South America

Zack Panos



Environmental Status

-Size of Region
8,511,965 sq. km (3,286,488 sq. mi)
-Population size and growth rate
190.8 million / 0.9% annual change
-Economic Status (Developed, Developing, and Underdeveloped)
-Gross Domestic Product
$2.533 trillion (2013 est.)
-Major Natural Resource
Bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower and timber
~Major import
Crude oil: 6,2%
~Major export
Iron ore, crude oil
-Types of energy used for
Solar Heating

~Electrical Production
bagasse (remains of sugar cane)
residual cane-waste (bagasse) from sugar cane
-Carbon Footprint
1990- 1.4
1991- 1.4
1992- 1.4

-Major Environmental Problems
Acid Rain
Endangered Species
Air Pollution
Waste Disposal


Major Biomes:
-Amazon Rainforest (3.1600° S, 60.0300° W)
-Cerrado (14.0057° S, 47.6846° W)
-Caatinga (3°-16° south latitude and 35°-45° west longitude.)

Abiotic Factors

-Average Temperature: 25-30oCelsius
-Average Precipitation: 29.16 mm ave./year

-Wind Patterns: During the early months, certain wind patterns bring in lots of precipitation from the northern hemisphere. During the later part of the year, the wind patterns change and take rain away from the biome and upward.

-Soil Composition: Deep in the Amazon Basin, the soil is called Terra preta. It translates to "black earth". This means that the soil is very dark and fertile. It is composed of low-temp charcoal and high quantities of pottery sherds; of organic matter such as plant residues, animal feces, fish and animal bones and other material; and of nutrients such as nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P), calcium (Ca), zinc (Zn), manganese (Mn).

-Dominate Geo-features: The Amazon Basin and the Andes Mountains

-Solar Radiation: The average radiation varies throughout the year, but stays relatively even.


-Limiting Factors: Sunlight is a limited factor in the Amazon because of the dense forest canopy. Light will not always travel all the way down to the forest floor.


-The Amazon ranges from the Tropical to the Boreal zones.


-The precipitation, max temp, min temp, ave temp, and wet days all generally go on a steady incline throughout the year.
-The relative humidity, ave wind speed, and hours/day of sunlight all generally stay at the same constant pace throughout the year.
-With a lot of the climate being the same and warm throughout most of the year, animals and plants are able to live well here, as long as the poachers and industry do not interrupt. There are no big flocks or groups on animals roaming here like in Africa because of all the poaching and deforestation happening.


-ipê-amarelo(National flower)
-The Pau-brasil tree (also known as Brazilwood)
-Brazilwood trees are very nice but are excessively logged for their nice timber and red dye color, which puts them into the category of near-extinction.


- Toco Toucan
-Yellow-banded Poison Dart Frog


-Velvet Worm
-Vermilion Waxcap Mushrooms


-The Jaguar
-The jaguar is an important animal because it regulates the other species populations that it hunts. It keeps the populations in control.
-As the orangutan eats fruits, it spreads seeds and keeps the diversity spread out throughout the land.

Current environmental Issues

-Deforestation: The Amazon houses millions-billions of trees that loggers see as $$$. With the continuous deforestation, the Amazon is slowly degrading in forestial quality.
-Endangered species: The Amazon houses some of the most rare and valuable species of animals. With this in mind, people want to go and hunt them and bring them "out of hiding". This poses a potential problem because all these species have a vital role in this Amazon rainforest. Taking them out will only hurt the biome as a whole.


Costa Rica

Environmental Status

Size of Region-
*19,730 sq. miles (51,100 km²)

-Population size and growth rate
#1.) 4727000
#2.)1.24% growth rate

-Economic Status (Developed, Developing, and Underdeveloped)

  • Developed and very stable

-Gross Domestic Product

  • $61.43 billion

-Major Natural Resource

  • Ocean access to both European and Asian countries

~Major import

  • raw materials
  • consumer goods
  • capital equipment
  • petroleum
  • construction materials

~Major export

  • bananas
  • pineapples
  • coffee
  • melons
  • ornamental plants
  • sugar
  • seafood
  • electronic components
  • medical equipment

-Types of energy used for

  • 75–80% hydro power
  • 12% geothermal
  • 3%–5% oil

~Electrical Production

  • fossil fuel: 9.28%
  • hydro: 80.62%
  • nuclear: 0%
  • other: 10.1%


  • Hydro power
  • Geothermal
  • Oil

-Carbon Footprint

  • 7770 metric tons

-Major Environmental Problems

  • Deforestation which has led to flooding, desertification, sedimentation in rivers, loss of wildlife diversity, and the obvious sheer loss of timber.

