The monsoon season is the time of year when most of a region's average annual rainfall occurs. The season lasts at least a month; the term "green season" is sometimes used as a euphemism by tourist authorities. Areas with wet seasons are dispersed across portions of the subtropics. Under the Köppen climate classification, for tropical climates, a wet season month is defined as a month where average precipitation is 60 millimetres or more. In contrast to areas with savanna climates and monsoon regimes, Mediterranean climates have wet winters and dry summers. Dry and rainy months are characteristic of tropical seasonal forests: in contrast to tropical rainforests, which do not have dry or wet seasons, since their rainfall is distributed throughout the year; some areas with pronounced rainy seasons will see a break in rainfall mid-season, when the intertropical convergence zone or monsoon trough moves to higher latitudes in the middle of the warm season. When the wet season occurs during a warm season, or summer, precipitation falls during the late afternoon and early evening.
In the wet season, air quality improves, fresh water quality improves, vegetation grows leading to crop yields late in the season. Rivers overflow their banks, some animals retreat to higher ground. Soil nutrients erosion increases; the incidence of malaria increases in areas where the rainy season coincides with high temperatures in tropical areas. Some animals have survival strategies for the wet season; the previous dry season leads to food shortages in the wet season, as the crops have yet to mature. In areas where the heavy rainfall is associated with a wind shift, the wet season is known as the monsoon. Rainfall in the wet season is due to daytime heating which leads to diurnal thunderstorm activity within a pre-existing moist airmass, so the rain falls in late afternoon and early evening in savannah and monsoon regions. Further, much of the total rainfall each day occurs in the first minutes of the downpour, before the storms mature into their stratiform stage. Most places have only one wet season, but areas of the tropics can have two wet seasons, because the monsoon trough, or Intertropical Convergence Zone, can pass over locations in the tropics twice per year.
However, since rain forests have rainfall spread evenly through the year, they do not have a wet season. It is different for places with a Mediterranean climate. In the western United States, during the cold season from September–May, extratropical cyclones from the Pacific Ocean move inland into the region due to a southward migration of the jet stream during the cold season; this shift in the jet stream brings much of the annual precipitation to the region, sometimes brings heavy rain and strong low pressure systems. The peninsula of Italy has weather similar to the western United States in this regard. Areas with a savanna climate in Sub-Saharan Africa, such as Ghana, Burkina Faso, Eritrea and Botswana have a distinct rainy season. Within the savanna climate regime and South Texas have a rainy season. Monsoon regions include the Indian subcontinent, Southeast Asia, northern sections of Australia's North, Central America and southern Mexico, the Desert Southwest of the United States, southern Guyana, portions of northeast Brazil.
Northern Guyana has the other in early winter. In western Africa, there are two rainy seasons across southern sections, but only one across the north. Within the Mediterranean climate regime, the west coast of the United States and the Mediterranean coastline of Italy and Turkey experience a wet season in the winter months; the wet season in the Negev desert of Israel extends from October through May. At the boundary between the Mediterranean and monsoon climates lies the Sonoran desert, which receives the two rainy seasons associated with each climate regime; the wet season is known by many different local names throughout the world. For example, in Mexico it is known as "storm season". Different names are given to the various short "seasons" of the year by the Aboriginal tribes of Northern Australia: the wet season experienced there from December to March is called Gudjewg; the precise meaning of the word is disputed, although it is accepted to relate to the severe thunderstorms and abundant vegetation growth experienced at this time.
In tropical areas, when the monsoon arrives, high daytime high temperatures drop and overnight low temperatures increase, thus reducing diurnal temperature variation. During the wet season, a combination of heavy rainfall and, in some places such as Hong Kong, an onshore wind, improve air quality. In Brazil, the wet season is correlated with weaker trade winds off the ocean; the pH level of water becomes more balanced due to the charging of local aquifers during the wet season. Water softens, as the concentration of dissolved materials reduces during the rainy season. Erosion is increased during rainy periods. Arroyos that are dry at other times of the year fill with runoff, in some cases with water as deep as 10 feet. Leaching of soils during periods of heavy rainfall depletes nutrients; the higher runoff from land masses affects nearby ocean areas, which are more stratified, or less mixed, due to stronger surface currents forced by the heavy rainfall runoff. High rainfall can cause widespread flooding, which can lead to landslides and mudflows in mountainous areas.
