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Poland Geography Profile 2001

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Location

Central Europe, east of Germany

Geographic coordinates

52 00 N, 20 00 E

Map references

Europe

Area

total: 312,685 sq km

land: 304,465 sq km

water: 8,220 sq km

Area - comparative

slightly smaller than New Mexico

Land boundaries

total: 2,888 km

border countries: Belarus 605 km, Czech Republic 658 km, Germany 456 km, Lithuania 91 km, Russia (Kaliningrad Oblast) 206 km, Slovakia 444 km, Ukraine 428 km

Coastline

491 km

Maritime claims

exclusive economic zone: defined by international treaties

territorial sea: 12 NM

Climate

temperate with cold, cloudy, moderately severe winters with frequent precipitation; mild summers with frequent showers and thundershowers

Terrain

mostly flat plain; mountains along southern border

Elevation extremes

lowest point: Raczki Elblaskie -2 m

highest point: Rysy 2,499 m

Natural resources

coal, sulfur, copper, natural gas, silver, lead, salt, arable land

Land use

arable land: 47%

permanent crops: 1%

permanent pastures: 13%

forests and woodland: 29%

other: 10% (1993 est.)

Irrigated land

1,000 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards

NA

Environment - current issues

situation has improved since 1989 due to decline in heavy industry and increased environmental concern by postcommunist governments; air pollution nonetheless remains serious because of sulfur dioxide emissions from coal-fired power plants, and the resulting acid rain has caused forest damage; water pollution from industrial and municipal sources is also a problem, as is disposal of hazardous wastes

Environment - international agreements

party to: Air Pollution, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note

historically, an area of conflict because of flat terrain and the lack of natural barriers on the North European Plain


Source: CIA World Factbook
Unless otherwise noted, information in this page is accurate as of May 15, 2007


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