An ecosystem model is an abstract mathematical, representation of an ecological system, studied to better understand the real system. Using data gathered from the field, ecological relationships—such as the relation of sunlight and water availability to photosynthetic rate, or that between predator and prey populations—are derived, these are combined to form ecosystem models; these model systems are studied in order to make predictions about the dynamics of the real system. The study of inaccuracies in the model will lead to the generation of hypotheses about possible ecological relations that are not yet known or well understood. Models enable researchers to simulate large-scale experiments that would be too costly or unethical to perform on a real ecosystem, they enable the simulation of ecological processes over long periods of time. Ecosystem models have applications in a wide variety of disciplines, such as natural resource management and environmental health and wildlife conservation. Ecological modelling has been applied to archaeology with varying degrees of success, for example, combining with archaeological models to explain the diversity and mobility of stone tools.
There are two major types of ecological models, which are applied to different types of problems: analytic models and simulation / computational models. Analytic models are relatively simple systems, that can be described by a set of mathematical equations whose behavior is well-known. Simulation models on the other hand, use numerical techniques to solve problems for which analytic solutions are impractical or impossible. Simulation models tend to be more used, are considered more ecologically realistic, while analytic models are valued for their mathematical elegance and explanatory power. Ecopath is a powerful software system which uses simulation and computational methods to model marine ecosystems, it is used by marine and fisheries scientists as a tool for modelling and visualising the complex relationships that exist in real world marine ecosystems. The process of model design begins with a specification of the problem to be solved, the objectives for the model. Ecological systems are composed of an enormous number of biotic and abiotic factors that interact with each other in ways that are unpredictable, or so complex as to be impossible to incorporate into a computable model.
Because of this complexity, ecosystem models simplify the systems they are studying to a limited number of components that are well understood, deemed relevant to the problem that the model is intended to solve. The process of simplification reduces an ecosystem to a small number of state variables and mathematical functions that describe the nature of the relationships between them; the number of ecosystem components that are incorporated into the model is limited by aggregating similar processes and entities into functional groups that are treated as a unit. After establishing the components to be modeled and the relationships between them, another important factor in ecosystem model structure is the representation of space used. Models have ignored the confounding issue of space. However, for many ecological problems spatial dynamics are an important part of the problem, with different spatial environments leading to different outcomes. Spatially explicit models attempt to incorporate a heterogeneous spatial environment into the model.
A spatial model is one that has one or more state variables that are a function of space, or can be related to other spatial variables. After construction, models are validated to ensure that the results are acceptably accurate or realistic. One method is to test the model with multiple sets of data that are independent of the actual system being studied; this is important. Another method of validation is to compare the model's output with data collected from field observations. Researchers specify beforehand how much of a disparity they are willing to accept between parameters output by a model and those computed from field data. One of the earliest, most well-known, ecological models is the predator-prey model of Alfred J. Lotka and Vito Volterra; this model takes the form of a pair of ordinary differential equations, one representing a prey species, the other its predator. D X d t = α. X − β. X. Y d Y d t = γ. β. X. Y − δ. Y where, Volterra devised the model to explain fluctuations in fish and shark populations observed in the Adriatic Sea after the First World War.
However, the equations have subsequently been applied more generally. Although simple, they illustrate some of the salient features of ecological models: modelled biological populations experience growth, interact with other populations and suffer mortality. A credible, simple alternative to the Lotka-Volterra preda
China the People's Republic of China, is a country in East Asia and the world's most populous country, with a population of around 1.404 billion. Covering 9,600,000 square kilometers, it is the third- or fourth-largest country by total area. Governed by the Communist Party of China, the state exercises jurisdiction over 22 provinces, five autonomous regions, four direct-controlled municipalities, the special administrative regions of Hong Kong and Macau. China emerged as one of the world's earliest civilizations, in the fertile basin of the Yellow River in the North China Plain. For millennia, China's political system was based on hereditary monarchies, or dynasties, beginning with the semi-legendary Xia dynasty in 21st century BCE. Since China has expanded, re-unified numerous times. In the 3rd century BCE, the Qin established the first Chinese empire; the succeeding Han dynasty, which ruled from 206 BC until 220 AD, saw some of the most advanced technology at that time, including papermaking and the compass, along with agricultural and medical improvements.