Such floods cause rivers to submerge homes. The Ghaggar-Hakra River, which only flows during India's monsoon season, can flood and damage local
The Outback is the vast, remote interior of Australia. "The Outback" is more remote than those areas named "the bush", any location outside the main urban areas. While envisaged as being arid, the Outback regions extend from the northern to southern Australian coastlines, encompass a number of climatic zones. Geographically, the Outback is unified by a combination of factors, most notably a low human population density, a intact natural environment and, in many places, low-intensity land uses such as pastoralism in which production is reliant on the natural environment. Culturally, the Outback is ingrained in Australian heritage and folklore. In 2009 as part of the Q150 celebrations, the Queensland Outback was announced as one of the Q150 Icons of Queensland for its role as a "natural attraction". Indigenous Australians have lived in the Outback for 50,000 years and occupied all Outback regions, including the driest deserts, when Europeans first entered central Australia in the 1800s. Many Indigenous Australians retain strong physical and cultural links to their traditional country and are recognised as the Traditional Owners of large parts of the Outback under Commonwealth Native Title legislation.
Early European exploration of inland Australia was sporadic. More focus was on the more fertile coastal areas; the first party to cross the Blue Mountains just outside Sydney was led by Gregory Blaxland in 1813, 25 years after the colony was established. People starting with John Oxley in 1817, 1818 and 1821, followed by Charles Sturt in 1829–1830 attempted to follow the westward-flowing rivers to find an "inland sea", but these were found to all flow into the Murray River and Darling River which turn south. Over the period 1858 to 1861, John McDouall Stuart led six expeditions north from Adelaide into the outback, culminating in reaching the north coast of Australia and returning, without the loss of any of the party's members' lives; this contrasts with the ill-fated Burke and Wills expedition in 1860–61, much better funded, but resulted in the deaths of three of the members of the transcontinental party. The Overland Telegraph line was constructed in the 1870s along the route identified by Stuart.
In 1865 the surveyor George Goyder, using changes in vegetation patterns, mapped a line in South Australia, north of which he considered rainfall to be too unreliable to support agriculture. Exploration of the outback continued in the 1950s when Len Beadell explored and built many roads in support of the nuclear weapons tests at Emu Field and Maralinga and rocket testing on the Woomera Prohibited Area. Mineral exploration continues as new mineral deposits are developed. While the early explorers used horses to cross the outback, the first woman to make the journey riding a horse was Anna Hingley, who rode from Broome to Cairns in 2006; the paucity of industrial land use has led to the Outback being recognised globally as one of the largest remaining intact natural areas on Earth. Global "Human Footprint" and wilderness reviews highlight the importance of Outback Australia as one of the world's large natural areas, along with the Boreal forests and Tundra regions in North America, the Sahara and Gobi deserts and the tropical forests of the Amazon and Congo Basins.
The savanna of northern Australia are intact savanna regions in the world. In the south, the Great Western Woodlands, which occupy 16,000,000 hectares, an area larger than all of England and Wales, are the largest remaining temperate woodland left on Earth. Reflecting the wide climatic and geological variation, the Outback contains a wealth of distinctive and ecologically-rich ecosystems. Major land types include: the Kimberley and Pilbara regions in northern Western Australia, sub-tropical savanna landscape of the Top End, ephemeral water courses of the Channel Country in western Queensland, the ten deserts in central and western Australia, the Inland Ranges, such as the MacDonnell Ranges, which provide topographic variation across the flat plains, the flat Nullarbor Plain north of the Great Australian Bight, the Great Western Woodlands in southern Western Australia; the Australian Outback is full of important well-adapted wildlife, although much of it may not be visible to the casual observer.
