Photography is the art and practice of creating durable images by recording light or other electromagnetic radiation, either electronically by means of an image sensor, or chemically by means of a light-sensitive material such as photographic film. It is employed in many fields of science and business, as well as its more direct uses for art and video production, recreational purposes and mass communication. A lens is used to focus the light reflected or emitted from objects into a real image on the light-sensitive surface inside a camera during a timed exposure. With an electronic image sensor, this produces an electrical charge at each pixel, electronically processed and stored in a digital image file for subsequent display or processing; the result with photographic emulsion is an invisible latent image, chemically "developed" into a visible image, either negative or positive depending on the purpose of the photographic material and the method of processing. A negative image on film is traditionally used to photographically create a positive image on a paper base, known as a print, either by using an enlarger or by contact printing.
The word "photography" was created from the Greek roots φωτός, genitive of φῶς, "light" and γραφή "representation by means of lines" or "drawing", together meaning "drawing with light". Several people may have coined the same new term from these roots independently. Hercules Florence, a French painter and inventor living in Campinas, used the French form of the word, photographie, in private notes which a Brazilian historian believes were written in 1834; this claim is reported but has never been independently confirmed as beyond reasonable doubt. The German newspaper Vossische Zeitung of 25 February 1839 contained an article entitled Photographie, discussing several priority claims – Henry Fox Talbot's – regarding Daguerre's claim of invention; the article is the earliest known occurrence of the word in public print. It was signed "J. M.", believed to have been Berlin astronomer Johann von Maedler. The inventors Nicéphore Niépce, Henry Fox Talbot and Louis Daguerre seem not to have known or used the word "photography", but referred to their processes as "Heliography", "Photogenic Drawing"/"Talbotype"/"Calotype" and "Daguerreotype".
Photography is the result of combining several technical discoveries, relating to seeing an image and capturing the image. The discovery of the camera obscura that provides an image of a scene dates back to ancient China. Greek mathematicians Aristotle and Euclid independently described a pinhole camera in the 5th and 4th centuries BCE. In the 6th century CE, Byzantine mathematician Anthemius of Tralles used a type of camera obscura in his experiments; the Arab physicist Ibn al-Haytham invented a camera obscura and pinhole camera. Leonardo da Vinci mentions natural camera obscura that are formed by dark caves on the edge of a sunlit valley. A hole in the cave wall will act as a pinhole camera and project a laterally reversed, upside down image on a piece of paper. Renaissance painters used the camera obscura which, in fact, gives the optical rendering in color that dominates Western Art, it is a box with a hole in it which allows light to go through and create an image onto the piece of paper.
The birth of photography was concerned with inventing means to capture and keep the image produced by the camera obscura. Albertus Magnus discovered silver nitrate, Georg Fabricius discovered silver chloride, the techniques described in Ibn al-Haytham's Book of Optics are capable of producing primitive photographs using medieval materials. Daniele Barbaro described a diaphragm in 1566. Wilhelm Homberg described how light darkened some chemicals in 1694; the fiction book Giphantie, published in 1760, by French author Tiphaigne de la Roche, described what can be interpreted as photography. Around the year 1800, British inventor Thomas Wedgwood made the first known attempt to capture the image in a camera obscura by means of a light-sensitive substance, he used paper or white leather treated with silver nitrate. Although he succeeded in capturing the shadows of objects placed on the surface in direct sunlight, made shadow copies of paintings on glass, it was reported in 1802 that "the images formed by means of a camera obscura have been found too faint to produce, in any moderate time, an effect upon the nitrate of silver."
The shadow images darkened all over. The first permanent photoetching was an image produced in 1822 by the French inventor Nicéphore Niépce, but it was destroyed in a attempt to make prints from it. Niépce was successful again in 1825. In 1826 or 1827, he made the View from the Window at Le Gras, the earliest surviving photograph from nature; because Niépce's camera photographs required an long exposure, he sought to improve his bitumen process or replace it with one, more practical. In partnership with Louis Daguerre, he worked out post-exposure processing methods that produced visually superior results and replaced the bitumen with a more light-sensitive resin, but hours of exposure in the camera were still required. With an eye to eventual commercial exploitation, the partners opted for total secrecy. Niépce died in 1833 and Daguerre redirected the experiments toward the light-sensitive silver halides, which Niépce had abandoned many years earlier because of his inability to make the images he captured with them light-fast and permanent.
