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    Switzerland Geography 1998

      Location Central Europe, east of France, north of Italy

      Geographic coordinates 47 00 N, 8 00 E

      Map references Europe

      total: 41,290 sq km
      land: 39,770 sq km
      water: 1,520 sq km

      Area - comparative slightly less than twice the size of New Jersey

      Land boundaries
      total: 1,852 km
      border countries: Austria 164 km, France 573 km, Italy 740 km, Liechtenstein 41 km, Germany 334 km

      Coastline 0 km (landlocked)

      Maritime claims none (landlocked)

      Climate temperate, but varies with altitude; cold, cloudy, rainy/snowy winters; cool to warm, cloudy, humid summers with occasional showers

      Terrain mostly mountains (Alps in south, Jura in northwest) with a central plateau of rolling hills, plains, and large lakes

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point: Lake Maggiore 195 m
      highest point: Dufourspitze 4,634 m

      Natural resources hydropower potential, timber, salt

      Land use
      arable land: 10%
      permanent crops: 2%
      permanent pastures: 28%
      forests and woodland: 32%
      other: 28% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land 250 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards avalanches, landslides, flash floods

      Environment - current issues air pollution from vehicle emissions and open-air burning; acid rain; water pollution from increased use of agricultural fertilizers; loss of biodiversity

      Environment - international agreements
      party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, 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: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Law of the Sea

      Geography - note landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France and northern Italy, contains the highest elevations in Europe

      NOTE: The information regarding Switzerland on this page is re-published from the 1998 World Fact Book of the United States Central Intelligence Agency. No claims are made regarding the accuracy of Switzerland Geography 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about Switzerland Geography 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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    Revised 21-Dec-01
    Copyright © 2001 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)