Many animals, such as red kangaroos and dingoes, hide in bushes to rest and keep cool during the heat of the day. Birdlife is prolific, most seen at waterholes at dawn and dusk. Huge flocks of budgerigars, cockatoos and galahs are sighted. On bare ground or roads during the winter, various species of snakes and lizards bask in the sun, but they are seen during the summer months. Feral animals such as camels thrive in central Australia, brought to Australia by pastoralists and explorers, along with the early Afghan drivers. Feral horses known as ` brumbies' are station horses. Feral pigs, foxes and rabbits are other imported animals degrading the environment, so time and money is spent eradicating them in an attempt to help protect fragile rangelands; the Outback is home to a diverse set of animal species, such as the kangaroo and dingo. The Dingo Fence was built to restrict movements of dingoes and wild dogs into agricultural areas towards the south east of the continent; the marginally fertile parts are utilised as rangelands and have been traditionally used for sheep or cattle grazing, on cattle stations which are leased from the Federal Government.
While small areas of the outback consist of c
The tropics are the region of the Earth surrounding the Equator. They are delimited in latitude by The Tropic of Cancer in the Northern Hemisphere at 23°26′12.4″ N and the Tropic of Capricorn in the Southern Hemisphere at 23°26′12.4″ S. The tropics are referred to as the tropical zone and the torrid zone; the tropics include all the areas on the Earth where the Sun contacts a point directly overhead at least once during the solar year - thus the latitude of the tropics is equal to the angle of the Earth's axial tilt. The tropics are distinguished from the other climatic and biomatic regions of Earth, which are the middle latitudes and the polar regions on either side of the equatorial zone; the tropics contain 36 % of the Earth's landmass. As of 2014, the region is home to 40% of the world population, this figure is projected to reach 50% by the late 2030s. "Tropical" is sometimes used in a general sense for a tropical climate to mean warm to hot and moist year-round with the sense of lush vegetation.
Many tropical areas have a wet season. The wet season, rainy season or green season is the time of year, ranging from one or more months, when most of the average annual rainfall in a region falls. Areas with wet seasons are disseminated across portions of the subtropics. Under the Köppen climate classification, for tropical climates, a wet-season month is defined as a month where average precipitation is 60 millimetres or more. Tropical rainforests technically do not have dry or wet seasons, since their rainfall is distributed through the year; some areas with pronounced rainy seasons see a break in rainfall during mid-season when the intertropical convergence zone or monsoon trough moves poleward of their location during the middle of the warm season. When the wet season occurs during the warm season, or summer, precipitation falls during the late afternoon and early evening hours; the wet season is a time when air quality improves, freshwater quality improves and vegetation grows leading to crop yields late in the season.
Floods cause rivers to overflow their banks, some animals to retreat to higher ground. Soil nutrients erosion increases; the incidence of malaria increases in areas. Animals have survival strategies for the wetter regime; the previous dry season leads to food shortages into the wet season, as the crops have yet to mature. However, regions within the tropics may well not have a tropical climate. Under the Köppen climate classification, much of the area within the geographical tropics is classed not as "tropical" but as "dry", including the Sahara Desert, the Atacama Desert and Australian Outback. There are alpine tundra and snow-capped peaks, including Mauna Kea, Mount Kilimanjaro, the Andes as far south as the northernmost parts of Chile and Argentina. Tropical plants and animals are those species native to the tropics. Tropical ecosystems may consist of tropical rainforests, seasonal tropical forests, dry forests, spiny forests and other habitat types. There are significant areas of biodiversity, species endemism present in rainforests and seasonal forests.
