World War II
World War II known as the Second World War, was a global war that lasted from 1939 to 1945. The vast majority of the world's countries—including all the great powers—eventually formed two opposing military alliances: the Allies and the Axis. A state of total war emerged, directly involving more than 100 million people from over 30 countries; the major participants threw their entire economic and scientific capabilities behind the war effort, blurring the distinction between civilian and military resources. World War II was the deadliest conflict in human history, marked by 50 to 85 million fatalities, most of whom were civilians in the Soviet Union and China, it included massacres, the genocide of the Holocaust, strategic bombing, premeditated death from starvation and disease, the only use of nuclear weapons in war. Japan, which aimed to dominate Asia and the Pacific, was at war with China by 1937, though neither side had declared war on the other. World War II is said to have begun on 1 September 1939, with the invasion of Poland by Germany and subsequent declarations of war on Germany by France and the United Kingdom.
From late 1939 to early 1941, in a series of campaigns and treaties, Germany conquered or controlled much of continental Europe, formed the Axis alliance with Italy and Japan. Under the Molotov–Ribbentrop Pact of August 1939, Germany and the Soviet Union partitioned and annexed territories of their European neighbours, Finland and the Baltic states. Following the onset of campaigns in North Africa and East Africa, the fall of France in mid 1940, the war continued between the European Axis powers and the British Empire. War in the Balkans, the aerial Battle of Britain, the Blitz, the long Battle of the Atlantic followed. On 22 June 1941, the European Axis powers launched an invasion of the Soviet Union, opening the largest land theatre of war in history; this Eastern Front trapped most crucially the German Wehrmacht, into a war of attrition. In December 1941, Japan launched a surprise attack on the United States as well as European colonies in the Pacific. Following an immediate U. S. declaration of war against Japan, supported by one from Great Britain, the European Axis powers declared war on the U.
S. in solidarity with their Japanese ally. Rapid Japanese conquests over much of the Western Pacific ensued, perceived by many in Asia as liberation from Western dominance and resulting in the support of several armies from defeated territories; the Axis advance in the Pacific halted in 1942. Key setbacks in 1943, which included a series of German defeats on the Eastern Front, the Allied invasions of Sicily and Italy, Allied victories in the Pacific, cost the Axis its initiative and forced it into strategic retreat on all fronts. In 1944, the Western Allies invaded German-occupied France, while the Soviet Union regained its territorial losses and turned toward Germany and its allies. During 1944 and 1945 the Japanese suffered major reverses in mainland Asia in Central China, South China and Burma, while the Allies crippled the Japanese Navy and captured key Western Pacific islands; the war in Europe concluded with an invasion of Germany by the Western Allies and the Soviet Union, culminating in the capture of Berlin by Soviet troops, the suicide of Adolf Hitler and the German unconditional surrender on 8 May 1945.
Following the Potsdam Declaration by the Allies on 26 July 1945 and the refusal of Japan to surrender under its terms, the United States dropped atomic bombs on the Japanese cities of Hiroshima and Nagasaki on 6 and 9 August respectively. With an invasion of the Japanese archipelago imminent, the possibility of additional atomic bombings, the Soviet entry into the war against Japan and its invasion of Manchuria, Japan announced its intention to surrender on 15 August 1945, cementing total victory in Asia for the Allies. Tribunals were set up by fiat by the Allies and war crimes trials were conducted in the wake of the war both against the Germans and the Japanese. World War II changed the political social structure of the globe; the United Nations was established to foster international co-operation and prevent future conflicts. The Soviet Union and United States emerged as rival superpowers, setting the stage for the nearly half-century long Cold War. In the wake of European devastation, the influence of its great powers waned, triggering the decolonisation of Africa and Asia.
Most countries whose industries had been damaged moved towards economic expansion. Political integration in Europe, emerged as an effort to end pre-war enmities and create a common identity; the start of the war in Europe is held to be 1 September 1939, beginning with the German invasion of Poland. The dates for the beginning of war in the Pacific include the start of the Second Sino-Japanese War on 7 July 1937, or the Japanese invasion of Manchuria on 19 September 1931. Others follow the British historian A. J. P. Taylor, who held that the Sino-Japanese War and war in Europe and its colonies occurred and the two wars merged in 1941; this article uses the conventional dating. Other starting dates sometimes used for World War II include the Italian invasion of Abyssinia on 3 October 1935; the British historian Antony Beevor views the beginning of World War II as the Battles of Khalkhin Gol fought between Japan and the fo
Geography of Samoa
The country of Samoa consists of the two large islands of Upolu and Savai'i and eight smaller islands located about halfway between Hawaii and New Zealand in the Polynesian region of the South Pacific Ocean. The island of Upolu is home to nearly three-quarters of Samoa's population and its capital city of Apia. Samoa occupies an central position within Polynesia; the climate is tropical, with a rainy season from November to April. To the east is the smaller American Samoa. Location: Oceania Geographic coordinates: 13°35′S 172°20′W Area: total: 2,944 km2 land: 2,934 km2 water: 10 km2 Area - comparative: smaller than Rhode Island Coastline: 403 km Maritime claims: exclusive economic zone: 200 nautical miles territorial sea: 12 nautical miles Elevation extremes: lowest point: Pacific Ocean 0 m highest point: Mauga Silisili 1,857 m Land use: arable land: 21.2% permanent crops: 24.38% other: 54.42%A natural hazard of the islands is active volcanism. Current environmental issues are soil erosion, invasive species, overfishing.