The Zachęta National Gallery of Art, is a contemporary art museum in the centre of Warsaw, Poland. The main aim of the gallery is to support Polish contemporary art and artists. With numerous temporary exhibitions of well known foreign artists, the gallery has established itself internationally; the Polish term, zachęta, can be translated as encouragement or motivation and refers to the Towarzystwo Zachęty do Sztuk Pięknych founded in Warsaw in 1860. Before 1860 there were neither public museums nor libraries nor other accessible institutions that allowed for exchange between artists; the repression that resulted from the November Uprising, made higher artistic education impossible. The last major exhibition took place in 1845. After protests by artists during the 1850s, the Wystawa Krajowa Sztuk Pięknych was approved in 1858, lead to negotiations with Russian rulers who in the end permitted the foundation of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts in 1860; the Society's statutes were set by artists and art experts.
The first official meeting and the election of a board of directors took place on 13 December 1860. The board had twelve members, six artists and six art experts, was elected annually; the members remained in office for at least one month but no longer than one year. The primary aim of the Society was the dissemination of fine arts as well as support and encouragement of artists. Furthermore, its intention was to create general awareness of art among the Polish society. In 1860 the Society had 234 official registered members. Only one year the number had increased to 1464. All artworks were on display until they were sold. Soon enough that lead to a monotonous permanent exhibition. After fundamental changes made between 1900 and 1939, the permanent exhibition was shown only in addition to temporarily changing exhibitions; the Society hosted annual salons, funded scholarships and offered other aid to young artists, both members and candidates. First tenders for the design of a new building were put out in 1862.
However, due to a lack of financial resources the plans were not realized. After the Society was given land by the municipality, another competition was announced in 1894, won by the Warsaw architect, Stefan Szyller, he presented an architectural design in neo-Renaissance style with classical elements. The portal is ornamented with sculptural works by Zygmunt Otto; the architrave of the building is engraved with the Latin word Artibus. Construction work began in 1898. In December 1900, the front building was opened followed by the opening of the south wing in 1903. Both the opening and extension of the building were exceptionally well reviewed. Szyller's plans included the construction of two more wings which could not be implemented at that time. In 1958, the Ministry of Art and Culture decided to reconstruct the building. Surrounding houses had been destroyed during the war and thus, gave way to the extension of the building; the Warsaw architects, Oskar Hansen, Lech Tomaszewski and Stanisław Zamecznikow, were entrusted with the reconstruction, but the planned reconstruction was postponed.
In 1982, the reconstruction plans were taken up again and executed by the Shop for Preservation of Monuments. From 1991 to 1993, the reconstruction was executed by the company, Dom i Miasto; the company was responsible for the extension of the staircases inside the building, which allowed for direct access to the exhibition halls within the new part of the building. The resulting monumental perspective is emphasized by the Gladiator, a work by the Polish sculptor, Pius Weloński, which remained from the Society's former collection; the extension of the building created a larger exhibition space, a storage facility for the artwork, an unloading platform and an office wing with a separate entrance. The largest exhibition hall was named after Jan Matejko. Another room is named after Gabriel Narutowicz, the first president of the Second Polish Republic, assassinated at Zachęta on 16 December 1922 by Eligiusz Niewiadomski, a Polish painter and critic. To commemorate the president and Wojciech Gerson, one of the founders of the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts, two plaques were revealed during the gallery's anniversary celebrations in 2000.
Since its official opening in 1900, the Zachęta building has housed several institutions: 1900–1939: Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts 1939–1945: House of German Culture 1945–1989: Central Bureau for Art Exhibitions 1989–2003: Zachęta State Gallery of Art since 2003: Zachęta National Gallery of ArtThe Zachęta building was registered as a historical monument in 1965. During the Invasion of Poland at the beginning of the Second World War all of the buildings surrounding the museum were destroyed while the Zachęta building remained comparatively undamaged. Following the Polish capitulation, German units occupied the building and converted it into the Haus der Deutschen Cultures, used for propaganda purposes; the Society for the Encouragement of Fine Arts was dissolved. The artwork, as well as other documents belonging to the Society, were brought to the Muzeum Narodowe, or confiscated and sent to Germany; the transport took place on open trucks without any proper documentation. During the Warsaw Uprising the Zachęta building was damaged by artillery and bombs and thus needed to be renovated at the end of the war.