Some examples of important biodiversity and high endemism ecosystems are El Yunque National Forest in Puerto Rico, Costa Rican and Nicaraguan rainforests, Amazon Rainforest territories of several South American countries, Madagascar dry deciduous forests, the Waterberg Biosphere of South Africa, eastern Madagascar rainforests. The soils of tropical forests are low in nutrient content, making them quite vulnerable to slash-and-burn deforestation techniques, which are sometimes an element of shifting cultivation agricultural systems. In biogeography, the tropics are divided into Neotropics. Together, they are sometimes referred to as the Pantropic; the Neotropical region should not be confused with the ecozone of the same name. "Tropicality" refers to the geographic imagery that many people outside the tropics have of that region. The idea of tropicality gained renewed interest in modern geographical discourse when French geographer Pierre Gourou published Les Pays Tropicaux, in the late 1940s.
Tropicality encompasses at least two contradictory imageries. One is that the tropics represent a Garden of a heaven on Earth; the latter view was discussed in Western literature—more so than the first. Evidence suggests that over time the more primitive view of the tropics in popular literature has been supplanted by more nuanced interpretations that reflect historical changes in values associated with tropical culture and ecology, although some primitive associations are persistent. Western scholars theorized about the reasons that tropical areas were deemed "inferior" to regions in the Northern Hemisphere. A popular explanation focused on the differences in climate—tropical regions have much warmer weather than northern regions; this theme led some scholars, including Gourou, to argue that warmer climates correlate to primitive indigenous populations lacking control over nature, compared to northern popul
South Asia or Southern Asia, is a term used to represent the southern region of the Asian continent, which comprises the sub-Himalayan SAARC countries and, for some authorities, adjoining countries to the west and east. Topographically, it is dominated by the Indian Plate, which rises above sea level as Nepal and northern parts of India situated south of the Himalayas and the Hindu Kush. South Asia is bounded on the south by the Indian Ocean and on land by West Asia, Central Asia, East Asia, Southeast Asia; the current territories of Afghanistan, Bhutan, Nepal, India and Sri Lanka form South Asia. The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation is an economic cooperation organisation in the region, established in 1985 and includes all eight nations comprising South Asia. South Asia covers about 5.2 million km2, 11.71% of the Asian continent or 3.5% of the world's land surface area. The population of South Asia is about 1.891 billion or about one fourth of the world's population, making it both the most populous and the most densely populated geographical region in the world.
Overall, it accounts for about 39.49% of Asia's population, over 24% of the world's population, is home to a vast array of people. In 2010, South Asia had the world's largest population of Hindus and Sikhs, it has the largest population of Muslims in the Asia-Pacific region, as well as over 35 million Christians and 25 million Buddhists. The total area of South Asia and its geographical extent is not clear cut as systemic and foreign policy orientations of its constituents are quite asymmetrical. Aside from the central region of South Asia part of the British Empire, there is a high degree of variation as to which other countries are included in South Asia. Modern definitions of South Asia are consistent in including Afghanistan, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Nepal and Maldives as the constituent countries. Myanmar is included in Southeast Asia by others; some do not include Afghanistan, others question whether Afghanistan should be considered a part of South Asia or the Middle East. The current territories of Bangladesh and Pakistan, which were the core of the British Empire from 1857 to 1947, form the central region of South Asia, in addition to Afghanistan, a British protectorate until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war.
The mountain countries of Nepal and Bhutan, the island countries of Sri Lanka and Maldives are included as well. Myanmar is added, by various deviating definitions based on substantially different reasons, the British Indian Ocean Territory and the Tibet Autonomous Region are included as well; the common concept of South Asia is inherited from the administrative boundaries of the British Raj, with several exceptions. The Aden Colony, British Somaliland and Singapore, though administered at various times under the Raj, have not been proposed as any part of South Asia. Additionally Burma was administered as part of the Raj until 1937, but is now considered a part of Southeast Asia and is a member state of ASEAN; the 562 princely states that were protected by but not directly ruled by the Raj became administrative parts of South Asia upon joining Union of India or Dominion of Pakistan. Geopolitically, it had formed the whole territory of Greater India,The South Asian Association for Regional Cooperation, a contiguous block of countries, started in 1985 with seven countries – Bangladesh, India, the Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka – and added Afghanistan as an eighth member in 2007.
