Chile, officially the Republic of Chile, is a South American country occupying a long, narrow strip of land between the Andes to the east and the Pacific Ocean to the west. It borders Peru to the north, Bolivia to the northeast, Argentina to the east, Chilean territory includes the Pacific islands of Juan Fernández, Salas y Gómez and Easter Island in Oceania. Chile claims about 1,250,000 square kilometres of Antarctica, the arid Atacama Desert in northern Chile contains great mineral wealth, principally copper. Southern Chile is rich in forests and grazing lands, and features a string of volcanoes and lakes, the southern coast is a labyrinth of fjords, canals, twisting peninsulas, and islands. Spain conquered and colonized Chile in the century, replacing Inca rule in northern and central Chile. After declaring its independence from Spain in 1818, Chile emerged in the 1830s as a relatively stable authoritarian republic, in the 1960s and 1970s the country experienced severe left-right political polarization and turmoil.
The regime, headed by Augusto Pinochet, ended in 1990 after it lost a referendum in 1988 and was succeeded by a coalition which ruled through four presidencies until 2010. Chile is today one of South Americas most stable and prosperous nations and it leads Latin American nations in rankings of human development, income per capita, state of peace, economic freedom, and low perception of corruption. It ranks high regionally in sustainability of the state, Chile is a founding member of the United Nations, the Union of South American Nations and the Community of Latin American and Caribbean States. There are various theories about the origin of the word Chile, another theory points to the similarity of the valley of the Aconcagua with that of the Casma Valley in Peru, where there was a town and valley named Chili. Another origin attributed to chilli is the onomatopoeic cheele-cheele—the Mapuche imitation of the warble of a locally known as trile. The Spanish conquistadors heard about this name from the Incas, Almagro is credited with the universalization of the name Chile, after naming the Mapocho valley as such.
The older spelling Chili was in use in English until at least 1900 before switching over to Chile, stone tool evidence indicates humans sporadically frequented the Monte Verde valley area as long as 18,500 years ago. About 10,000 years ago, migrating Native Americans settled in fertile valleys, settlement sites from very early human habitation include Monte Verde, Cueva del Milodon and the Pali Aike Craters lava tube. They fought against the Sapa Inca Tupac Yupanqui and his army, the result of the bloody three-day confrontation known as the Battle of the Maule was that the Inca conquest of the territories of Chile ended at the Maule river. The next Europeans to reach Chile were Diego de Almagro and his band of Spanish conquistadors, the Spanish encountered various cultures that supported themselves principally through slash-and-burn agriculture and hunting. The conquest of Chile began in earnest in 1540 and was carried out by Pedro de Valdivia, one of Francisco Pizarros lieutenants, who founded the city of Santiago on 12 February 1541.
Although the Spanish did not find the gold and silver they sought, they recognized the agricultural potential of Chiles central valley
Inca cuisine originated in pre-Columbian times within the Inca civilization from the 13th to the 16th century. The Inca civilization stretched across many regions, and so there was a diversity of plants and animals used for food. The most important staples were various tubers and grains, maize was of high prestige, but could not be grown as extensively as it was further north. The most common sources of meat were guinea pigs and llamas, there were several types of edible clay, like pasa, which was used as sauce for potatoes and other tubers, and chaco, something used by the poor or religiously devout. As in the rest of Central and South America, chili peppers were an important, the Inca realm stretched north-south, encompassing a great variety of climate zones. In Peru in particular, the mountain ranges provide highly varied types of growing zones at different altitudes, the staples of the Incas included various plants with edible tubers and roots like potato and sweet potato, in hundreds of varieties.
Slightly over 4,000 types are known to Peru, there was oca, which came in two varieties and bitter. The sweet variety could be eaten raw or preserved and was used as a sweetener before the arrival of sugar, the insipid, starchy root ullucu, and arracacha, something like a cross between carrot and celery were, like potatoes, used in stews and soups. Achira, a species of Canna, was a sweet, starchy root that was baked in earth ovens, since it had to be transported up to the power center of Cuzco, it is considered to have been food eaten as part of a tradition. Although the roots and tubers provided the staples of the Inca, several species of seaweed were part of the Inca diet and could be eaten fresh or dried. Some freshwater algae and blue algae of the genus Nostoc were eaten raw or processed for storage, in post-colonial times it has been used to make a dessert by boiling it in sugar. Pepino, a refreshing and thirst-quenching fruit, was eaten by common folk, peoples of the Altiplano had two large domesticated animals and alpacas.
