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POLITICAL & PHYSICAL MAP OF EUROPE
Europe is a huge peninsula that extends westward from northwestern Asia. No body of water separates Europe and Asia completely, and so many geographers consider them to be one continent called Eurasia. Europe’s status as a continent sprung from the belief in ancient and medieval times that Europe was separated from Asia by mostly water. Cultural differences between Europeans and Asians reinforced the belief that Europe was a true continent.
The Atlantic Ocean forms the western boundary of Europe. The Ural Mountains, the Ural River, and the Caspian Sea form the eastern boundary of the continent. Europe extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Mediterranean Sea, the Black Sea, and the Caucasus Mountains in the south. Iceland, Great Britain, Ireland, and thousands of other smaller islands near Europe's coastline are usually included as part of the continent.
Land regions. Europe has four major land regions: (1) the Northwest Mountains, (2) the Central Uplands, (3) the Alpine Mountain System, and (4) the Great European Plain.
The Northwest Mountains region includes northwestern France, Ireland, the northern United Kingdom, Norway, Sweden, northern Finland, and the northwest corner of Russia. This region includes some of the oldest rock formations on Earth. The mountains have worn down over the years, so even the highest peak, Galdhopiggen in Norway, rises only 8,100 feet. The thin soil of the mountain slopes combined with cold climates makes for poor farming in the region. Consequently, most of the Northwest Mountains is sparsely populated.
The Central Uplands region includes low mountains and high plateaus that extend across central Europe. Elevations vary from about 1,000 to 6,000 feet (300 to 1,800 meters). Major features of the uplands include the Meseta, or central plateau, of Portugal and Spain; the Massif Central, or central highlands, in France; and the plateaus and low mountains of central Germany and most of the Czech Republic. Some of the Central Uplands have forests, but most of the land is rocky with poor soils for farming. River valleys provide the best farmland. Parts of the Central Uplands—especially in Germany and the Czech Republic—have rich deposits of minerals. The most densely populated areas of this region lie in parts of Germany and the Czech Republic.
The Alpine Mountain System consists of several mountain chains that run across southern Europe from Spain to the Caspian Sea. The Sierra Morena and Cantabrian Mountains lie in Spain, while the Pyrenees form a natural border between Spain and France. The world-famous Alps cover part of southeastern France and northern Italy, most of Switzerland, and part of southern Germany, Austria, and northern Slovenia. The Apennines run the length of Italy. Farther east, the Dinaric Alps stretch from Croatia to northern Greece, where they continue as the Pindus Mountains. The Carpathians curve from northern Slovakia through southern Poland, far western Ukraine, and Romania. The Balkan Mountains lie in northern Bulgaria, and the Rhodope Mountains run from southern Bulgaria to northern Greece. The Caucasus Mountains lie at the eastern end of the region between the Black Sea and Caspian Sea.
The Alpine Mountain System includes the highest mountains in Europe. The highest peak, Mount Elbrus in the Caucasus Mountains, rises 18,510 feet. Other high peaks include Mont Blanc in the French Alps and the Matterhorn in the Swiss Alps. Heavy forests cover many of the higher slopes in the region. Meadows above the timber line yield pastures for livestock. The lower mountain slopes and valleys provide the best farmland. Many parts of this region are popular vacation destinations.
The Great European Plain extends from southern France to the Ural Mountains in Russia and includes southeastern England. At its narrowest point, in Belgium, it is only about 50 miles wide. The plain widens through Germany and Poland. At its greatest width, in Russia, it extends from the Arctic Ocean to the Caucasus Mountains, a distance of more than 1,500 miles.
This region consists chiefly of flat and rolling land with some hills. Glaciers shaped the northerly and easterly sections, leaving an uneven ground surface marked by lakes and marshes, such as the Pripyat Marshes in southwestern Belarus and northwestern Ukraine. The region has an average elevation of about 600 feet above sea level in Russia, and less than 500 feet elsewhere.
The Great European Plain has some of the world's most fertile farmland. It also supports densely populated areas, especially in the western regions. But most of the Russian part is sparsely populated.