China and Myanmar have applied for the status of full members of SAARC. This bloc of countries include two independent countries that were not part of the British Raj – Nepal, Bhutan. Afghanistan was a British protectorate from 1878 until 1919, after the Afghans lost to the British in the Second Anglo-Afghan war; the World Factbook, based on geo-politics and economy defines South Asia as comprising Afghanistan, Bhutan, British Indian Ocean Territory, Maldives, Nepal and Sri Lanka. The South Asia Free Trade Agreement incorporated Afghanistan in 2011, the World Bank grouping of countries in the region includes all eight members comprising South Asia and SAARC as well, the same goes for the United Nations Children's Fund; the United Nations Statistics Division's scheme of sub-regions include all eight members of the SAARC as part of Southern Asia, along with Iran only for statistical purposes. Population Information Network includes Afghanistan, Burma, Nepal and Sri Lanka as part of South Asia.
Maldives, in view of its characteristics, was admitted as a member Pacific POPIN subregional network only in principle. The Hirschman–Herfindahl index of the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific for the region includes only the original seven signatories of SAARC; the British Indian Ocean Territory is connected to the region by a publication of Jane's for security considerations. The region may include the disputed territory of Aksai Chin, part of the British Indian princely state of Jammu and Kashmir, but is now administered as part of the Chinese autonomous region of Xinjiang; the inclusion of Myanmar in South Asia is without consensus, with many considering it a part of Southeast Asia and others including it within South Asia. Afghanistan was of importance to the British colonial empire after the Second Anglo-Afghan War over 1878–1880. Afghanistan remained a British protectorate until 1919, when a treaty with Vladimir Lenin included the granting of independe
A shrub or bush is a small- to medium-sized woody plant. Unlike herbaceous plants, shrubs have persistent woody, they are distinguished from trees by their multiple stems and shorter height, are under 6 m tall. Plants of many species may grow either depending on their growing conditions. Small, low shrubs less than 2 m tall, such as lavender and most small garden varieties of rose, are termed "subshrubs". An area of cultivated shrubs in a park or a garden is known as a shrubbery; when clipped as topiary, suitable species or varieties of shrubs develop dense foliage and many small leafy branches growing close together. Many shrubs respond well to renewal pruning, in which hard cutting back to a "stool" results in long new stems known as "canes". Other shrubs respond better to selective pruning to reveal their character. Shrubs in common garden practice are considered broad-leaved plants, though some smaller conifers such as mountain pine and common juniper are shrubby in structure. Species that grow into a shrubby habit may be either evergreen.
In botany and ecology, a shrub is more used to describe the particular physical structural or plant life-form of woody plants which are less than 8 metres high and have many stems arising at or near the base. For example, a descriptive system adopted in Australia is based on structural characteristics based on life-form, plus the height and amount of foliage cover of the tallest layer or dominant species. For shrubs 2–8 metres high the following structural forms are categorized: dense foliage cover — closed-shrub mid-dense foliage cover — open-shrub sparse foliage cover — tall shrubland sparse foliage cover — tall open shrublandFor shrubs less than 2 metres high the following structural forms are categorized: dense foliage cover — closed-heath or closed low shrubland— mid-dense foliage cover — open-heath or mid-dense low shrubland— sparse foliage cover — low shrubland sparse foliage cover — low open shrubland Those marked with * can develop into tree form
Penticton is a city in the Okanagan Valley of the Southern Interior of British Columbia, situated between Okanagan and Skaha lakes. In 2016, its population was 33,761, while its census agglomeration population was 43,432; the name Penticton is derived from a word in the Okanagan language. It is conventionally translated as "a place to stay forever" but is a reference to the year-round flow of Okanagan Lake through Penticton where it enters Skaha Lake. Differing accounts of the meaning are given in the British Columbia Geographical Names Information System entry for the city: "Place where water passes beyond.". From the Indian name Pente-hik-ton, "ever" or "forever", referring to the constant, steady flow of the Okanagan River out of the lake.... Applied by the Indians to the locality at the outlet of the lake, meaning that the stream ran on or forever, in contrast to other streams which dried up during the summer; the site of the city was first settled by the Okanagan people, of the Interior Salish language group, who named the community Phthauntac, meaning the "ideal meeting place", followed by Penticton, meaning a "place to stay forever", or "a place where people live year-round" in the Okanagan language.