Environment - international agreements: party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection Tropical. Samoa encounters the occasional cyclone. Terrain consists of two main islands Savai'i and Upolu, with settlements on Manono and Apolima in the Apolima Strait between Savai'i and Upolu. A small uninhabited island Namua sits between Apolima. Off the east end of Upolu are the Aleipata Islands, small uninhabited islets. Natural resources include hardwood forests and hydropower. List of cities and villages in Samoa Districts of Samoa Samoan Islands Geography of American Samoa This article incorporates public domain material from the CIA World Factbook website https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/index.html
Geography of Niue
Niue is a small island in the South Pacific Ocean, to the east of Tonga. It has an area of 260 square kilometres, a coastline of 64 km, it claims an exclusive economic zone of 200 nm, a territorial sea of 12 nm. It is one of world's largest coral islands. Niue's climate is tropical, modified by south-east trade winds. Cyclones pose a natural hazard; the terrain consists of steep coastal cliffs made from a central plateau. The lowest point is at sea level, the highest is an unnamed point near Mutalau settlement, at 68 m; the island's natural resources are arable land. Land use in 1993 was as in the following table: A current environmental issue is increasing attention to conservationist practices to counter loss of soil fertility from traditional slash-and-burn agriculture. Niue is a party to the following international agreements regarding the environment: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification. Niue not ratified the Law of the Sea agreement. Niue has signed a treaty with the United States in which the parties delimited the east–west maritime boundary between Niue and American Samoa.
Niue is south of American Samoa. This is a list of the extreme points of Niue, the points that are farther north, east or west than any other location. Northernmost point – unnamed headland north-west of Uluvehi Easternmost point – unnamed headland south-east of Liku Southernmost point – Limufuafua Point Westernmost point - Halagigie Point
Biodiversity refers to the variety and variability of life on Earth. Biodiversity is a measure of variation at the genetic and ecosystem level. Terrestrial biodiversity is greater near the equator, the result of the warm climate and high primary productivity. Biodiversity is not distributed evenly on Earth, is richest in the tropics; these tropical forest ecosystems cover less than 10 percent of earth's surface, contain about 90 percent of the world's species. Marine biodiversity is highest along coasts in the Western Pacific, where sea surface temperature is highest, in the mid-latitudinal band in all oceans. There are latitudinal gradients in species diversity. Biodiversity tends to cluster in hotspots, has been increasing through time, but will be to slow in the future. Rapid environmental changes cause mass extinctions. More than 99.9 percent of all species that lived on Earth, amounting to over five billion species, are estimated to be extinct. Estimates on the number of Earth's current species range from 10 million to 14 million, of which about 1.2 million have been documented and over 86 percent have not yet been described.
More in May 2016, scientists reported that 1 trillion species are estimated to be on Earth with only one-thousandth of one percent described. The total amount of related DNA base pairs on Earth is estimated at 5.0 x 1037 and weighs 50 billion tonnes. In comparison, the total mass of the biosphere has been estimated to be as much as 4 TtC. In July 2016, scientists reported identifying a set of 355 genes from the Last Universal Common Ancestor of all organisms living on Earth; the age of the Earth is about 4.54 billion years. The earliest undisputed evidence of life on Earth dates at least from 3.5 billion years ago, during the Eoarchean Era after a geological crust started to solidify following the earlier molten Hadean Eon. There are microbial mat fossils found in 3.48 billion-year-old sandstone discovered in Western Australia. Other early physical evidence of a biogenic substance is graphite in 3.7 billion-year-old meta-sedimentary rocks discovered in Western Greenland. More in 2015, "remains of biotic life" were found in 4.1 billion-year-old rocks in Western Australia.
According to one of the researchers, "If life arose quickly on Earth.. it could be common in the universe."Since life began on Earth, five major mass extinctions and several minor events have led to large and sudden drops in biodiversity. The Phanerozoic eon marked a rapid growth in biodiversity via the Cambrian explosion—a period during which the majority of multicellular phyla first appeared; the next 400 million years included repeated, massive biodiversity losses classified as mass extinction events. In the Carboniferous, rainforest collapse led to a great loss of animal life; the Permian–Triassic extinction event, 251 million years ago, was the worst. The most recent, the Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction event, occurred 65 million years ago and has attracted more attention than others because it resulted in the extinction of the dinosaurs; the period since the emergence of humans has displayed an ongoing biodiversity reduction and an accompanying loss of genetic diversity. Named the Holocene extinction, the reduction is caused by human impacts habitat destruction.