The invention of gunpowder and movable type in the Tang dynasty and Northern Song completed the Four Great Inventions. Tang culture spread in Asia, as the new Silk Route brought traders to as far as Mesopotamia and Horn of Africa. Dynastic rule ended in 1912 with the Xinhai Revolution; the Chinese Civil War resulted in a division of territory in 1949, when the Communist Party of China established the People's Republic of China, a unitary one-party sovereign state on Mainland China, while the Kuomintang-led government retreated to the island of Taiwan. The political status of Taiwan remains disputed. Since the introduction of economic reforms in 1978, China's economy has been one of the world's fastest-growing with annual growth rates above 6 percent. According to the World Bank, China's GDP grew from $150 billion in 1978 to $12.24 trillion by 2017. Since 2010, China has been the world's second-largest economy by nominal GDP and since 2014, the largest economy in the world by purchasing power parity.
China is the world's largest exporter and second-largest importer of goods. China is a recognized nuclear weapons state and has the world's largest standing army and second-largest defense budget; the PRC is a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council as it replaced the ROC in 1971, as well as an active global partner of ASEAN Plus mechanism. China is a leading member of numerous formal and informal multilateral organizations, including the Shanghai Cooperation Organization, WTO, APEC, BRICS, the BCIM, the G20. In recent times, scholars have argued that it will soon be a world superpower, rivaling the United States; the word "China" has been used in English since the 16th century. It is not a word used by the Chinese themselves, it has been traced through Portuguese and Persian back to the Sanskrit word Cīna, used in ancient India."China" appears in Richard Eden's 1555 translation of the 1516 journal of the Portuguese explorer Duarte Barbosa. Barbosa's usage was derived from Persian Chīn, in turn derived from Sanskrit Cīna.
Cīna was first used including the Mahābhārata and the Laws of Manu. In 1655, Martino Martini suggested that the word China is derived from the name of the Qin dynasty. Although this derivation is still given in various sources, it is complicated by the fact that the Sanskrit word appears in pre-Qin literature; the word may have referred to a state such as Yelang. The meaning transferred to China as a whole; the origin of the Sanskrit word is still a matter of debate, according to the Oxford English Dictionary. The official name of the modern state is the "People's Republic of China"; the shorter form is "China" Zhōngguó, from zhōng and guó, a term which developed under the Western Zhou dynasty in reference to its royal demesne. It was applied to the area around Luoyi during the Eastern Zhou and to China's Central Plain before being used as an occasional synonym for the state under the Qing, it was used as a cultural concept to distinguish the Huaxia people from perceived "barbarians". The name Zhongguo is translated as "Middle Kingdom" in English.
Archaeological evidence suggests that early hominids inhabited China between 2.24 million and 250,000 years ago. The hominid fossils of Peking Man, a Homo erectus who used fire, were discovered in a cave at Zhoukoudian near Beijing; the fossilized teeth of Homo sapiens have been discovered in Fuyan Cave in Hunan. Chinese proto-writing existed in Jiahu around 7000 BCE, Damaidi around 6000 BCE, Dadiwan from 5800–5400 BCE, Banpo dating from the 5th millennium BCE; some scholars have suggested. According to Chinese tradition, the first dynasty was the Xia, which emerged around 2100 BCE; the dynasty was considered mythical by historians until scientific excavations found early Bronze Age sites at Erlitou, Henan in 1959. It remains unclear whether these sites are the remains of the Xia dynasty or of another culture from the same period; the succeeding Shang dynasty is the earliest to be confirmed by contemporary records. The Shang ruled the plain of the Yellow River in eastern China from the 17th to the 11th century BCE.