They were kept for their wool and used as pack animals that were used in large caravans. The llama in particular was highly valued, and a white llama adorned in red cloth with gold earrings would often go before the Inca ruler as a royal symbol. Animals were believed to represent various gods depending on what color they had and were sacrificed in great number, the control over the sacred animals was very rigorous. Shepherds had to every last part of any animal that died. Among the food made from the Peruvian camelids was sharqui, strips of freeze-dried meat. The meat of the folk was the cuy, guinea pig
Central Africa is the core region of the African continent which includes Burundi, the Central African Republic, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Rwanda. All of the states in the UN subregion of Middle Africa, plus those otherwise commonly reckoned in Central Africa, since its independence in 2011, South Sudan has been commonly included in the region. The Central African Federation, called the Federation of Rhodesia and Nyasaland, was made up of what are now the nations of Malawi and these states are now typically considered part of Southern Africa. Archeological finds in Central Africa have been discovered dating back over 100,000 years, according to Zangato and Holl, there is evidence of iron-smelting in the Central African Republic and Cameroon that may date back to 3000 to 2500 BCE. Extensive walled settlements have recently found in Northeast Nigeria, approximately 60 km southwest of Lake Chad dating to the first millennium BCE. Trade and improved agricultural techniques supported more sophisticated societies, leading to the civilizations of Sao, Bornu, Baguirmi.
Around 1000 BCE, Bantu migrants had reached the Great Lakes Region in Central Africa, halfway through the first millennium BCE, the Bantu had settled as far south as what is now Angola. The Sao civilization flourished from ca. the sixth century BCE to as late as the sixteenth century CE in northern Central Africa, the Sao lived by the Chari River south of Lake Chad in territory that became part of Cameroon and Chad. They are the earliest people to have clear traces of their presence in the territory of modern Cameroon. Today, several groups of northern Cameroon and southern Chad. Sao artifacts show that they were skilled workers in bronze, finds include bronze sculptures and terra cotta statues of human and animal figures, funerary urns, household utensils, highly decorated pottery, and spears. The largest Sao archaeological finds have been south of Lake Chad. The Kanem-Bornu Empire was centered in the Chad Basin and it was known as the Kanem Empire from the 9th century CE onward and lasted as the independent kingdom of Bornu until 1900.
The history of the Empire is mainly known from the Royal Chronicle or Girgam discovered in 1851 by the German traveller Heinrich Barth, Kanem rose in the 8th century in the region to the north and east of Lake Chad. The Kanem empire went into decline, and in the 14th century was defeated by Bilala invaders from the Lake Fitri region, the Kanuri people led by the Sayfuwa migrated to the west and south of the lake, where they established the Bornu Empire. By the late 16th century the Bornu empire had expanded and recaptured the parts of Kanem that had been conquered by the Bulala, satellite states of Bornu included the Damagaram in the west and Baguirmi to the southeast of Lake Chad. The Shilluk Kingdom was centered in South Sudan from the 15th century from along a strip of land along the bank of White Nile. The capital and royal residence was in the town of Fashoda, the kingdom was founded during the mid-fifteenth century CE by its first ruler, Nyikang
Horn of Africa
The Horn of Africa is a peninsula in Northeast Africa. It juts hundreds of kilometers into the Arabian Sea and Indian Ocean, the area is the easternmost projection of the African continent. The Horn of Africa denotes the region containing the countries of Djibouti, Ethiopia and it covers approximately 2,000,000 km2 and is inhabited by roughly 115 million people. Regional studies on the Horn of Africa are carried out, among others, shell middens 125,000 years old have been found in Eritrea, indicating the diet of early humans included seafood obtained by beachcombing. According to both genetic and fossil evidence, archaic Homo sapiens evolved to modern humans solely in Africa between 200,000 and 100,000 years ago. Evidence to support the theory that recent modern humans originated in East Africa is not conclusive, today at the Bab-el-Mandeb straits, the Red Sea is about 12 miles wide, but 50,000 years ago it was much narrower and sea levels were 70 meters lower. Though the straits were never closed, there may have been islands in between which could be reached using simple rafts.
