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Geography

Location: Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific Ocean, north of the conterminous US

Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W

Map references: North America

Area: Total: 9,976,140 sq km

Land: 9,220,970 sq km

Water: 755,170 sq km

Area – comparative: slightly larger than US

Land boundaries: Total: 8,893 km Border countries: US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska)

Coastline: 243,791 km

Maritime claims: Continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin

Climate: varies from temperate in south to sub-arctic and arctic in north

Terrain: mostly plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast

Elevation extremes: Lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m Highest point: Mount Logan 5,950 m

Natural resources: nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, potash, silver, fish, timber, wildlife, coal, petroleum, natural gas

Land use: arable land: 5% permanent crops: 0% permanent pastures : 3% forests and woodland: 54% other: 38% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land: 7,100 sq km (1993 est.) Natural hazards: continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country’s rain and snow

Environment – current issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities

Environment – international agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution- Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Law of the Sea

Geography – note: second-largest country in world (after Russia); strategic location between Russia and US via north polar route; nearly 90% of the population is concentrated within 161 km of the US/Canada border.

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