Their oracle bone script
In geology, permafrost is ground, including rock or soil, at or below the freezing point of water 0 °C for two or more years. Most permafrost is located in high latitudes, but at lower latitudes alpine permafrost occurs at higher elevations. Ground ice is not always present, as may be in the case of non-porous bedrock, but it occurs and it may be in amounts exceeding the potential hydraulic saturation of the ground material. Permafrost accounts for 0.022% of total water on Earth and the permafrost region covers 24% of exposed land in the Northern Hemisphere. It occurs subsea on the continental shelves of the continents surrounding the Arctic Ocean, portions of which were exposed during the last glacial period; the thawing of permafrost has implications for the global climate. A global temperature rise of 1.5 °C above current levels would be enough to start the thawing of permafrost in Siberia, according to one group of scientists. "In contrast to the relative dearth of reports on frozen ground in north America prior to World War II, a vast literature on the engineering aspects of permafrost was available in Russian.
Beginning in 1942, Siemon William Muller delved into the relevant Russian literature held by the Library of Congress and the U. S. Geological Survey Library so that he was able to furnish the government an engineering field guide and a technical report about permafrost by 1943", year in which he coined the term as a contraction of permamently frozen ground. Although classified, in 1947 a revised report was released publicly, regarded as the first North American treatise on the subject. Permafrost is soil, rock or sediment, frozen for more than two consecutive years. In areas not overlain by ice, it exists beneath a layer of soil, rock or sediment, which freezes and thaws annually and is called the "active layer". In practice, this means that permafrost occurs at an mean annual temperature of − 2 colder. Active layer thickness is 0.3 to 4 meters thick. The extent of permafrost varies with the climate: in the Northern Hemisphere today, 24% of the ice-free land area, equivalent to 19 million square kilometers, is more or less influenced by permafrost.
Of this area more than half is underlain by continuous permafrost, around 20 percent by discontinuous permafrost, a little less than 30 percent by sporadic permafrost. Most of this area is found in Siberia, northern Canada and Greenland. Beneath the active layer annual temperature swings of permafrost become smaller with depth; the deepest depth of permafrost occurs. Above that bottom limit there may be permafrost, whose temperature doesn't change annually—"isothermal permafrost". Permafrost forms in any climate where the mean annual air temperature is less than the freezing point of water. Exceptions are found in moist-wintered forest climates, such as in Northern Scandinavia and the North-Eastern part of European Russia west of the Urals, where snow acts as an insulating blanket. Glaciated areas may be exceptions. Since all glaciers are warmed at their base by geothermal heat, temperate glaciers, which are near the pressure-melting point throughout, may have liquid water at the interface with the ground and are therefore free of underlying permafrost.
"Fossil" cold anomalies in the Geothermal gradient in areas where deep permafrost developed during the Pleistocene persist down to several hundred metres. This is evident from temperature measurements in boreholes in North Europe; the below-ground temperature varies less from season to season than the air temperature, with mean annual temperatures tending to increase with depth as a result of the geothermal crustal gradient. Thus, if the mean annual air temperature is only below 0 °C, permafrost will form only in spots that are sheltered—usually with a northerly aspect—creating discontinuous permafrost. Permafrost will remain discontinuous in a climate where the mean annual soil surface temperature is between −5 and 0 °C. In the moist-wintered areas mentioned before, there may not be discontinuous permafrost down to −2 °C. Discontinuous permafrost is further divided into extensive discontinuous permafrost, where permafrost covers between 50 and 90 percent of the landscape and is found in areas with mean annual temperatures between −2 and −4 °C, sporadic permafrost, where permafrost cover is less than 50 percent of the landscape and occurs at mean annual temperatures between 0 and −2 °C.