Traces of a flammable substance were found, suggesting that German units planned to set the building on fire before their withdrawal
Bonhams is a owned international auction house and one of the world’s oldest and largest auctioneers of fine art and antiques. It was formed by the merger in November 2001 of Phillips Son & Neale; this brought together two of the four surviving Georgian auction houses in London, Bonhams having been founded in 1793, Phillips in 1796 by Harry Phillips a senior clerk to James Christie. Today, the amalgamated business handles art and antiques auctions, it operates two salerooms in London—the former Phillips sale room at 101 New Bond Street, the old Bonham's sale room at the Montpelier Galleries in Montpelier Street, Knightsbridge—with a smaller sale room in Edinburgh. Sales are held around the world in New York, Hong Kong, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Singapore. Bonhams holds more than 280 sales a year in more than 60 collecting areas, including Asian art, motor cars and jewellery, it has sales in London, New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco, Hong Kong and Sydney. Bonhams has more than 550 staff with some of the world’s leading specialists in their fields.
Bonhams was set up in 1793 when Thomas Dodd, an antique print dealer, joined forces with the book specialist Walter Bonham. The company expanded and by the 1850s was handling all categories of antiques including jewellery, furniture and armour, wine. After returning from the war, in the early 1950s, Leonard Bonham purchased some land in Knightsbridge and erected a saleroom on Montpelier Street; the first sale was held in June 1956. In 2000, Bonhams became Brooks when it was acquired by Brooks auction house. Brooks had been founded in 1989 by the former Head of Cars at Christie’s, Robert Brooks who specialized in the sale of classic and vintage motorcars. Brooks continued a major acquisition programme aimed at creating a new international fine art auction house. In 2001 Bonhams & Brooks merged with Phillips Son & Neale to form a new UK company trading as Bonhams. Phillips Son & Neale had been based in 101 New Bond Street, which subsequently became the new headquarters of Bonhams; the building consisted of seven different freeholds and had been described as "a Dickensian rabbit warren".
The first of the sites to be acquired was Blenstock House, an Art Deco building at the junction of Blenheim Street and Woodstock Street acquiring the complete building in 1974. Acquisition activity continued, in 2002 Bonhams purchased Butterfields, a leading auction house on the West Coast founded in 1865. Bonhams changed Butterfields’ name to Bonhams & Butterfields, Malcolm Barber of Brooks, became the chief executive officer of the American subsidiary. Bonhams remained the company’s brand name outside of the United States. By the end of 2003 Bonhams was conducting more than 700 annual sales with revenues of $304 million; the company’s worldwide network of sales included two major London venues, nine additional UK locations, salerooms in Switzerland, Germany, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Sydney. Bonhams & Butterfields conducted its first East Coast sale in 2003 with an auction of Edwin C. Jameson's collection of classic antiques in Massachusetts. During 2005, Bonhams continued to expand its presence in the USA and acquired a new saleroom on Madison Avenue in New York.
The company expanded further in Europe with the opening of the Paris office in June 2005. In October 2005, Bonhams gained full independence after buying back a 49.9% stake held by French luxury goods conglomerate LVMH. As part of a phased programme of international expansion, Bonhams opened an office in Hong Kong in 2007. Seven years in 2014, it established an East Asian HQ and saleroom in Hong Kong in One Pacific Place. Bonhams East Asian and Southeast Asian network now includes officed in Beijing and Singapour. In March 2008, Bonhams New York moved to new salerooms on the corner of 57th Street and Madison Avenue - the home of the respected Dahesh Museum of Art; the inaugural sale featured decorative arts. In 2013, Bonhams opened its new headquarters at 101 New Bond Street, a state-of-the-art building, designed by Lifschutz Davidson Sandilands. In 2016, Bonhams held its first online-only auction; the sale – Watches and Wristwatches from the Collection of a European Nobleman – was 100 per cent sold.
In September 2018, Bonhams was acquired by Epiris. Bonhams has regional representatives in 25 countries, it has three salerooms in the UK. Regional offices around the UK offer consignment services. In Europe, sales are held in France and Belgium. In the US, sales are held in San Francisco, Los Angeles, New York. In Asia-Pacific, sales take place in Bonhams saleroom in Pacific Place, Hong Kong, in Sydney. Bonhams notable sales include: La fête d’anniversaire by Léonard Tsuguharu Foujita, sold for £7,096,250, a new world record price at auction for the artist at the Impressionist and Modern Sale at New Bond Street, 11 October 2018 An important and exceptionally rare set of four huanghuali folding chairs sold for £5,289,250 at the Fine Chinese Art Sale, Bonhams London on 9 November 2017 A blue and white garlic mouth vase, Yongzheng seal, sold in Hong Kong for HK$76,280,000 in 2014 1962-63 Ferrari 250 GTO Berlinetta, sold at Quail Lodge, California in 2014 for $38,115,000; this was the world record for the most valuable motor car sold at auction until August 2018 Fragonard’s portrait of Francois-Henri, 5th Duc d’Harcourt, achieved £17,106,500 in London in 2013.
