornadoes,and hurricanes morefrequent,increasing the damage they cause.Large insurance compames are already preparlng for these rlsks.

 

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Brazil AmazonasState.Storm overthe Amazon Rain Forest.
    Thunderstorms are widespread on Earth,with more than 50,000 occurring every day.Stormsform when warm,unstable air,saturated with water vapor,risesrapidlyandCools,formlng huge cumulo-unimbus clouds that can measure up to 25 kilometers(16miles)acrossand 16 kiometers(10miles)high in the lower latitudes.Thebuild-up of electrical charges in the clouds and on the qround below cilminates in lightning strikes-millions Of volts of electricity passing between the clouds and the ground accompanled bythunder,and usually heavy rain.In Amazonia,heavy evaporation from the Earth’s surface leads to trequent and often verv violent storms.All overthe world storms cause serious damage tO crops and buildings,disrupt air and,and trattic,interferewith communications,and kIl hundreds of people and thousands Of animals.Climatologists forecast that over the coming decades,pollution will cause the average air temperature to increase by several degrees.As a result,evaporaoion will increase,leadinq to greater amounts of rainfall in some areas and drought in Others,Climate change will also likely make extreme weatherevents such as Storms,tornadoes,and hurricanes morefrequent,increasing the damage they cause.Large insurance compames are already preparlng for these rlsks.

 

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India. Rajasthan. Cotton fabrics drying in the sun in Jaipur.
    The state of Rajasthan, in northwestern India, is an important textile-producing area, celebrated for centuries for the Chhipa community's craft of dyeing and printing on cotton and silk. The traditional methods of decorating with wax and printing by hand are facing competition from silkscreen printing, which allows large-scale production, while natural pigments are gradually being abandoned in favor of chemical dyes. On the other hand, fabrics are still soaked several times in order to fix the colors, and are still dried in the sun, as here in Jaipur. The Chhipa women working here belong to the 25 percent of the Indian workforce that are female.
    In India, as in most countries, women are playing a growing part in the economy, and here as elsewhere, inequality between the sexes is generally diminishing. However, they still suffer discrimination in education, access to jobs, pay, and political representation. Indian girls are traditionally regarded as having a lower economic value than boys, and as in China, but in contrast to the world as a whole, men outnumber women in India.

 

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Djibouti. Flock of goats among the rock stacks of Lake Abbe.
    The 80,000 nomads who share Djibouti's scant pastureland are comprised of two dominant groups: the Afars (37 percent of Djibouti's population), who also live in neighboring Ethiopia; and the Issas (50 percent), who are related to the Somalis. The tiny Republic of Djibouti is a relic of European imperialism, created, like many other African states, by a stroke of the pen. Djibouti once guarded the trade route to the Indies. Although the route has declined in importance, Djibouti remains an important base for the French Army, and the French make up the country's third principal ethnic group. France trades sophisticated weaponry in exchange for oil from the rich oil-producing states in the nearby Arabian Peninsula. Important military treaties, for example, link France with the United Arab Emirates, which contain the world's second-largest gas field but have a population of barely 200,000 (supplemented by 500,000 foreigners). Not only does the burning of fossil fuels aggravate the greenhouse effect, it also indirectly subsidizes arms manufacturing and the exploitation of foreign workers.

 

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Nepal. Pahar Region. Rice-growing to the south of Pokhara.
    The Pokhara Valley in the central Nepalese region of Pahar is traversed by a network of watercourses that nourish its~fertile alluvial soil. The hillsides are a mosaic of rice-growing terraces retained by small earthen embankments. In Nepal, where four-fifths of the population live off of agriculture, family cultivation of rice is the country's leading crop, yielding 3.7 million tonnes (four million tons) in 1997. At the end of the 1970s, the peasants had a small surplus that they were able to export, particularly to Tibet. Today,there is a lack of investment in agriculture, especially for the development of irrigation. But in spite of efforts to expand the area under cultivation and use better seed and fertilizer, there is not enough rice to support the Nepalese population. The country is now required to import the grain.

 

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Morocco. Oualidia. Artificial salt pans.
    Oualidia is a small seaside resort 175 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of asablanca. The topographical, climatic~ and geological conditions make it an ideal location for evaporation ponds, which need flat, impermeable ground, a climate that encourages evaporation, and the absence of rain over a fairly long period of the year. Huge feeding tanks called vasais fill up at spring tides. Shallower compartments or metieres alternate with them. The water then passes through a succession of shallower and shallower compartments, becoming saltier and saltier until it reaches narrower salinization spaces where the salt is harvested. What today is a cheap product was, until the nineteenth century, a precious commodity, taxed heavily by states and transported by caravans over immense distances across the Sahara.

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