In soil science, the sporadic permafrost zone is abbreviated SPZ and the extensive discontinuous permafrost zone DPZ. Exceptions occur in un-glaciated Siberia and Alaska where the present depth of permafrost is a relic of climatic conditions during glacial ages where winters were up to 11 °C colder than those of today. At mean annual soil surface temperatures below −5 °C the influence of aspect can never be sufficient to thaw permafrost and a zone of continuous permafrost forms. A line of continuous permafrost in the Northern Hemisphere represents the most southerly border where land is covered by continuous permafrost or glacial ice; the line of continuous permafrost varies around the world northward or southward due to regional climatic changes. In the southern hemisphere, most of the equivalent line would fall within the Southern Ocean if there were land there. Most of the Antarctic continent is overl
The George M. Sullivan Arena is a 6,290 seat arena in Anchorage, United States, it was home to the professional ice hockey team, the Alaska Aces of the ECHL and is home of the University of Alaska Anchorage Seawolves hockey team of the WCHA. It is the former home of the Great Alaska Shootout basketball tournament which has relocated to the Alaska Airlines Center as of 2014, is the current home of the Alaska Fighting Championship mixed martial arts events. In 2007 it became home to the Alaska Wild of the Indoor Football League, now a defunct team; the arena opened in 1983 and sits just east of Mulcahy Stadium as part of the Chester Creek Sports Complex. Sullivan Arena hosted the 1989 World Junior Ice Hockey Championships along with the Harry J. McDonald Memorial Center in Eagle River; the arena is named after former Anchorage mayor George M. Sullivan, it is owned by the Municipality of Anchorage and operated by SMG, a nationwide property management company. For hockey, the Sullivan Arena offers 6,251 seats with a standing room capacity of 6,451.
If areas designated for wheel chairs are included, the arena can seat 6,290, plus standing room, during hockey games. The arena is noted for having an international-dimension ice rink instead of the NHL dimensons common among North American venues; the main arena floor contains 32,000 square feet of space. In 2014, a new center-hung scoreboard, with four 8-by-8-foot video screens and a wraparound LED display system was installed to replace the 80s style scoreboard which had a black-and-white dot matrix display; the new scoreboard was installed at the Cow Palace in Daly City, California where it was used by the ECHL affiliate of the San Jose Sharks, the San Francisco Bulls. The Bulls purchased the scoreboard for their first season in 2012 but the team folded less than two years later; the scoreboard is made by Colosseo, a European company specializing in stadium and arena LED and entertainment technology. There are plans, projected for 2015, for the neighboring Mulcahy Stadium to be demolished and rebuilt to its west in order to create 400 new parking spaces for the Arena.
In addition, all seats and telescopic risers inside Sullivan Arena were replaced, the arena floor was rebuilt, its ice-making equipment was upgraded for the 2015-16 hockey season. With the loss of the Aces, which leaves the Seawolves and WWE wrestling as sole tenants of the arena, another renovation in 2017 expanded the arena's storage space by 5,000 square feet, replaced the arena's portable stage, floor seating and artificial turf, improved the arena's acoustics. Musicians that have played the Sullivan Arena are The Beach Boys in'83, Johnny Cash in'83, Eric Clapton in'85, Jimmy Buffett in'87, Bon Jovi in'89, Steve Miller Band in'93, Dr. Dre and Snoop Doggy Dogg in'94, Coolio in'96, Filter in'96, Aerosmith in'98, Green Day in'98, Stone Temple Pilots in'00, No Doubt in'00, Blink-182 in'01, James Brown in'01, Elton John in'08, Red Hot Chili Peppers in'13, Alaska's 36 Crazyfists in'15 for the Vans Warped Tour, Ontario's Sum 41 in'16, Luke Bryan in'17. Media related to Sullivan Arena at Wikimedia Commons Official website
The Geophysical Institute of the University of Alaska Fairbanks conducts research into space physics and aeronomy. It was founded in 1946 by an act of the United States Congress; the mission of the Geophysical Institute is to: Understand basic geophysical processes governing the planet Earth as they occur in or are relevant to Alaska. The United States Congress established the Geophysical Institute with an act approved on July 31, 1946 to study the aurora borealis, after auroral activity disrupted military communications during World War II; the funds from Congress were used to build the Geophysical Institute’s main structure, finished in 1950. The building today is known as the Sydney Chapman Building; the institute’s first director, Stuart L. Seaton, served for nine months before resigning. While the Board of Regents looked for a new director, William S. Wilson, a professor of chemistry, was appointed to be the acting director. Wilson was able to recruit Sydney Chapman — who spent three months every year from 1951 to 1970 in Alaska.
