How do the geographies of the Gobi Desert, Taklimakan Desert, and Himalayas affect population distribution?

Quick answer:

These extreme regions force their populations to live in small isolated communities where they can survive off the few reliable resources available. In the deserts, they live in oases. In the mountains, they live on the plateaus.

Expert Answers

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Deserts, like the Taklamakan and Gobi, and mountains, like the Himalayas, are extreme environments. Therefore, the people who live there must adapt to their surroundings if they are to survive there. The people in these areas tend to live in small isolated communities.

The Gobi and Taklamakan deserts in China's northwest are regions of contrasting temperatures. They are characterized by extreme daytime heat and very cold nights. These are mostly barren lands where little can grow or survive. Yet they have scattered oases with enough fertile soil and water for small populations to eke out a living. Therefore, the people of these deserts tend to live in small communities based in an oasis where they farm and raise animals. They cross the desert only when necessary.

The Himalayas are the world's tallest mountains. Like the deserts, it is difficult to survive in this region. The weather is cold year-round and the air is very thin. Few people live in the mountains themselves. They tend to live in the nearby plateaus where whether conditions are somewhat more predictable, though still extreme. Because the weather is too cold and the climate too dry to reliably grow crops, the people of this region are traditionally pastoralists. They raise animals, such as yaks and goats, which can endure the cold weather and survive off of the grasses that grow in this region. Therefore, they tend to live in the flatter grasslands that grow on the plateaus and valleys between the mountains.

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