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    Poland Geography 2000

      Location: Central Europe, east of Germany

      Geographic coordinates: 52 00 N, 20 00 E

      Map references: Europe

      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 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

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    Revised 01-Nov-00
    Copyright © 2000 Photius Coutsoukis (all rights reserved)