In January 1952, the Board of Regents appointed astronomer Christian T. Elvey as the director of the institute. During this time, the first doctorate degree was awarded to Masahisa Sugiura who went on to become Head of the Analysis Section of the Magnetic and Electric Fields Branch at NASA’s Goddard Space Flight Center. Elvey served as the institute’s director until 1963 when he was succeeded by Keith B. Mather, namesake of the Mather Library, still part of the Geophysical Institute; the early research done at the institute was focused on atmospheric science and space physics throughout the 1960s the research done was expanded to include fields such as glaciology and volcanology. In 1968, the Defense Nuclear Agency wanted a location to launch research rockets — which prompted the start of the Poker Flat Research Range, 30 miles north of Fairbanks. In 1970, the Geophysical Institute had outgrown the Chapman Building, began to move into the newly constructed C. T. Elvey Building. There are 300 employees working inside the Geophysical Institute, including 59 students.
The Geophysical Institute has seven research groups: Space Physics & Aeronomy Volcanology Remote Sensing Snow, Ice & Permafrost Tectonics & Sedimentation Atmospheric Sciences Seismology & Geodesy The Geophysical Institute houses numerous facilities — from the Alaska Satellite Facility, whose radar images allow all-weather study of sea ice and volcanoes, to Poker Flat Research Range, the only university-owned rocket range in the world. The research facilities at the Institute include: Alaska Earthquake Center Alaska Satellite Facility Alaska Volcano Observatory Poker Flat Research Range Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Alaska Climate Research Center Alaska Space Grant Chaparral Physics College International Geophysical Observatory GeoData Center & Map Office Geographic Information Network of Alaska Keith B. Mather Library High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program Instrument Development Services Petrology Lab Research Computing Systems SuperDARN Geochronology Facility Wilson Alaska Technical Center Syun-Ichi Akasofu: Aurora researcher and institute director.
Carl Benson: Geology and Geophysics Emeritus. Christian T. Elvey: Astronomer and director of the Geophysical Institute. Sydney Chapman: Mathematician and advisory scientific director of the institute. T. Neil Davis: Co-inventor of the Elvey-Davis all-sky camera. Masahisa Sugiura: First Ph. D. recipient. Erin Pettit: Glaciologist and creator of the Girls on Ice program. Keith B. Mather: Director of the institute. Official website Alaska Earthquake Center Alaska Satellite Facility Alaska Volcano Observatory Poker Flat Research Range Alaska Center for Unmanned Aircraft Systems Integration Alaska Climate Research Center Alaska Space Grant Chaparral Physics College International Geophysical Observatory GeoData Center & Map Office Geographic Information Network of Alaska High-frequency Active Auroral Research Program Instrument Development Services Keith B. Mather Library Petrology Lab Research Computing Systems SuperDARN Geochronology Facility Wilson Alaska Technical Center
Weather is the state of the atmosphere, describing for example the degree to which it is hot or cold, wet or dry, calm or stormy, clear or cloudy. Most weather phenomena occur in the lowest level of the atmosphere, the troposphere, just below the stratosphere. Weather refers to day-to-day temperature and precipitation activity, whereas climate is the term for the averaging of atmospheric conditions over longer periods of time; when used without qualification, "weather" is understood to mean the weather of Earth. Weather is driven by air pressure and moisture differences between one place and another; these differences can occur due to the sun's angle at any particular spot, which varies with latitude. The strong temperature contrast between polar and tropical air gives rise to the largest scale atmospheric circulations: the Hadley Cell, the Ferrel Cell, the Polar Cell, the jet stream. Weather systems in the mid-latitudes, such as extratropical cyclones, are caused by instabilities of the jet stream flow.