They settled around the city's two lakes: Okanagan Lake. Their descendants are based at the Penticton Indian Band, a First Nations government part of the Okanagan Nation Alliance situated near Penticton. In 1866, Irishman Thomas Ellis and his family traveled to Penticton, became the first white settlers, he started to develop a community by building a cattle empire, planting fruit trees. The Penticton Hotel was established in 1892 by Ellis, who positioned it around the local government area, its first road: Front Street; the sidewalks on the street were made from wood, with coal oil lamps being introduced to the sidewalk. Ellis and his relatives retired in 1892, sold a portion of their land to property dealers. Around this time, a number of European fur traders traveled through Penticton and the surrounding communities; the sternwheeler S. S. Aberdeen, which began service on Okanagan Lake in 1892, meant that more services could be shipped to the area. A group of residents formed their own local public government board for the community, by 1907, in the hopes of promoting the area.
It was referred to as the Board of Trade, who attempted to specialize in arts, commerce and recreation. Another sternwheeler was launched that same year, the S. S. Okanagan, for use on Okanagan Lake, while other sternwheelers served Penticton and other communities on Skaha Lake. Penticton was incorporated as a district municipality on December 31, 1908. Shortly after the district was incorporated, the fruit trees planted by Ellis, many of them apple trees, started to grow. Residents of the area packed fruit in boxes, so they could distribute it worldwide. In 1912, the Canadian Pacific Railway developed the Incola Hotel for the city, which operated for 70 years. During World War I, the S. S. Sicamous came to the community, while the Kettle Valley Railway train service began operating, by moving specific passengers. In 1949, Penticton purchased the ship from the Canadian Pacific Railway; the Penticton Regional Airport was developed during World War II due to wartime military air transportation concerns, which acted as an emergency landing strip until its tarmac was completed.
Its land was expropriated from the Penticton Indian Band in 1949 under the War Measures Act. In 1948, a provincial highway opened between Hope and Princeton, which allowed access to Penticton, created competition for the Kettle Valley Railway. Much of the railroad's original route has been converted to a multi-use recreational trail, known as the Kettle Valley Rail Trail, which carries the Trans-Canada Trail through this part of British Columbia, it was incorporated as a city on May 1948, with the governor general of Canada declaring this. Reeve Robert Lyon served Penticton as the first mayor, while Lord Alexander was made a freeman of the city. Penticton hosts many events annually, among them the Super League Penticton Triathlon, the Valley First Granfondo Axel Merckx Okanagan, the Okanagan Wine Festival, the Okanagan Children's Festival, Fest-of-Ale BC, the Penticton Peach Festival, the Miss Penticton Pageant, which takes place during the Penticton Peach Festival, the Pentastic Hot Jazz Festival, the Peach City Beach Cruise, the Elvis Festival, featured in the Summer 2006 issue of British Columbia Magazine.
Penticton was home to the Ironman Canada race from 1983 until 2012. Penticton offers many kinds including skiing at the Apex Mountain Resort ski area. In the summer many people enjoy floating down the river channel that connects Okanagan Lake and Skaha Lake, it is home to the BCHL hockey team Penticton Vees who play throughout the winter season, the PCSL soccer team Penticton Pinnacles, who play May–July. Completed in 2011, the Penticton Community Centre is a mo
Mexico the United Mexican States, is a country in the southern portion of North America. It is bordered to the north by the United States. Covering 2,000,000 square kilometres, the nation is the fifth largest country in the Americas by total area and the 13th largest independent state in the world. With an estimated population of over 120 million people, the country is the eleventh most populous state and the most populous Spanish-speaking state in the world, while being the second most populous nation in Latin America after Brazil. Mexico is a federation comprising 31 states and Mexico City, a special federal entity, the capital city and its most populous city. Other metropolises in the state include Guadalajara, Puebla, Tijuana and León. Pre-Columbian Mexico dates to about 8000 BC and is identified as one of five cradles of civilization and was home to many advanced Mesoamerican civilizations such as the Olmec, Teotihuacan, Zapotec and Aztec before first contact with Europeans. In 1521, the Spanish Empire conquered and colonized the territory from its politically powerful base in Mexico-Tenochtitlan, administered as the viceroyalty of New Spain.