A forest is a large area dominated by trees. Hundreds of more precise definitions of forest are used throughout the world, incorporating factors such as tree density, tree height, land use, legal standing and ecological function. According to the used Food and Agriculture Organization definition, forests covered 4 billion hectares or 30 percent of the world's land area in 2006. Forests are the dominant terrestrial ecosystem of Earth, are distributed around the globe. Forests account for 75% of the gross primary production of the Earth's biosphere, contain 80% of the Earth's plant biomass. Net primary production is estimated at 21.9 gigatonnes carbon per year for tropical forests, 8.1 for temperate forests, 2.6 for boreal forests. Forests at different latitudes and elevations form distinctly different ecozones: boreal forests near the poles, tropical forests near the equator and temperate forests at mid-latitudes. Higher elevation areas tend to support forests similar to those at higher latitudes, amount of precipitation affects forest composition.
Human society and forests influence each other in both negative ways. Forests serve as tourist attractions. Forests can affect people's health. Human activities, including harvesting forest resources, can negatively affect forest ecosystems. Although forest is a term of common parlance, there is no universally recognised precise definition, with more than 800 definitions of forest used around the world. Although a forest is defined by the presence of trees, under many definitions an area lacking trees may still be considered a forest if it grew trees in the past, will grow trees in the future, or was designated as a forest regardless of vegetation type. There are three broad categories of forest definitions in use: administrative, land use, land cover. Administrative definitions are based upon the legal designations of land, bear little relationship to the vegetation growing on the land: land, designated as a forest is defined as a forest if no trees are growing on it. Land use definitions are based upon the primary purpose.
For example, a forest may be defined as any land, used for production of timber. Under such a land use definition, cleared roads or infrastructure within an area used for forestry, or areas within the region that have been cleared by harvesting, disease or fire are still considered forests if they contain no trees. Land cover definitions define forests based upon the type and density of vegetation growing on the land; such definitions define a forest as an area growing trees above some threshold. These thresholds are the number of trees per area, the area of ground under the tree canopy or the section of land, occupied by the cross-section of tree trunks. Under such land cover definitions, an area of land can only be known as forest if it is growing trees. Areas that fail to meet the land cover definition may be still included under while immature trees are establishing if they are expected to meet the definition at maturity. Under land use definitions, there is considerable variation on where the cutoff points are between a forest and savanna.
Under some definitions, forests require high levels of tree canopy cover, from 60% to 100%, excluding savannas and woodlands in which trees have a lower canopy cover. Other definitions consider savannas to be a type of forest, include all areas with tree canopies over 10%; some areas covered in trees are defined as agricultural areas, e.g. Norway spruce plantations in Austrian forest law when the trees are being grown as Christmas trees and below a certain height; the word forest comes from Middle English, from Old French forest "forest, vast expanse covered by trees". A borrowing of the Medieval Latin word foresta "open wood", foresta was first used by Carolingian scribes in the Capitularies of Charlemagne to refer to the king's royal hunting grounds; the term was not endemic to Romance languages. The exact origin of Medieval Latin foresta is obscure; some authorities claim the word derives from the Late Latin phrase forestam silvam, meaning "the outer wood". Frankish *forhist is attested by Old High German forst "forest", Middle Low German vorst "forest", Old English fyrhþ "forest, game preserve, hunting ground", Old Norse fýri "coniferous forest", all of which derive from Proto-Germanic *furhísa-, *furhíþija- "a fir-wood, coniferous forest", from Proto-Indo-European *perkwu- "a coniferous or mountain forest, wooded height".
