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Human geography and physical geography

The Earth with coloured highlighting of geographical featuresHow can one subject include glaciology and the way elections work? Find out about the main division in modern geography.

It’s not easy studying an entire planet. Luckily, geography is split into two main areas that make it easier to wrap your head around. Physical geography looks at the natural processes of the Earth, such as climate and plate tectonics. Human geography looks at the impact and behaviour of people and how they relate to the physical world.

However, it is important to remember that all areas of geography are interconnected: for example, the way human CO2 emissions affect the climate is part of both physical and human geography. The main area of geography that looks at the connection between physical and human geography is called environmental geography.

Physical geography

Areas of physical geography include:

Human geography

Much of human geography examines the relationship of other fields to geography, such as economics, health, tourism and politics. Other elements include:

  • Cultural geography: how things like religion, language and government vary across the world
  • Development geography: standards of living and quality of life across the world
  • Historical geography: how people have studied and thought about geography in the past
  • Population geography: how populations grow in different places and people migrate
  • Urban geography: cities and built-up areas

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Human Geography all the way!

Zahra 13-4-11