It has been estimated that from a population of 2,000 to 5,000 individuals in Africa, according to linguists, the first Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations arrived in the region during the ensuing Neolithic era from the familys proposed urheimat in the Nile Valley, or the Near East. Other scholars propose that the Afro-Asiatic family developed in situ in the Horn, genetic analysis indicates that, beginning in the pre-agricultural period, settlers from the Near East founded communities in Northeast Africa. These early settlements eventually gave rise to the Afro-Asiatic-speaking populations in the Horn, dʿmt was a kingdom located in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, which existed during the 8th and 7th centuries BCE. With its capital at Yeha, the kingdom developed irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet, the Kingdom of Aksum was an ancient state located in the highlands of present-day Ethiopia and Eritrea, which thrived between the 1st and 7th centuries CE. A major player in the commerce between the Roman Empire and Ancient India, Aksums rulers facilitated trade by minting their own currency.
Under Ezana, the kingdom of Aksum became the first major empire to adopt Christianity, northern Somalia was an important link in the Horn, connecting the regions commerce with the rest of the ancient world. Somali sailors and merchants were the suppliers of frankincense and spices. The Romans consequently began to refer to the region as Regio Aromatica, in the classical era, several flourishing Somali city-states such as Opone and Malao competed with the Sabaeans and Axumites for the rich Indo-Greco-Roman trade. The city of Mogadishu came to be known as the City of Islam, the Sultanate of Showa, established in 896, was one of the oldest local Muslim states. It was centered in the former Shewa province in central Ethiopia, the polity was succeeded by the Sultanate of Ifat around 1285. Ifat was governed from its capital at Zeila in northern Somalia and was the easternmost district of the former Shewa Sultanate, the Adal Sultanate was a medieval multi-ethnic Muslim state centered in the Horn region
Peru, officially the Republic of Peru, is a country in western South America. It is bordered in the north by Ecuador and Colombia, in the east by Brazil, in the southeast by Bolivia, in the south by Chile, and in the west by the Pacific Ocean. Peruvian territory was home to ancient cultures spanning from the Norte Chico civilization in Caral, one of the oldest in the world, to the Inca Empire, the largest state in Pre-Columbian America. The Spanish Empire conquered the region in the 16th century and established a Viceroyalty with its capital in Lima, ideas of political autonomy spread throughout Spanish America and Peru gained its independence, which was formally proclaimed in 1821. After the battle of Ayacucho, three years after proclamation, Peru ensured its independence, the country has undergone changes in government from oligarchic to democratic systems. Peru has gone through periods of political unrest and internal conflict as well as periods of stability, Peru is a representative democratic republic divided into 25 regions.
It is a country with a high Human Development Index score. Its main economic activities include mining, manufacturing and fishing, the Peruvian population, estimated at 31.2 million in 2015, is multiethnic, including Amerindians, Europeans and Asians. The main spoken language is Spanish, although a significant number of Peruvians speak Quechua or other native languages and this mixture of cultural traditions has resulted in a wide diversity of expressions in fields such as art, cuisine and music. The name of the country may be derived from Birú, the name of a ruler who lived near the Bay of San Miguel, Panama. When his possessions were visited by Spanish explorers in 1522, they were the southernmost part of the New World yet known to Europeans, when Francisco Pizarro explored the regions farther south, they came to be designated Birú or Perú. An alternative history is provided by the contemporary writer Inca Garcilasco de la Vega, son of an Inca princess, the Spanish Crown gave the name legal status with the 1529 Capitulación de Toledo, which designated the newly encountered Inca Empire as the province of Peru.