Uses of the word "forest" in English to denote any uninhabited area of non-enclosure are now considered archaic. The word was introduced by the Norman rulers of England as a legal term denoting an uncultivated area set aside for hunting by feudal nobility; these hunting forests were not neces
Polish People's Republic
The Polish People's Republic was a state in Central Europe that existed from 1947 to 1989, the predecessor of the modern democratic Republic of Poland. With a population of 37.9 million inhabitants near the end of its existence, it was the most populous state of the Eastern Bloc after the Soviet Union. Having a unitary Marxist–Leninist communist government, it was one of the main signatories of the Warsaw Pact; the official capital since 1947 and largest city was Warsaw, followed by industrial Łódź and cultural Kraków. The former country covers the history of contemporary Poland between 1952 and 1989 under the Soviet-backed communist government established after the Red Army's release of its territory from German occupation in World War II; the name People's Republic was introduced and defined by the Constitution of 1952, based on the 1936 Soviet Constitution. The state's name was the Republic of Poland between 1947 and 1952 in accordance with the temporary Constitution of 1947. From 1952, the Sejm exercised no real power, Poland was regarded as a puppet entity set up and controlled by the Soviet Union.
With time, Poland developed into a satellite state in the Soviet sphere of influence. The Polish People's Republic was a one-party state characterized by constant internal struggles for democracy and better living conditions; the Polish United Workers' Party became the dominant political faction making Poland a socialist country, but with more liberal policies than other states of the Eastern Bloc. Throughout its existence, economic hardships and social unrest were common in every decade; the nation was split between those who supported the party, those who were opposed to it and those who refused to engage in political activity. Despite this, some groundbreaking achievements have been established during the People's Republic such as rapid industrialization, urbanization of smaller or larger cities and access to free healthcare and education was made available; the birth rate was high and the population doubled between 1947 and 1989. The party's most successful accomplishment, was the rebuilding of ruined Warsaw after World War II and the complete riddance of illiteracy, which stood at 30% in 1931 and at 2% in 1988.
The Soviet Union, an exemplar state, had some influence over both internal and external affairs, the Red Army was stationed in Poland as in all other Warsaw Pact countries. The Polish People's Army was the main branch of the Armed Forces; the official police organization, responsible for supposed peacekeeping and violent throttling of protests, was renamed Citizens' Militia. Under the command of the Ministry of Public Security of Poland "UB", the Militia committed serious crimes to maintain the Communists in power, including the harsh treatment of protesters, arrest of opposition leaders and in extreme cases murder, with at least 22,000 people killed by the regime during its rule; as a result, Poland had a high-imprisonment rate but one of the lowest crime rates in the world. This was fictitiously glorified by the ruling Polish Worker's Party, which described Poland as a safe and educated near-Utopian society. At the Yalta Conference in February 1945, Stalin was able to present his western allies, Franklin Roosevelt and Winston Churchill, with a fait accompli in Poland.
His armed forces were in occupation of the country, his agents, the communists, were in control of its administration. The USSR was in the process of incorporating the lands in eastern Poland which it had invaded and occupied between 1939 and 1941. In compensation, the USSR gave Poland former German populated territories in Pomerania and Brandenburg east of the Oder–Neisse line, plus the southern half of East Prussia; these awards were confirmed at the Tripartite Conference of Berlin, otherwise known as the Potsdam Conference in August 1945 after the end of the war in Europe. Stalin was determined that Poland's new government would become his tool towards making Poland a Soviet puppet state controlled by the communists, he had severed relations with the Polish government-in-exile in London in 1943, but to appease Roosevelt and Churchill he agreed at Yalta that a coalition government would be formed. The communists held a majority of key posts in this new government, with Soviet support they soon gained total control of the country, rigging all elections.
In June 1946 the "Three Times Yes" referendum was held on a number of issues—abolition of the Senate of Poland, land reform, making the Oder–Neisse line Poland's western border. The communist-controlled Interior Ministry issued results showing that all three questions passed overwhelmingly. Years however, evidence was uncovered showing that the referendum had been tainted by massive fraud, only the third question passed. Władysław Gomułka took advantage of a split in the Polish Socialist Party. One faction, which included Prime Minister Edward Osóbka-Morawski, wanted to join forces with the Peasant Party and form a united front against the Communists. Another faction, led by Józef Cyrankiewicz, argued that the Socialists should support the Communists in carrying through a socialist program, while opposing the imposition of one-party rule. Pre-war political hostilities continued to influence events, Stanisław Mikołajczyk would not agree to form a united front with the Socialists; the Communists played on these divisions by dismissing Osóbka-Morawski and making Cyrankiewicz Prime Minister.
