Geography can be divided into two broad categories: physical geography and cultural geography. Physical geographers study the processes that create the Earth's physical characteristics, such as landforms, soils, vegetation, minerals, water resources, oceans, and weather, and the significance of these processes to humans. Environmental geographers conduct research to determine the impact humans have on the environment and on natural processes. Common study issues include climate change, deforestation, and desertification. Climatologists analyze climate patterns and how and why they change. Geomorphologists, or physiographers, study the origin and development of landforms and interpret their arrangement and distribution over the earth. Mathematical geographers study the earth's size, shape, and movements, as well as the effects of the sun, moon, and other heavenly bodies.

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