Rivers. Europe's many rivers serve as major industrial transportation routes. They also supply water to irrigate farmland and provide power to generate electric power.
WORLD AVERAGE TEMP. MAP
CLIMATE MAPS OF EUROPE
Europe has a variety of climates, but most of the continent has mild weather. The maps with this article provide information about temperatures and precipitation (rain, melted snow, and other forms of moisture).
Europe generally has milder weather than parts of Asia and North America at the same latitude. For example, Berlin, Germany; Calgary, Canada; and Irkutsk, in the Asian part of Russia, lie at about the same latitude. But January temperatures in Berlin average about 15 degrees F higher than those in Calgary, and they are almost 40 degrees F higher than the average temperatures in Irkutsk.
Europe's mild climate is caused by winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean. The winds are warmed by the Gulf Stream, a powerful ocean current that carries warm water from the Gulf of Mexico to the western coast of Europe. The winds affect most of the continent because no mountain barrier is large enough to block them and because much of Europe is located within 300 miles of the Atlantic Ocean.
The most spectacular effect of the Gulf Stream and the strong westerly winds on Europe occurs along the Norwegian coast. Much of Norway's coast lies in the Arctic region, most of which is covered with ice and snow in winter. But almost all of Norway's coast--even that part in the Arctic--remains free of ice and snow throughout the winter.
In general, northern Europe has longer, colder winters and shorter, cooler summers than southern Europe. In addition, winters are longer and colder, and summers shorter and hotter, in the east than in the west. Glasgow, Scotland, for example, has an average temperature of 38 degrees F in January. But Moscow, which lies at the same latitude, has an average January temperature of 14 degrees F.
AVERAGE ANNUAL RAINFALL MAP
Most of Europe receives from 20 to 60 inches of precipitation (RAIN) each year. The greatest annual precipitation--usually more than 80 inches occurs in areas just west of mountains. Such regions include parts of western Britain and western Norway. The continent's lightest annual precipitation--usually less than 20 inches--occurs in three general areas: (1) east of high mountains, (2) far inland from the Atlantic Ocean, and (3) along the Arctic coast. Such regions include central and southeastern Spain, northern Scandinavia, northern and southeastern parts of European Russia, and western Kazakhstan.
POPULATION DENSITY MAP OF EUROPE
Europe is one of the smallest of the world's seven continents in area but one of the largest in population. All of the continents except Australia have more land than Europe. But only Asia and Africa have more people. About one-tenth of the world's people live in Europe. Europe is more densely populated than all the other continents except Asia.
RESOURCES MAPS OF EUROPE
European countries have some of the world’s highest standards of living. Many countries in Europe use a common currency called the Euro.
Manufacturing. Leading industrial areas of Europe have traditionally included parts of France, Germany, northern Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, and the United Kingdom. Since the late 1900’s, major industrial areas have also developed in Ireland and in such central and eastern European countries as the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland, Russia, and Ukraine.
Europe leads the rest of the world in the production of certain goods, such as automobiles and automobile products. Many European automobile manufacturers, including Volkswagen in Germany and Volvo in Sweden, market their cars worldwide. Other industrial products made in Europe include aerospace equipment, cement, construction equipment, electronics and telecommunications equipment, motor vehicles, pharmaceuticals, rail transportation equipment, and textiles. Increased international competition, European countries have moved resources from formerly productive industries, such as steel and shipbuilding, to more rapidly growing industries, such as telecommunications and electronics.
Mining and energy. Although Europe imports most of its raw materials, many parts of the continent have large deposits of minerals and other resources. Coal fields exist in Germany, Poland, and Russia. Substantial iron ore deposits occur in both Russia and Ukraine. The chief petroleum producers are Norway, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Natural gas is taken from the Netherlands, Russia, and the United Kingdom. Many of the other mined products of Europe, including diamonds, nickel, platinum, potash, silver, and zinc, exist primarily in Russia.