Between the referendum and the January 1947 general elections, the opposition was subjected to persecution. Only the candidates of the pro-government "Democratic Bloc" were allowed to campaign completel
The Gobi Desert is a large desert or brushland region in Asia. It covers parts of Northern and Northeastern China, of southern Mongolia; the desert basins of the Gobi are bounded by the Altai Mountains and the grasslands and steppes of Mongolia on the north, by the Taklamakan Desert to the west, by the Hexi Corridor and Tibetan Plateau to the southwest, by the North China Plain to the southeast. The Gobi is notable in history as part of the great Mongol Empire, as the location of several important cities along the Silk Road; the Gobi is a rain shadow desert, formed by the Tibetan Plateau blocking precipitation from the Indian Ocean reaching the Gobi territory. The Gobi measures over 1,600 km from 800 km from north to south; the desert is widest in the west, along the line joining the Lop Nor. It occupies an arc of land 1,295,000 km2 in area as of 2007. Much of the Gobi has exposed bare rock. In its broadest definition, the Gobi includes the long stretch of desert extending from the foot of the Pamirs to the Greater Khingan Mountains, 116°-118° east, on the border of Manchuria.
A large area on the east side of the Greater Khingan range, between the upper waters of the Songhua and the upper waters of the Liao-ho, is reckoned to belong to the Gobi by conventional usage. Some geographers and ecologists prefer to regard the western area of the Gobi region: the basin of the Tarim in Xinjiang and the desert basin of Lop Nor and Hami, as forming a separate and independent desert, called the Taklamakan Desert. Archeologists and paleontologists have done excavations in the Nemegt Basin in the northwestern part of the Gobi Desert, noted for its fossil treasures, including early mammals, dinosaur eggs, prehistoric stone implements, some 100,000 years old; the Gobi is overall a cold desert, with frost and snow occurring on its dunes. Besides being quite far north, it is located on a plateau 910–1,520 metres above sea level, which contributes to its low temperatures. An average of 194 millimetres of rain falls annually in the Gobi. Additional moisture reaches parts of the Gobi in winter as snow is blown by the wind from the Siberian Steppes.
These winds may cause the Gobi to reach −40 °C in winter to 45 °C in summer. However, the climate of the Gobi is one of great extremes, combined with rapid changes of temperature of as much as 35 °C; these can occur not within 24 hours. In southern Mongolia, the temperature has been recorded as low as −32.8 °C. In contrast, in Alxa, Inner Mongolia, it rises as high as 37 °C in July. Average winter minimums are a frigid −21 °C, while summertime maximums are a warm 27 °C. Most of the precipitation falls during the summer. Although the southeast monsoons reach the southeast parts of the Gobi, the area throughout this region is characterized by extreme dryness during the winter, when the Siberian anticyclone is at its strongest; the southern and central parts of the Gobi Desert have variable plant growth due to this monsoon activity. The more northern areas of the Gobi are cold and dry, making it unable to support much plant growth. Hence, the icy snowstorms of spring and early summer plus early January.
The Gobi Desert is the source including the first dinosaur eggs. Despite the harsh conditions, these deserts and the surrounding regions sustain many animals, including black-tailed gazelles, marbled polecats, wild Bactrian camels, Mongolian wild ass and sandplovers, they are visited by snow leopards, brown bears, wolves. Lizards are well-adapted to the climate of the Gobi Desert, with 30 species distributed across its southern Mongolian border; the most common vegetation in the Gobi desert are shrubs adapted to drought. These shrubs included gray sparrow's saltwort, gray sagebrush, low grasses such as needle grass and bridlegrass. Due to livestock grazing, the amount of shrubs in the desert has decreased. Several large nature reserves have been established in the Gobi, including Gobi Gurvansaikhan National Park, Great Gobi A and Great Gobi B Strictly Protected Area; the area is vulnerable to trampling by livestock and off-road vehicles. In Mongolia, grasslands have been degraded by goats, which are raised by nomadic herders as source of cashmere wool.
Large copper deposits are being mined by Rio Tinto Group. The mine remains controversial. There was significant opposition in Mongolia's parliament to the terms under which the mine will proceed, some are calling for the terms to be renegotiated; the contention revolves around the question of whether negotiations were fair and whether Rio Tinto will pay adequate taxes on the revenues it derives from the mine (an agreement was reached whereby the operation will be exempt from windfall tax. The Gobi Desert is expanding at an alarming rate, in a process known as desertification; the expansion is rapid on the southern edge into China, which has seen 3,600 km2 (1,390