|Geography and Climate
Canada is located in Northern North America, bordering the North Atlantic Ocean and North Pacific Ocean, north of the conterminous US. Total area is 9,976,140 sq km, land: 9,220,970 sq km and water: 755,170 sq km. Area comparatively, slightly larger than US. Total land boundary is 8,893 km, border countries are US 8,893 km (includes 2,477 km with Alaska).
Canada has a climate that varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north. Terrain consists mostly of plains with mountains in west and lowlands in southeast. Elevation extreme has lowest point in Atlantic Ocean 0 m and highest point in Mount Logan 5,950 m.
Natural resources are 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 are 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
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 160 km of the US/Canada border.
Ref. Anonymous, 1999