Under Spanish rule, the country adopted the denomination Viceroyalty of Peru, the earliest evidences of human presence in Peruvian territory have been dated to approximately 9,000 BC. Andean societies were based on agriculture, using such as irrigation and terracing, camelid husbandry. Organization relied on reciprocity and redistribution because these societies had no notion of market or money, the oldest known complex society in Peru, the Norte Chico civilization, flourished along the coast of the Pacific Ocean between 3,000 and 1,800 BC. These early developments were followed by archaeological cultures that developed mostly around the coastal, the Cupisnique culture which flourished from around 1000 to 200 BC along what is now Perus Pacific Coast was an example of early pre-Incan culture. The Chavín culture that developed from 1500 to 300 BC was probably more of a religious than a political phenomenon, on the coast, these included the civilizations of the Paracas, Nazca and the more outstanding Chimu and Mochica.
Their capital was at Chan Chan outside of modern-day Trujillo, in the 15th century, the Incas emerged as a powerful state which, in the span of a century, formed the largest empire in pre-Columbian America with their capital in Cusco
These vast plains are a natural region only interrupted by the low Ventana and Tandil hills near Bahía Blanca and Tandil, with a height of 1,300 m and 500 m, respectively. The climate is warm, with precipitation of 600 to 1,200 mm, more or less evenly distributed through the year and this area is one of the distinct physiography provinces of the larger Paraná-Paraguay Plain division. These plains contain unique wildlife because of the different terrains around it, some of this wildlife includes the rhea, the pampas deer, several species of armadillos, the pampas fox, the white-eared opossum, the elegant crested tinamou, and several other species. The climate of the Pampas is generally temperate, gradually giving way to a subtropical climate in the north. Summer temperatures are more uniform than winter temperatures, generally ranging from 28 to 33 °C during the day, most cities in the Pampas occasionally have high temperatures that push 38 °C. This occurs when a warm, northerly wind blows from southern Brazil, autumn arrives gradually in March, and peaks in April and May.
In April, highs range from 20 to 25 °C and lows from 9 to 13 °C, the first frosts arrive in mid-April in the south, and in late May or early June in the north. Winters are generally mild, although cold waves do occur, normal temperatures range from 12 to 19 °C during the day, and from 1 to 6 °C at night. With strong northerly winds, days of over 25 °C can be recorded almost everywhere, whereas during cold waves, frost occurs everywhere in the Pampas, although it is much more frequent in the southwest, and less so around the Parana and Uruguay Rivers. Temperatures under −5 °C can occur everywhere, whereas values of −10 °C or lower are confined to the south, snow never falls in the northernmost third, and is rare and light elsewhere, except for exceptional events where depths have reached 30 cm. Springs are very variable, it is warmer than fall in most areas, violent storms are more common, as well as wide temperature variations, days of 35 °C can give way to nights of under 5 °C or even frost, all within only a few days.
Precipitation ranges from 1,200 mm in the northeast, to about 500 mm in the southern and western edges. In the west, it is seasonal, with some places recording averages of 120 mm monthly in the summer. The eastern areas have small peaks in the fall and in the spring, where summer rain falls as short, heavy storms, winter rain falls mostly as cold drizzle, so that the amount of rainy days is fairly constant. Very intense thunderstorms are common in the spring and summer, and it has among the most frequent lightning, the severe thunderstorms produce intense hailstorms, and both floods and flash floods, as well as the most consistently active tornado region outside the central and southeastern US. Frequent wildfires ensure that only small plants such as grasses flourish, the dominant vegetation types are grassy prairie and grass steppe in which numerous species of the grass genus Stipa are particularly conspicuous. Pampas grass is a species of the Pampas. Vegetation typically includes perennial grasses and herbs, different strata of grasses occur because of gradients of water availability
The Chad Basin is the largest endorheic drainage basin in Africa, centered on Lake Chad. It has no outlet to the sea and contains areas of desert or semi-arid savanna. The drainage basin is roughly coterminous with the basin of the same name. The basin spans seven countries, including most of Chad and a part of Niger. It has a diverse population of about 30 million people as of 2011. A combination of dams, increased irrigation, and reduced rainfall are causing shortages of water, the geological basin, which is smaller than the drainage basin, is a Phanerozoic sedimentary basin formed during the plate divergence that opened the South Atlantic Ocean. The basin lies between the West African Craton and Congo Craton, and formed around the time as the Benue Trough. It covers an area of about 2,335,000 square kilometres and it merges into the Iullemmeden Basin to the west at the Damergou gap between the Aïr and Zinder massifs. The floor of the basin is made of Precambrian bedrock covered by more than 3,600 metres of sedimentary deposits, the basin may have resulted from the intersection of an Aïr-Chad Trough running NW-SE and a Tibesti-Cameroon Trough running NE-SW.