Because the Earth's axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane, sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year. On Earth's surface, temperatures range ±40 °C annually. Over thousands of years, changes in Earth's orbit can affect the amount and distribution of solar energy received by the Earth, thus influencing long-term climate and global climate change. Surface temperature differences in turn cause pressure differences. Higher altitudes are cooler than lower altitudes, as most atmospheric heating is due to contact with the Earth's surface while radiative losses to space are constant. Weather forecasting is the application of science and technology to predict the state of the atmosphere for a future time and a given location; the Earth's weather system is a chaotic system. Human attempts to control the weather have occurred throughout history, there is evidence that human activities such as agriculture and industry have modified weather patterns. Studying how the weather works on other planets has been helpful in understanding how weather works on Earth.
A famous landmark in the Solar System, Jupiter's Great Red Spot, is an anticyclonic storm known to have existed for at least 300 years. However, weather is not limited to planetary bodies. A star's corona is being lost to space, creating what is a thin atmosphere throughout the Solar System; the movement of mass ejected from the Sun is known as the solar wind. On Earth, the common weather phenomena include wind, rain, snow and dust storms. Less common events include natural disasters such as tornadoes, hurricanes and ice storms. All familiar weather phenomena occur in the troposphere. Weather does occur in the stratosphere and can affect weather lower down in the troposphere, but the exact mechanisms are poorly understood. Weather occurs due to air pressure and moisture differences between one place to another; these differences can occur due to the sun angle at any particular spot, which varies by latitude from the tropics. In other words, the farther from the tropics one lies, the lower the sun angle is, which causes those locations to be cooler due the spread of the sunlight over a greater surface.
The strong temperature contrast between polar and tropical air gives rise to the large scale atmospheric circulation cells and the jet stream. Weather systems in the mid-latitudes, such as extratropical cyclones, are caused by instabilities of the jet stream flow. Weather systems in the tropics, such as monsoons or organized thunderstorm systems, are caused by different processes; because the Earth's axis is tilted relative to its orbital plane, sunlight is incident at different angles at different times of the year. In June the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, so at any given Northern Hemisphere latitude sunlight falls more directly on that spot than in December; this effect causes seasons. Over thousands to hundreds of thousands of years, changes in Earth's orbital parameters affect the amount and distribution of solar energy received by the Earth and influence long-term climate.. The uneven solar heating can be due to the weather itself in the form of cloudiness and precipitation.
Higher altitudes are cooler than lower altitudes, which the result of higher surface temperature and radiational heating, which produces the adiabatic lapse rate. In some situations, the temperature increases with height; this phenomenon is known as an inversion and can cause mountaintops to be warmer than the valleys below. Inversions can lead to the formation of fog and act as a cap that suppresses thunderstorm development. On local scales, temperature differences can occur because different surfaces have differing physical characteristics such as reflectivity, roughness, or moisture content. Surface temperature differences in turn cause pressure differences. A hot surface warms the air above it causing it to expand and lower the density and the resulting surface air pressure; the resulting horizontal pressure gradient moves the air from higher to lower pressure regions, creating a wind, the Earth's rotation causes deflection of this air flow due to the Coriolis effect. The simple systems thus formed can display emergent behaviour to produce more complex systems and thus other weather phenomena.
Large scale examples include the Hadley cell while a small
Japan is an island country in East Asia. Located in the Pacific Ocean, it lies off the eastern coast of the Asian continent and stretches from the Sea of Okhotsk in the north to the East China Sea and the Philippine Sea in the south; the kanji that make up Japan's name mean "sun origin", it is called the "Land of the Rising Sun". Japan is a stratovolcanic archipelago consisting of about 6,852 islands; the four largest are Honshu, Hokkaido and Shikoku, which make up about ninety-seven percent of Japan's land area and are referred to as home islands. The country is divided into 47 prefectures in eight regions, with Hokkaido being the northernmost prefecture and Okinawa being the southernmost one; the population of 127 million is the world's tenth largest. 90.7 % of people live in cities. About 13.8 million people live in the capital of Japan. The Greater Tokyo Area is the most populous metropolitan area in the world with over 38 million people. Archaeological research indicates; the first written mention of Japan is in Chinese history texts from the 1st century AD.
