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Switzerland


    • Location:
      Central Europe, east of France

    • Map references:
      Europe

    • Area:

        total area:
        41,290 sq km

        land area:
        39,770 sq km

        comparative area:
        slightly more than twice the size of New Jersey

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

    • Coastline:
      0 km (landlocked)

    • Maritime claims:
      none; landlocked

    • International disputes:
      none

    • 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

    • Natural resources:
      hydropower potential, timber, salt

    • Land use:

        arable land:
        10%

        permanent crops:
        1%

        meadows and pastures:
        40%

        forest and woodland:
        26%

        other:
        23%

    • Irrigated land:
      250 sq km (1989)

    • 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

        natural hazards:
        avalanches, landslides, flash floods

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

    • Note:
      landlocked; crossroads of northern and southern Europe; along with southeastern France and northern Italy, contains the highest elevations in Europe






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