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    World Geography 1998

      Map references World, Time Zones

      total: 510.072 million sq km
      land: 148.94 million sq km
      water: 361.132 million sq km
      note: 70.8% of the world's surface is water, 29.2% is land

      Area - comparative land area about 15 times the size of the US

      Land boundaries the land boundaries in the world total 251,480.24 km (not counting shared boundaries twice)

      Coastline 356,000 km

      Maritime claims
      contiguous zone: 24 nm claimed by most but can vary
      continental shelf: 200-m depth claimed by most or to depth of exploitation, others claim 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
      exclusive fishing zone: 200 nm claimed by most but can vary
      exclusive economic zone: 200 nm claimed by most but can vary
      territorial sea: 12 nm claimed by most but can vary
      note: boundary situations with neighboring states prevent many countries from extending their fishing or economic zones to a full 200 nm; 43 nations and other areas that are landlocked include Afghanistan, Andorra, Armenia, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Bhutan, Bolivia, Botswana, Burkina Faso, Burundi, Central African Republic, Chad, Czech Republic, Ethiopia, Holy See (Vatican City), Hungary, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Laos, Lesotho, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Malawi, Mali, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Paraguay, Rwanda, San Marino, Slovakia, Swaziland, Switzerland, Tajikistan, The Former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Turkmenistan, Uganda, Uzbekistan, West Bank, Zambia, Zimbabwe

      Climate two large areas of polar climates separated by two rather narrow temperate zones from a wide equatorial band of tropical to subtropical climates

      Terrain the greatest ocean depth is the Mariana Trench at 10,924 m in the Pacific Ocean

      Elevation extremes
      lowest point: Dead Sea -408 m
      highest point: Mount Everest 8,848 m

      Natural resources the rapid using up of nonrenewable mineral resources, the depletion of forest areas and wetlands, the extinction of animal and plant species, and the deterioration in air and water quality (especially in Eastern Europe and the former USSR) pose serious long-term problems that governments and peoples are only beginning to address

      Land use
      arable land: 10%
      permanent crops: 1%
      permanent pastures: 26%
      forests and woodland: 32%
      other: 31% (1993 est.)

      Irrigated land 2,481,250 sq km (1993 est.)

      Natural hazards large areas subject to severe weather (tropical cyclones), natural disasters (earthquakes, landslides, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions)

      Environment - current issues large areas subject to overpopulation, industrial disasters, pollution (air, water, acid rain, toxic substances), loss of vegetation (overgrazing, deforestation, desertification), loss of wildlife, soil degradation, soil depletion, erosion

      Environment - international agreements selected international environmental agreements are included under the Environment - international agreements entry for each country and in the Selected International Environmental Agreements appendix

      NOTE: The information regarding World 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 World Geography 1998 information contained here. All suggestions for corrections of any errors about World Geography 1998 should be addressed to the CIA.

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