+ Costa Rica Biome

  • Major Biome: Tropical Rain Forest




Environmental Status

*Size= 2.78 million km²

*Population= 41,884,081

*Growth rate= .95%

*Economic Status= Developed

*Gross Domestic Product= 611.76 Billion (USD)

*Major Natural Resource

  • Fertile plains of the pampas
  • Lead
  • Zinc
  • Tin
  • Copper
  • Iron Ore
  • Petroleum
  • Uranium

*Major import

  • Cars (7.9)
  • Petroleum Gas (6.0)
  • Vehicle Parts (5.9)
  • Refined Petroleum (5.9)
  • Telephones (3.4)

*Major export

  • Soybean meal (13)
  • Petroleum (6.4)
  • Soybean Oil (5.4)
  • Cars (5.0)
  • Delivery Trucks (4.9)
  • Soybeans (4.0)


  • Natural Gas (54)
  • Petroleum (34)
  • Other (Nuclear, Coal, and Hydropower ect.) (12)

*Electrical Production

  • Thermal (52)
  • Hydro (41)
  • Nuclear (7)


*Carbon Footprint

  • 192378.15 KT

*Major Environmental Problems

  • Pollution
  • Soil threatened by erosion and deforestation
  • Soybeans taking over forests



Major Biomes: Grassland; Pampas of South America (35.0000° S, 62.0000° W) Desert; Patagonian desert (41.3200° S, 69.3200° W)

The Pampas of South America


Abiotic Factors

  • The average precipitation is about ten to twenty inches a year. The average precipitation a season ranges from four to five inches.
  • Average temperature is 64 degrees Fahrenheit, but it feels much hotter because the winds from the Atlantic Ocean make the area much more humid.
  • In the summer storms are usually followed a day or two of strong Pampero winds from the south, which bring cool, dry air with high temperatures in the low 20s and nights often below 12 °C to 15 °C. In the winter, when winds blow from the north, it is not uncommon to see temperatures between 22 °C and 25 °C and some spots in the western part may even hit 30 °C; however, after cold fronts from the south, highs might not reach 5 °C in the west and 8 °C in the east, and night time temperatures can fall below -5 °C.
  • The soil in the Pampas is divided into two zones. In the Western part of the Pampas, the soil is barren; in the East, the soil is very rich and well watered. It is the economic hub of Argentina. The soil is called molliisols meaning dark and rich.
  • The Pampas lacks a dominant geographic feature; it is is mainly just tall grass plains with an occasional tree.
  • The Solar radiation is 1.5 MG per day, as there are relatively few trees in the pampas.

* The Pampas of South America would be considered a Moist Forrest. The Pampas is a grassland in a warm temperate location. It is also highly humid due to its proximity to the Atlantic ocean and the heavy winds that typically occur in the winter.


  • The graph illustrates the climate of the Pampas. In the Pampas, perception, temperature, wind speed, and sunlight goes up in between December-February (Summer in Argentina.) The winter in the Pampas can be harsh, as the pampero wind picks up. As a result the temperature goes down, but the humidity rises. Plants living in the Pampas must be very adaptable to different kinds of whether. In the spring, it's common to have periods of aggressive storms with extreme heat and humidity, followed by extreme droughts. Fires frequently occur. Animals deal with these constant windy and dangerous conditions in various ways. Many animals browse on grass or burrow in the ground. There is even an owl that builds its nest in underground burrows.

*Major Autotrophes

  • Ombu
  • Cattalies
  • Water Lillis
The Ombu. One of the rare trees in the Pampas, as it has learned to defend itself from the frequent fires.

*Major Heterotrophs

  • Geoffry's Cat
  • Foxes
  • Skunks

*Major Decomposers

  • Fungi
  • Earthworms
  • Mushrooms

*Endangered Species

  • The Pampas deer is currently being reintroduced to its original home. The deer originally were abundant through the Pampas, but now due to the conversion of the pampas into cattle pastures, tree plantations, and agriculture farms, the Pampas deer population has shrunken to under 3,000. The pampas as a whole is considered one of the most endangered habitats in the world, as mass conversion for agricultural purpose has occurred, leaving native animals in a habitat unlike that they have survived in the past.

*State of the Pampas

  • The Pampas is in grave danger. Due to its proximity with Buenos Aires, the pampas has drawn lots of attention as a way to make a profit. People have flooded the Pampas, beginning in the 20th century, and converted the large grassland into a giant cattle-grazing field. Because of the introduction of humans, cattle, horses and various other farm animals, the native species have had a difficult time adapting to the drastic change. There is also large scale hunting especially for the pampas deer. There is also large fertilizer runoff damaging the waterways. Unfortunately, the pampas is considered one of the most depleted natural biomes in the world, and many have considered it very unlikely for Argentina to stop abusing the pampas due to their large reliance upon it.
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