THE ASIA CONTINENT
Asia is the biggest continent in the world. It is almost one-third of the earth’s land surface. The world “Asia” means the “Home of Man”; the man was first born here. All the ancient civilizations of the world were on this very continent. The highest peak “Everest” (8,848 meters high); the greatest depth of 11,022 meters at the Mariana Trench in the Pacific Ocean; one of the hottest places (Jacobabad in the province of Sindh in Pakistan); the coldest lace (Verkhoyanak in the north-east of Siberia); the driest place; (the area stretching from Red sea to Mongolia); the highest plateau (Pamir); the most fertile lands (Central part of Balochistan in Pakistan) are all situated in the continent of Asia. It has the largest population and area. Taking all these facts into consideration, we can rightly call Asia the “Continent of Extremes”. It is bounded on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the south by the Indian Ocean, on the east by the pacific ocean, and on the west by the red sea and the continent of Europe across the Ural mountains. In the south-west, the Suez canal and the red sea separate it from Africa. We can divide this great continent according to its physical features into four regions the northern low lands of Siberia, the central mountain area, the old plateaus of the south, and the river valleys. Northern low lands of Siberia are triangular in shape. They are the greatest continuous lowlands in the world, known as the Great Siberian plain. The central mountain area is in the form of a triangle in the heart of Asia. To the north of Pakistan, there is the lofty table-land of Pamir. It looks like a great knot of mountains and plateaus. A little north of it there is two ranges; the Karakoram and the Kunlun. The two peaks of the Karakoram, “K-2” and “Rakaposhi”, are situated in Pakistan. Another branch, Hindukush, runs westwards along the northern boundary of Iran and the southern shores of the Caspian Sea. The range of Hindukush is between Pakistan and Afghanistan. Its highest peak “Trichmir” is situated in Chitral, Pakistan. The old plateaus of south Asia are made of old, hard, crystalline rocks. They comprise the peninsulas of Arabia, the Deccan (India), and Indo-china. There are six Flat river valleys through which the most important rivers of Asia flow. They are the valley of Euphrates (Tigria); the land of the river Indus; the Ganges and Brahmaputra Basin; the Menam and the Mekong basin in Indo-China, the Irrawaddy basin and the Yangtze and Hwang-Ho Basin in China. There are many contrasts in the climates of Asia. Most of the continent has an average temperature above 15.5oC (60oF) Except for a belt along the north and island chains in the north of Japan. There are some areas where the temperature is above 32oC (90oF) such as the desert of Gobi, the north-west of Punjab, the north-west of Pakistan, central Iran, and the central part of Arabia. In the winter, the interior and the north become extremely cold. The population of Asia is nearly 3720 million, i.e., Nearly 60% of the world population. It is the biggest continent in respect of population and area. Its population is increasing fast. If the growth of the population is not checked. Asia will face many serious problems. Some big cities of Asia are Karachi, Kolkata, Dhaka, Tokyo, Beijing, Shanghai, Hong Kong and Singapore.