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Canada Geography 1996

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

    • Map references:
      North America

    • Area:

        total area:
        9,976,140 sq km

        land area:
        9,220,970 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly larger than US

    • Land boundaries:
      total 8,893 km, 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

        exclusive fishing zone:
        200 nm

        territorial sea:
        12 nm

    • International disputes:
      maritime boundary disputes with the US; Saint Pierre and Miquelon is focus of maritime boundary dispute between Canada and France

    • Climate:
      varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north

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

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

    • Land use:

        arable land:

        permanent crops:

        meadows and pastures:

        forest and woodland:


    • Irrigated land:
      8,400 sq km (1989 est.)

    • 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

        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 American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow

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

    • 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 in the region near the US/Canada border

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