Elevation and Capital Location

Elevation is important. Here’s why: air expands as it rises, and expanding air gets colder. General rule: temperature goes down 3-5 Fahrenheit degrees when you go up a thousand feet. This fact can influence people in many ways – the clothing they wear, the crops they grow, what kind of houses they build, how much energy they use, and so forth.

Elevation, of course, is not the only important geographic fact – location is also important. A in makes an already cold place even colder. A mountain in America, however, can be more comfortable than a nearby place at level.

Let’s test this hypothesis by looking at the capitals of the twelve in .

Average Temperature Elevation Capital in Fahrenheit in feet January July 12000 49 42 9400 58 58 Bogota 8600 58 57 Brasilia 3500 74 71 3400 68 71 1800 69 49 500 74 62 Asuncion 400 83 64 70 73 51 60 76 52 20 79 81 10 79 80 Georgetown 5 79 81 Student Worksheet

Use the map and the chart to answer the following questions:

1. The is just north of Quito, the capital of Ecuador (its name means Equator country!) The Equator also crosses the mouth of the , in northeast Brazil. Brazil is the largest country on the map. Draw the Equator on the map.

2. Which other country does the Equator cross? Circle: Bolivia Colombia Paraguay

3. and claimed most of South America during the age of . Three other European countries had small on the . The capitals of Dutch Suriname, British Guyana, and French Guiana (still part of ) are on the coast.

What is the like on the Equator?

Elevation is ______and temperatures are ______in both “” and “”.

4. The capitals of three countries close to the Equator are high in the (where the started) rather than in river valleys (like most capital ). Finish the sentence: In a country close to the Equator, a location in the mountains is advantageous because ______

5. The between Argentina and Chile follows the Mountains. Why is Chile narrower than Argentina? ______

6. The capitals of Argentina and Uruguay are on opposite sides of Rio Parana, the second biggest river on the . The capital of Paraguay is upstream on the same river, while the capital of Chile is uphill from the Pacific Coast. Which of those four capitals has the highest temperatures? ______

Why? ______

7. Brasilia was built as a “new ” – how does its location and elevation influence ? ______