Conversely, biodiversity positively impacts human health in a number of ways, although a few negative effects are studied. The United Nations designated 2011–2020 as the United Nations Decade on Biodiversity. 1916 - The term biological diversity was used first by J. Arthur Harris in "The Variable Desert," Scientific American, JSTOR 6182: "The bare statement that the region contains a flora rich in genera and species and of diverse geographic origin or affinity is inadequate as a description of its real biological diversity." 1975 - The term natural diversity was introduced 1980 - Thomas Lovejoy introduced the term biological diversity to the scientific community in a book.. It became used. 1985 -The contracted form biodiversity was coined by W. G. Rosen 1985 - The term "biodiversity" appears in the article, "A New Plan to Conserve the Earth's Biota" by Laura Tangley. 1988 - The term biodiversity first appeared in a publication. The present - the term has achieved widespread use. "Biodiversity" is most used to replace the more defined and long established terms, species diversity and species richness.
Biologists most define biodiversity as the "totality of genes and ecosystems of a region". An advantage of this definition is that it seems to describe most circumstances and presents a unified view of the traditional types of biological variety identified: taxonomic diversity ecological diversity morphological diversity functional diversity This multilevel construct is consistent with Datman and Lovejoy. An explicit definition consistent with this interpretation was first given in a paper by Bruce A. Wilcox commissioned by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature and Natural Resources for the 1982 World National Parks Conference. Wilcox's definition was "Biological diversity is the variety of life forms...at all levels of biologi
Easter Island is a Chilean island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean, at the southeasternmost point of the Polynesian Triangle in Oceania. Easter Island is most famous for its nearly 1,000 extant monumental statues, called moai, created by the early Rapa Nui people. In 1995, UNESCO named Easter Island a World Heritage Site, with much of the island protected within Rapa Nui National Park, it is believed that Easter Island's Polynesian inhabitants arrived on Easter Island sometime near 1200 AD. They created a thriving and industrious culture, as evidenced by the island's numerous enormous stone moai and other artifacts. However, land clearing for cultivation and the introduction of the Polynesian rat led to gradual deforestation. By the time of European arrival in 1722, the island's population was estimated to be 2,000–3,000. European diseases, Peruvian slave raiding expeditions in the 1860s, emigration to other islands, e.g. Tahiti, further depleted the population, reducing it to a low of 111 native inhabitants in 1877.
Chile annexed Easter Island in 1888. In 1966, the Rapa Nui were granted Chilean citizenship. In 2007 the island gained the constitutional status of "special territory." Administratively, it belongs to the Valparaíso Region, comprising a single commune of the Province Isla de Pascua. The 2017 Chilean census registered 7,750 people on the island, of whom 3,512 considered themselves Rapa Nui. Easter Island is one of the most remote inhabited islands in the world; the nearest inhabited land is Pitcairn Island, 2,075 kilometres away. Easter Island is considered part of Insular Chile; the name "Easter Island" was given by the island's first recorded European visitor, the Dutch explorer Jacob Roggeveen, who encountered it on Easter Sunday in 1722, while searching for "Davis Land". Roggeveen named it Paasch-Eyland; the island's official Spanish name, Isla de Pascua means "Easter Island". The current Polynesian name of the island, Rapa Nui, was coined after the slave raids of the early 1860s, refers to the island's topographic resemblance to the island of Rapa in the Bass Islands of the Austral Islands group.
However, Norwegian ethnographer Thor Heyerdahl argued that Rapa was the original name of Easter Island and that Rapa Iti was named by refugees from there. The phrase Te pito o te henua has been said to be the original name of the island since French ethnologist Alphonse Pinart gave it the romantic translation "the Navel of the World" in his Voyage à l'Île de Pâques, published in 1877. William Churchill inquired about the phrase and was told that there were three te pito o te henua, these being the three capes of the island; the phrase appears to have been used in the same sense as the designation of "Land's End" at the tip of Cornwall. He was unable to elicit a Polynesian name for the island and concluded that there may not have been one. According to Barthel, oral tradition has it that the island was first named Te pito o te kainga a Hau Maka, "The little piece of land of Hau Maka". However, there are two words pronounced pito in Rapa Nui, one meaning'end' and one'navel', the phrase can thus mean "The Navel of the World".