The southern part of the basin is underlain by another elongated depression and this runs in an ENE direction and extends from the Yola arm of the Benue trough. At times, parts of the basin were below the sea, in the northeastern part of the Benue Trough where it enters the Chad Basin there are marine sediments from the Late Cretaceous. These sediments seem to be considerably thicker towards the northeast, boreholes under Maiduguri have found marine sediments 400 metres deep, lying over continental sediments 600 metres deep. The sea seems to have retreated from the part of the basin in the Turonian. In the Maastrichtian the west was non-marine, but the southeast probably was still marine, no marine sediments have been found from the Paleocene. Towards the end of this period the climate became drier, around 20, 000-40,000 years ago eolianite sand dunes began to form in the north of the basin. During the Holocene, from 11,000 years ago until recently and it would have drained to the Atlantic Ocean via the Benue River.
Stratigraphic records show that Mega-Chad varied in size as the climate changed, the remains of fish and molluscs from this period are found in what are now desert regions. The Chad Basin covers almost 8% of the African continent, with an area of about 2,434,000 square kilometres, the Aïr Mountains and the Termit Massif in Niger form the western boundary
The Danakil Desert is a desert in northeast Ethiopia, southern Eritrea, and northwestern Djibouti. Situated in the Afar Triangle, it stretches across 100,000 square kilometres of arid terrain, the area is known for its volcanoes and extreme heat, with daytime temperatures surpassing 50 °C. Less than an inch of rainfall each year. The Danakil Desert is one of the lowest and hottest places on Earth and it is inhabited by a few Afar, who engage in salt mining. Local geology is characterized by volcanic and tectonic activity, various climate cycles, the basic geological structure of this area was caused by the movement of tectonic plates as Africa moved away from Asia. Mountain chains formed and were eroded again during the Paleozoic, inundations by the sea caused the formation of layers of sandstone, and limestone was deposited further offshore. As the land again, further sandstone formed above the limestone. Further tectonic shifts caused lava to pour out of cracks and cover the sedimentary deposits, the Danakil Desert has a number of lakes formed by lava flows that dammed up several valleys.
Among these is Lake Afrera, which has thick saline crusts on its banks, the area is flanked toward the east by the Danakil Alps, a tabular mountain system that has a few volcanic cones which peak in height in Mount Ramlo. A deposit of salt up to 800 metres thick can be found in the Salt Plain flatlands, other local lakes include Lake Asale and Lake Giuletti/Afrera, both of which possess cryptodepressions in the Danakil Depression. The Afrera contains many active volcanoes, including the Maraho, Afdera, the Afar people mine salt, loading each of their camels with up to thirty salt bricks weighing four kilograms each. It will take two days to get to the nearest town, with watching the camels and guarding them from bandits. Danakil Alps Eritrean coastal desert Guban desert
The Inca Empire, known as the Incan Empire and the Inka Empire, was the largest empire in pre-Columbian America, and possibly the largest empire in the world in the early 16th century. The administrative and military center of the empire was located in Cusco in modern-day Peru, the Inca civilization arose from the highlands of Peru sometime in the early 13th century. Its last stronghold was conquered by the Spanish in 1572, from 1438 to 1533, the Incas incorporated a large portion of western South America, centered on the Andean Mountains, using conquest and peaceful assimilation, among other methods. The Incas considered their king, the Sapa Inca, to be the son of the sun, the Inca Empire was unique in that it lacked many features associated with civilization in the Old world. In the words of one scholar, The Incas lacked the use of wheeled vehicles, the Incan economy has been described as feudal, socialist. The economy functioned largely without money and without markets, exchange of goods and services was based on reciprocity between individuals and among individuals and Inca rulers.