Three centuries the territory became a nation state following its recognition in 1821 after the Mexican War of Independence. The post-independence period was tumultuous, characterized by economic inequality and many contrasting political changes; the Mexican–American War led to a territorial cession of the extant northern territories to the United States. The Pastry War, the Franco-Mexican War, a civil war, two empires, the Porfiriato occurred in the 19th century; the Porfiriato was ended by the start of the Mexican Revolution in 1910, which culminated with the promulgation of the 1917 Constitution and the emergence of the country's current political system as a federal, democratic republic. Mexico has the 11th largest by purchasing power parity; the Mexican economy is linked to those of its 1994 North American Free Trade Agreement partners the United States. In 1994, Mexico became the first Latin American member of the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, it is classified as an upper-middle income country by the World Bank and a newly industrialized country by several analysts.
The country is considered both a regional power and a middle power, is identified as an emerging global power. Due to its rich culture and history, Mexico ranks first in the Americas and seventh in the world for number of UNESCO World Heritage Sites. Mexico is an ecologically megadiverse country, ranking fourth in the world for its biodiversity. Mexico receives a huge number of tourists every year: in 2018, it was the sixth most-visited country in the world, with 39 million international arrivals. Mexico is a member of the United Nations, the World Trade Organization, the G8+5, the G20, the Uniting for Consensus group of the UN, the Pacific Alliance trade bloc. Mēxihco is the Nahuatl term for the heartland of the Aztec Empire, namely the Valley of Mexico and surrounding territories, with its people being known as the Mexica, it is believed to be a toponym for the valley which became the primary ethnonym for the Aztec Triple Alliance as a result, although it could have been the other way around.
In the colonial era, back when Mexico was called New Spain this territory became the Intendency of Mexico and after New Spain achieved independence from the Spanish Empire it came to be known as the State of Mexico with the new country being named after its capital: the City of Mexico, which itself was founded in 1524 on top of the ancient Mexica capital of Mexico-Tenochtitlan. Traditionally, the name Tenochtitlan was thought to come from Nahuatl tetl and nōchtli and is thought to mean "Among the prickly pears rocks". However, one attestation in the late 16th-century manuscript known as "the Bancroft dialogues" suggests the second vowel was short, so that the true etymology remains uncertain; the suffix -co is the Nahuatl locative, making the word a place name. Beyond that, the etymology is uncertain, it has been suggested that it is derived from Mextli or Mēxihtli, a secret name for the god of war and patron of the Mexica, Huitzilopochtli, in which case Mēxihco means "place where Huitzilopochtli lives".
Another hypothesis suggests that Mēxihco derives from a portmanteau of the Nahuatl words for "moon" and navel. This meaning might refer to Tenochtitlan's position in the middle of Lake Texcoco; the system of interconnected lakes, of which Texcoco formed the center, had the form of a rabbit, which the Mesoamericans pareidolically associated with the moon rabbit. Still another hypothesis suggests that the word is derived from Mēctli, the name of the goddess of maguey; the name of the city-state was transliterated to Spanish as México with the phonetic value of the letter x in Medieval Spanish, which represented the voiceless postalveolar fricative. This sound, as well as the voiced postalveolar fricative, represented by a j, evolved into a voiceless velar fricative during the 16th century; this led to the use of the variant Méjico in many publications in Spanish, most notably in Spain, whereas in Mexico and most other Spanish–speaking countries, México was the preferred spelling. In recent years, the Real Academia Española, which regulates the Spanish l