Another name, Mata ki te rangi, means "Eyes looking to the sky". Islanders are referred to in Spanish as pascuense. Oral tradition states the island was first settled by a two-canoe expedition, originating from Marae Renga, led by the chief Hotu Matu'a and his captain Tu'u ko Iho; the island was first scouted after Haumaka dreamed of such a far-off country. At their time of arrival, the island had Nga Tavake'a Te Rona. After a brief stay at Anakena, the colonists settled in different parts of the island. Hotu's heir, Tu'u ma Heke, was born on the island. Tu'u ko Iho is viewed as the leader who caused them to walk; the Easter Islanders are considered to be South-East Polynesians. Similar sacred zones with statuary in East Polynesia demonstrates homology with most of Eastern Polynesia. At contact, populations were about 3,000-4,000. By the 15th century, two confederations, hanau, of social groupings, existed, based on lineage; the western and northern portion of the island belonged to the Tu'u, which included the royal Miru, with the royal center at Anakena, though Tahai and Te Peu served as earlier capitals.
The eastern portion of the island belonged to the'Otu'Itu. Shortly after the Dutch visit, from 1724 until 1750, the'Otu'Itu fought the Tu'u for control of the island; this fighting continued until the 1860s. Famine followed the destruction of fields. Social control vanished as the ordered way of life gave way to lawlessness and predatory bands as the warrior class took over. Homelessness prevailed, with many living underground. After the Spanish visit, from 1770 onwards, a period of statue toppling, huri mo'ai, commenced; this was an attempt by competing groups to destroy the socio-spiritual power, or mana, represented by statues, making sure to break them in the fall to ensure they were dead and without power. None were left standing by the time of the arrival of the French missionaries in the 1860s. Between 1862 and 1888, about 94 % of the population emigrated; the island was victimized by blackbirding from 1862 to 1863, res
Geography of Nauru
Nauru is a tiny phosphate rock island nation located in the South Pacific Ocean south of the Marshall Islands in Oceania. It is only 53 kilometres south of the Equator at coordinates 0°32′S 166°55′E. Nauru is one of the three great phosphate rock islands in the Pacific Ocean—the others are Banaba in Kiribati and Makatea in French Polynesia, its land area is 21 km2, it has a 30-kilometre coastline. Maritime claims are a 200-nautical-mile exclusive fishing zone, a 12-nautical-mile territorial sea; the climate is tropical with a monsoon rainy season from November to February. A sandy beach rises to the fertile ring around raised coral reefs; the raised phosphate plateau takes up the central portion of the island. The highest point is 213 ft above sea level, along the plateau rim. Nauru's only economically significant natural resources are phosphates, formed from guano deposits by seabirds over many thousands of years, fisheries for tuna. Due to being surrounded by corals and sandy beaches, the island houses no natural harbours, nor any rivers or substantial lakes.
Nauru has its own unique navigational system, only capable of being used on the island. Nauru is a raised coral atoll positioned in the Nauru Basin of the Pacific Ocean, on a part of the Pacific Plate that formed at a mid oceanic ridge at 132 Ma. From mid Eocene to Oligocene times, a submarine volcano built up over a hotspot, formed a seamount composed of basalt; the seamount is over 4300 metres high. This hotspot was simultaneous with a major Pacific Plate reorganisation; the volcano was eroded to sea level and a coral atoll grew on top to a thickness of about 500 metres. Coral near the surface has been dated from 5 Mya to 0.3 Mya. The original limestone has been dolomitised by magnesium from sea water; the coral was raised above sea level about 30 metres, is now a dolomite limestone outcrop, eroded in classic karst style into pinnacles up to 20 metres high. To at least a depth of 55 metres below sea level, the limestone has been dissolved forming cavities and caves. Holes on the topside of the island were filled up by a phosphate layer up to several metres thick.
Anibare Bay was formed by the underwater collapse of the east side of the volcano. Buada Lagoon was formed by solution of the limestone when the sea level was lower, followed by collapse. Nauru is moving at 104 mm per year to the north west along with the Pacific Plate. Freshwater can be found in Buada lagoon, in some brackish ponds at the escarpment base in Ijuw and Anabar in the northeast. There is an underground lake in Moqua Cave in the southeast of the island. Periodic droughts, limited natural fresh water resources Extreme soil conditions are caused by high alkalinity, high phosphate levels and low potassium. Iron, copper and zinc are rendered unavailable to plants. Combined with thin or damaged soils this causes low fertility. Intensive phosphate mining during the past 90 years has left the central 80% of Nauru a wasteland and threatens limited remaining land resources. Nauru is party to the international environmental agreements on biodiversity, climate change, law of the sea and marine dumping.
This is a list of the extreme points of Nauru, the points that are farther north, east or west or higher than any other location. Northernmost point – Cape Anna, Ewa District Easternmost point – Cape Ijuw, Ijuw District Southernmost point – unnamed headland south of the wireless station, Meneng District Westernmost point – the harbour, Aiwo District Highest point – Command Ridge Lowest point – Pacific Ocean List of cities in Nauru