Taxes consisted of an obligation of a person to the Empire. The Inca rulers reciprocated by granting access to land and goods and providing food, the Inca referred to their empire as Tawantinsuyu, the four suyu. The four suyu were, Antisuyu and Kuntisuyu, the name Tawantinsuyu was, therefore, a descriptive term indicating a union of provinces. The Spanish transliterated the name as Tahuatinsuyo or Tahuatinsuyu, the term Inka means ruler or lord in Quechua and was used to refer to the ruling class or the ruling family. The Incas were a small percentage of the total population of the empire, probably numbering only 15,000 to 40,000. The Spanish adopted the term as a term referring to all subjects of the empire rather than simply the ruling class. As such the name Imperio inca referred to the nation that they encountered, the Inca people were a pastoral tribe in the Cusco area around the 12th century. Incan oral history tells a story of three caves. The center cave at Tampu Tuqu was named Qhapaq Tuqu, the other caves were Maras Tuqu and Sutiq Tuqu.
Four brothers and four sisters stepped out of the middle cave and they were, Ayar Manco, Ayar Cachi, Ayar Awqa and Ayar Uchu, and Mama Ocllo, Mama Raua, Mama Huaco and Mama Qura. Out of the side caves came the people who were to be the ancestors of all the Inca clans, Ayar Manco carried a magic staff made of the finest gold. Where this staff landed, the people would live and they traveled for a long time
The Virunga Mountains are a chain of volcanoes in East Africa, along the northern border of Rwanda, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, and Uganda. The mountain range is a branch of the Albertine Rift Mountains and they are located between Lake Edward and Lake Kivu. The name Virunga is an English version of the Kinyarwanda word ibirunga, the mountain range consists of eight major volcanoes. Most of them are dormant, except Mount Nyiragongo 3,462 metres and Mount Nyamuragira 3,063 metres, recent eruptions occurred in 2006 and in January 2010. Mount Karisimbi is the highest volcano at 4,507 metres, the oldest mountain is Mount Sabyinyo, which rises 3,634 metres above sea level. The Virunga Mountains are home of the endangered mountain gorilla, listed on the IUCN Red List of Endangered Species due to habitat loss, disease. The Karisoke Research Center, founded by Dian Fossey to observe gorillas in their habitat, is located between Mount Karisimbi and Mount Bisoke. Virunga National Park, Democratic Republic of the Congo Volcanoes National Park, Rwanda Mgahinga Gorilla National Park, samba Mapangala, a Congolese-Kenyan musician, had a band called Orchestra Virunga.
George Schaller Earl Denman Chisholm, Hugh, ed. Mfumbiro, official Virunga National Park website Kwita Izina - official Baby Gorilla Naming Ceremony site - Virunga Rwanda Map of Virunga Mountains - Virunga Volcanoes Travel Portal
The Amazon rainforest, known in English as Amazonia or the Amazon Jungle, is a moist broadleaf forest in the Amazon biome that covers most of the Amazon basin of South America. This basin encompasses 7,000,000 square kilometres, of which 5,500,000 square kilometres are covered by the rainforest and this region includes territory belonging to nine nations. States or departments in four nations contain Amazonas in their names, the name Amazon is said to arise from a war Francisco de Orellana fought with the Tapuyas and other tribes. The women of the tribe alongside the men, as was their custom. Orellana derived the name Amazonas from the Amazons of Greek mythology, the rainforest likely formed during the Eocene era. It appeared following a reduction of tropical temperatures when the Atlantic Ocean had widened sufficiently to provide a warm. Following the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, the extinction of the dinosaurs, from 66–34 Mya, the rainforest extended as far south as 45°. Climate fluctuations during the last 34 million years have allowed savanna regions to expand into the tropics, during the Oligocene, for example, the rainforest spanned a relatively narrow band.