Influence from other regions China, followed by periods of isolation from Western Europe, has characterized Japan's history. From the 12th century until 1868, Japan was ruled by successive feudal military shōguns who ruled in the name of the Emperor. Japan entered into a long period of isolation in the early 17th century, ended in 1853 when a United States fleet pressured Japan to open to the West. After nearly two decades of internal conflict and insurrection, the Imperial Court regained its political power in 1868 through the help of several clans from Chōshū and Satsuma – and the Empire of Japan was established. In the late 19th and early 20th centuries, victories in the First Sino-Japanese War, the Russo-Japanese War and World War I allowed Japan to expand its empire during a period of increasing militarism; the Second Sino-Japanese War of 1937 expanded into part of World War II in 1941, which came to an end in 1945 following the Japanese surrender. Since adopting its revised constitution on May 3, 1947, during the occupation led by SCAP, the sovereign state of Japan has maintained a unitary parliamentary constitutional monarchy with an Emperor and an elected legislature called the National Diet.
Japan is a member of the ASEAN Plus mechanism, UN, the OECD, the G7, the G8, the G20, is considered a great power. Its economy is the world's third-largest by nominal GDP and the fourth-largest by purchasing power parity, it is the world's fourth-largest exporter and fourth-largest importer. Japan benefits from a skilled and educated workforce. Although it has renounced its right to declare war, Japan maintains a modern military with the world's eighth-largest military budget, used for self-defense and peacekeeping roles. Japan is a developed country with a high standard of living and Human Development Index, its population enjoys the highest life expectancy and third lowest infant mortality rate in the world, but is experiencing issues due to an aging population and low birthrate. Japan is renowned for its historical and extensive cinema, influential music industry, video gaming, rich cuisine and its major contributions to science and modern technology; the Japanese word for Japan is 日本, pronounced Nihon or Nippon and means "the origin of the sun".
The character nichi means "sun" or "day". The compound therefore means "origin of the sun" and is the source of the popular Western epithet "Land of the Rising Sun"; the earliest record of the name Nihon appears in the Chinese historical records of the Tang dynasty, the Old Book of Tang. At the end of the seventh century, a delegation from Japan requested that Nihon be used as the name of their country; this name may have its origin in a letter sent in 607 and recorded in the official history of the Sui dynasty. Prince Shōtoku, the Regent of Japan, sent a mission to China with a letter in which he called himself "the Emperor of the Land where the Sun rises"; the message said: "Here, I, the emperor of the country where the sun rises, send a letter to the emperor of the country where the sun sets. How are you". Prior to the adoption of Nihon, other terms such as Yamato and Wakoku were used; the term Wa is a homophone of Wo 倭, used by the Chinese as a designation for the Japanese as early as the third century Three Kingdoms period.
Another form of Wa, Wei in Chinese) was used for an early state in Japan called Nakoku during the Han dynasty. However, the Japanese disliked some connotation of Wa 倭, it was therefore replaced with the substitute character Wa, meaning "togetherness, harmony"; the English word Japan derives from the historical Chinese pronunciation of 日本. The Old Mandarin or early Wu Chinese pronunciation of Japan was recorded by Marco Polo as Cipangu. In modern Shanghainese, a Wu dialect, the pronunciation of characters 日本; the old Malay word for Japan, Japun or Japang, was borrowed from a southern coastal Chinese dialect Fukienese or Ningpo – and this Malay word was encountered by Portuguese traders in Southeast Asia in the 16th century. These Early Portuguese traders brought the word