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Portal:Geography

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Geography is the science that studies the lands, the features, the inhabitants, and the phenomena of the Earth. A literal translation would be "to describe or write about the Earth". The first person to use the word "geography" was Eratosthenes (276–194 BC). Four historical traditions in geographical research are the spatial analysis of the natural and the human phenomena (geography as the study of distribution), the area studies (places and regions), the study of the human-land relationship, and research in the Earth sciences. Modern geography is an all-encompassing discipline that foremost seeks to understand the Earth and all of its human and natural complexities—not merely where objects are, but how they have changed and come to be. Geography has been called "the world discipline" and "the bridge between the human and the physical science". Geography is divided into two main branches: human geography and physical geography.

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Global warming
Global warming is the increase in the average temperature of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans that has been observed in recent decades. The scientific opinion on climate change is that much of the recent change may be attributed to human activities. Carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases released by the burning of fossil fuels, land clearing, agriculture, among other human activities, are the primary sources of the human-induced component of warming. Observational sensitivity studies and climate models referenced by the IPCC predict that global temperatures may increase by between 1.4 and 5.8 °C between 1990 and 2100. An increase in global temperatures can in turn cause other changes, including rises in sea level and changes in the amount and pattern of precipitation. These changes may increase the frequency and intensity of extreme weather events, such as tropical cyclones or floods. There are a few scientists who contest the view about attribution of recent warming to human activity. Uncertainties exist regarding how much climate change should be expected in the future, and there is a hotly contested political and public debate over attempts to reduce or reverse future warming, and how to cope with possible consequences.

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Paul Kane
Paul Kane was an Irish-Canadian painter, famous for his paintings of First Nations peoples in the Canadian West and other Native Americans in the Oregon Country. Largely self-educated, Kane grew up in Toronto (then known as York) and trained himself by copying European masters on a study trip through Europe. He undertook two voyages through the wild Canadian northwest in 1845 and from 1846 to 1848. The first trip took him from Toronto to Sault Ste. Marie and back. Having secured the support of the Hudson's Bay Company, he set out on a second, much longer voyage from Toronto across the Rocky Mountains to Fort Vancouver and Fort Victoria in the Oregon Country and back again. On both trips Kane sketched and painted Native Americans and documented their life, ultimately producing over 700 sketches. Upon his return to Toronto, he produced from these sketches more than one hundred oil paintings. Kane's work, particularly his field sketches, are still a valuable resource for ethnologists. The oil paintings he did in his studio are considered a part of the Canadian heritage, although he often embellished these considerably, departing from the accuracy of his field sketches in favour of more dramatic scenes.

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La Défense
Credit: Photo: Dimitri Destugues

A panoramic view of the Paris business district of La Défense, which includes the cities of Puteaux, Courbevoie and Nanterre, as seen from the Tour Défense 2000. The area holds many of the Paris urban area's tallest high-rises. With its 77.5 acres (314,000 m2), its 72 glass-and-steel slick buildings including 14 high-rises above 150 m (490 ft), its 180,000 daily workers, and 3.5 million m2 (37.7 million sq ft) of office space, La Défense is Europe's largest purpose-built business district.

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