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Back to Mongolia

 

Mongolia's Geography and Climate

 


For the most part, Mongolia consists of a plateau that is broken up by mountain ranges.  The plateau ranges from 900 to 1,500 meters in height (3,000 - 5,000 ft), while the Altay Mountains, found in southwest Mongolia reach above 4,000 meters.  In central and southeast Mongolia, the Gobi Desert can be found.

Mongolia's forests are filled with pine, larch and cedar trees, which can be found in the mountains.  Other natural resources to be found are minerals such as copper, iron, fluorspar, gold, silver, uranium, coal and iron.

 

Mongolia has an extreme climate with temperatures varying greatly with the seasons.  In the summer, the temperature ranges from 10 - 20 degrees C (50 - 80 degrees F); while in the winter the highs tend to be about -21 degrees C, with lows of -30 degrees C (-5 to -22 degrees F).  The summers in Mongolia tend to have about 15 inches of rain (380 mm), excluding the desert, while the winters are typically without precipitation.


Location:
Northern Asia, between China and Russia
Geographic coordinates:
46 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:
Asia
Area:
total: 1,564,116 sq km
country comparison to the world: 19
land: 1,553,556 sq km
water: 10,560 sq km
Area - comparative:
slightly smaller than Alaska
Land boundaries:
total: 8,220 km
border countries: China 4,677 km, Russia 3,543 km
Coastline:
0 km (landlocked)
Maritime claims:
none (landlocked)
Climate:
Current Weather
desert; continental (large daily and seasonal temperature ranges)
Terrain:
vast semidesert and desert plains, grassy steppe, mountains in west and southwest; Gobi Desert in south-central
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Hoh Nuur 560 m
highest point: Nayramadlin Orgil (Huyten Orgil) 4,374 m
Natural resources:
oil, coal, copper, molybdenum, tungsten, phosphates, tin, nickel, zinc, fluorspar, gold, silver, iron
Land use:
arable land: 0.76%
permanent crops: 0%
other: 99.24% (2005)
Irrigated land:
840 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
34.8 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
total: 0.44 cu km/yr (20%/27%/52%)
per capita: 166 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
dust storms; grassland and forest fires; drought; "zud," which is harsh winter conditions
Environment - current issues:
limited natural fresh water resources in some areas; the policies of former Communist regimes promoted rapid urbanization and industrial growth that had negative effects on the environment; the burning of soft coal in power plants and the lack of enforcement of environmental laws severely polluted the air in Ulaanbaatar; deforestation, overgrazing, and the converting of virgin land to agricultural production increased soil erosion from wind and rain; desertification and mining activities had a deleterious effect on the environment
Environment - international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
landlocked; strategic location between China and Russia

 


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