It expanded again during the Middle Miocene, retracted to a mostly inland formation at the last glacial maximum, the rainforest still managed to thrive during these glacial periods, allowing for the survival and evolution of a broad diversity of species. During the mid-Eocene, it is believed that the basin of the Amazon was split along the middle of the continent by the Purus Arch. Water on the eastern side flowed toward the Atlantic, while to the west water flowed toward the Pacific across the Amazonas Basin, as the Andes Mountains rose, however, a large basin was created that enclosed a lake, now known as the Solimões Basin. Within the last 5–10 million years, this accumulating water broke through the Purus Arch, there is evidence that there have been significant changes in Amazon rainforest vegetation over the last 21,000 years through the Last Glacial Maximum and subsequent deglaciation. There is debate, over how extensive this reduction was, more than 56% of the dust fertilizing the Amazon rainforest comes from the Bodélé depression in Northern Chad in the Sahara desert.
The dust contains phosphorus, important for plant growth, the yearly Sahara dust replaces the equivalent amount of phosphorus washed away yearly in Amazon soil from rains and floods. Up to 50 million tonnes of Sahara dust per year are blown across the Atlantic Ocean, CALIPSO uses a laser range finder to scan the Earths atmosphere for the vertical distribution of dust and other aerosols. CALIPSO regularly tracks the Sahara-Amazon dust plume, CALIPSO has measured variations in the dust amounts transported— an 86 percent drop between the highest amount of dust transported in 2007 and the lowest in 2011. A possibility causing the variation is the Sahel, a strip of land on the southern border of the Sahara. When rain amounts in the Sahel are higher, the volume of dust is lower, the higher rainfall could make more vegetation grow in the Sahel, leaving less sand exposed to winds to blow away
Ecuador includes the Galápagos Islands in the Pacific, about 1,000 kilometres west of the mainland. What is now Ecuador was home to a variety of Amerindian groups that were incorporated into the Inca Empire during the 15th century. The territory was colonized by Spain during the 16th century, achieving independence in 1820 as part of Gran Colombia, Spanish is the official language and is spoken by a majority of the population, though 13 Amerindian languages are recognized, including Quichua and Shuar. The capital city is Quito, while the largest city is Guayaquil, in reflection of the countrys rich cultural heritage, the historical center of Quito was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1978. Cuenca, the third-largest city, was declared a World Heritage Site in 1999 as an outstanding example of a planned. Ecuador has an economy that is highly dependent on commodities, namely petroleum. The country is classified as a medium-income country, Ecuador is a democratic presidential republic. The new constitution of 2008 is the first in the world to recognize legally enforceable Rights of Nature, Ecuador is known for its rich ecology, hosting many endemic plants and animals, such as those of the Galápagos Islands.
It is one of 17 megadiverse countries in the world, various peoples had settled in the area of the future Ecuador before the arrival of the Incas. They developed different languages while emerging as unique ethnic groups, even though their languages were unrelated, these groups developed similar groups of cultures, each based in different environments. Over time these groups began to interact and intermingle with each other so that groups of families in one area became one community or tribe, with a similar language and culture. Many civilizations arose in Ecuador, such as the Valdivia Culture and Machalilla Culture on the coast, the Quitus, each civilization developed its own distinctive architecture and religious interests. Eventually, through wars and marriage alliances of their leaders, a group of nations formed confederations, one region consolidated under a confederation called the Shyris, which exercised organized trading and bartering between the different regions. Its political and military came under the rule of the Duchicela blood-line.
The native confederations that gave them the most problems were deported to distant areas of Peru, similarly, a number of loyal Inca subjects from Peru and Bolivia were brought to Ecuador to prevent rebellion. Thus, the region of highland Ecuador became part of the Inca Empire in 1463 sharing the same language, in contrast, when the Incas made incursions into coastal Ecuador and the eastern Amazon jungles of Ecuador, they found both the environment and indigenous people more hostile. Moreover, when the Incas tried to subdue them, these indigenous people withdrew to the interior, as a result, Inca expansion into the Amazon basin and the Pacific coast of Ecuador was hampered. The indigenous people of the Amazon jungle and coastal Ecuador remained relatively autonomous until the Spanish soldiers, the Amazonian people and the Cayapas of Coastal Ecuador were the only groups to resist Inca and Spanish domination, maintaining their language and culture well into the 21st century