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    United States Geography - 2002
    http://www.greekorthodoxchurch.org/wfb2002/united_states/united_states_geography.html
    SOURCE: 2002 CIA WORLD FACTBOOK

      Location North America, bordering both the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Pacific Ocean, between Canada and Mexico

      Geographic coordinates 38 00 N, 97 00 W

      Map references North America

      Area
      total: 9,629,091 sq km
      land: 9,158,960 sq km
      water: 470,131 sq km
      note: includes only the 50 states and District of Columbia

      Area - comparative about half the size of Russia; about three-tenths the size of Africa; about half the size of South America (or slightly larger than Brazil); slightly larger than China; about two and a half times the size of Western Europe

      Land boundaries
      total: 12,034 km
      border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with Alaska), Mexico 3,141 km
      note: US Naval Base at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba is leased by the US and thus remains part of Cuba; the base boundary is 29 km

      Coastline 19,924 km

      Maritime claims
      contiguous zone: 24 NM
      continental shelf: not specified
      exclusive economic zone: 200 NM
      territorial sea: 12 NM

      Climate mostly temperate, but tropical in Hawaii and Florida, arctic in Alaska, semiarid in the great plains west of the Mississippi River, and arid in the Great Basin of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January and February by warm chinook winds from the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains

      Terrain vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska; rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point: Death Valley -86 m
      highest point: Mount McKinley 6,194 m

      Natural resources coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver, tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber

      Land use
      arable land: 19%
      other: 81% (1998 est.)
      permanent crops: NEGL%

      Irrigated land 214,000 sq km (1998 est.)

      Natural hazards tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and Gulf of Mexico coasts; tornadoes in the midwest and southeast; mud slides in California; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in northern Alaska, a major impediment to development

      Environment - current issues air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; very limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification

      Environment - international agreements
      party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
      signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Hazardous Wastes

      Geography - note world's third-largest country by size (after Russia and Canada) and by population (after China and India); Mt. McKinley is highest point in North America and Death Valley the lowest point on the continent

      NOTE: The information regarding United States on this page is re-published from the 2002 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of United States Geography 2002 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about United States Geography 2002 should be addressed to the CIA.

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