Energy comes from many sources, including coal, natural gas, nuclear energy, oil, and renewable energy sources. Coal-burning power plants, hydropower (water power) facilities, and nuclear power plants rank as the chief sources of the continent’s electric power. Beginning in the late 1900’s, Europe invested in methods of generating energy from renewable sources. These projects have sought to harness the power of ocean tides, rivers, sunlight, and wind.
Agriculture. Europe has some of the world’s richest farmland. European farmers produce most of the food consumed within the continent. Much of the food imported into Europe comes from tropical countries, including such goods as cocoa, coffee, and tropical fruits.
The main European crops include grains—such as barley, oats, rye, and wheat—as well as corn, flax, potatoes, sugar beets, and tobacco. Most of the world’s olives come from farms in the Mediterranean areas of Europe. These farms also produce citrus fruits, dates, figs, and grapes.
Farmers in most of Europe raise cattle, hogs, sheep, and poultry for meat. Dairy farming is important in such countries as Denmark, Ireland, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom. Grazing lands exist throughout Europe. Some of the world’s best breeds of cattle and sheep originated in Europe.
Forestry and fishing. Northern Europe ranks among the most important areas in the world for forestry. Austria, Finland, Germany, Norway, and Sweden have vast forested areas that supply Europe with lumber, wood pulp, and paper. Pine and other softwoods account for most of the lumber consumed in Europe.
Fishing boats sail all the waters that border Europe. However, the most important fisheries lie in the North Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the Arctic Ocean. Norway, Spain, and Russia run the largest fishing fleets in Europe. The European Union created its Common Fisheries Policy to coordinate fishing efforts and attempt to manage overfishing, which has threatened the survival of many fish species. Such fish as hake and cod, once abundant in northern waters, have become severely threatened in those areas.
RAILWAY & ROAD MAP OF EUROPE
Transportation. Europe has highly developed transportation networks. Airlines, highways, railways, and waterways provide efficient systems for the movement of people and goods.
European airlines fly throughout the continent and the world. National airlines—including British Airways in the United Kingdom, Lufthansa in Germany, and Air France in France—receive financial support from government funds. The national airlines of Denmark, Norway, and Sweden combined to form Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
A well-developed network of highways and roads serves most of Europe. Ownership of automobiles is widespread. Trucks carry goods throughout the continent. Among the best-known European highways are the German four-lane superhighways known as autobahns.
Many long road tunnels enable traffic to flow easily through Europe’s mountains. The world’s longest tunnel, the Laerdal Tunnel, connects Oslo to Bergen in Norway. It runs 15.2 miles long. The St. Gotthard Road Tunnel, which cuts through the Alps in central Switzerland, is 10.5 miles long.
People and goods also travel on Europe’s highly developed train networks. European express trains—including the fast passenger trains called InterCity trains, which stop only at large stations—rank among the most efficient in the world. They can travel 150 miles per hour. European governments typically operate such train systems.
Europe has some of the world's longest railroad tunnels. The Channel Tunnel, or Chunnel, runs under the English Channel and connects the United Kingdom and France. The Chunnel, which is 31.1 miles (50 kilometers) long, carries passenger trains, freight trains, and shuttle trains for motor vehicles. The 21.5-mile Lötschberg Base Tunnel carries rail traffic through the Alps in Switzerland.
The rivers and canals of Europe provide a network for sending goods on barges and other ships. Major European waterways include the Danube, Moselle, Rhine and Volga rivers.
Europe handles more than half the world's international shipping. Some of the world's largest merchant fleets belong to European nations. Such countries as Greece, Norway, and the United Kingdom have huge fleets. Rotterdam ranks as Europe’s major port, taking in much of the goods from non-European countries. Other European ports include those in Barcelona, Spain; Copenhagen, Denmark; Gdansk, Poland; Hamburg, Germany; Helsinki, Finland; Le Havre, France; Lisbon, Portugal; London; Naples, Italy; Piraeus, Greece; Riga, Latvia; and Stockholm, Sweden.
MAP OF EUROPE, AFRICA, & THE MIDDLE EAST AT NIGHT
Source : http://daniellmiddle.typepad.com/files/geography-packet.doc
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