Climate of Italy
Italy has a variety of climate systems. The inland northern areas of Italy have a cool, mid-latitude version of the Humid subtropical climate, while the coastal areas of Liguria and the peninsula south of Florence fit the Mediterranean climate profile. Between the north and south there can be a considerable difference in temperature, above all during the winter: in some winter days it can be −2 °C and snowing in Milan, while it is 8 °C in Rome and 20 °C in Palermo. Temperature differences are less extreme in the summer; the east coast of the Italian peninsula is not as wet as the west coast, but is colder in the winter. The east coast north of Pescara is affected by the cold bora winds in winter and spring, but the wind is less strong here than around Trieste. During these frosty spells from E–NE cities like Rimini, Ancona and the entire eastern hillside of the Apennines can be affected by true "blizzards"; the town of Fabriano, located just around 300 m in elevation, can see 0.5–0.6 m of fresh snow fall in 24 hours during these episodes.
On the coast from Ravenna to Venice and Trieste, snow falls more rarely: during cold spells from the east, the cold can be harsh but with bright skies. The city of Trieste may see snow blizzards with north-eastern winds. Summer is more stable, although the northern regions have thunderstorms in the afternoon/night hours and some grey and rainy days. So, while south of Florence the summer is dry and sunny, in the north it tends to be more humid and cloudy. Spring and Autumn weather can be changeable, with sunny and warm weeks broken off by cold spells or followed by rainy and cloudy weeks. In the north, precipitation is more evenly distributed during the year, although the summer is slightly wetter. Between November and March the Po valley is covered by fog in the central zone, while the number of days with lows below 0 °C is from 60 to 90 a year, with peaks of 100–110 days in the rural zones. Snow is quite common between early December and early March in cities like Turin and Bologna, but sometime it appears in late November or late March and April.
In the winter of 2005–2006, Milan received around 0.75–0.8 m or 75–80 cm of fresh snow, Como around 1 m or 100 cm, Brescia 0.5 m or 50 cm, Trento 1.6 m or 160 cm, Vicenza around 0.45 m or 45 cm, Bologna around 0.3 m or 30 cm, Piacenza around 0.8 m or 80 cm Summer temperatures are similar north to south. July temperatures are 22–24 °C north of river Po, like in Milan or Venice, south of river Po can reach 24–25 °C like in Bologna, with fewer thunderstorms; the hottest month is August in the south and July in the north. The coldest month is January: the Po valley's mean temperature is between −1–1 °C, Venice 2–3 °C, Trieste 4 °C, Florence 5–6 °C, Rome 7–8 °C, Naples 9 °C, Cagliari 12 °C. Winter morning lows can reach −30 to −20 °C in the Alps, −14 to −8 °C in the Po valley, −7 °C in Florence, −4 °C in Rome, −2 °C in Naples and 2 °C in Palermo. In cities like Rome and Milan, strong heat islands can exist, so that inside the urban area, winters can be milder and summers more sultry. On some winter mornings it can be just −3 °C in Milan's Dome plaza while −8 to −9 °C in the metropolitan outskirts, in Turin can be just −5 °C in the city centre and −10 to −12 °C in the metropolitan outskirts.
The largest snowfalls happen in February, sometime in January or March. Both the mountain chains can see up to 5–10 m or 500–1,000 cm of snow in a year at 2,000 m; the record low is −45 °C in the Alps, −29.0 °C near sea level, while in the south cities like Cat
Denmark the Kingdom of Denmark, is a Nordic country and the southernmost of the Scandinavian nations. Denmark lies southwest of Sweden and south of Norway, is bordered to the south by Germany; the Kingdom of Denmark comprises two autonomous constituent countries in the North Atlantic Ocean: the Faroe Islands and Greenland. Denmark proper consists of a peninsula, an archipelago of 443 named islands, with the largest being Zealand and the North Jutlandic Island; the islands are characterised by flat, arable land and sandy coasts, low elevation and a temperate climate. Denmark has a total area of 42,924 km2, land area of 42,394 km2, the total area including Greenland and the Faroe Islands is 2,210,579 km2, a population of 5.8 million. The unified kingdom of Denmark emerged in the 10th century as a proficient seafaring nation in the struggle for control of the Baltic Sea. Denmark and Norway were ruled together under one sovereign ruler in the Kalmar Union, established in 1397 and ending with Swedish secession in 1523.
The areas of Denmark and Norway remained under the same monarch until Denmark -- Norway. Beginning in the 17th century, there were several devastating wars with the Swedish Empire, ending with large cessions of territory to Sweden. After the Napoleonic Wars, Norway was ceded to Sweden, while Denmark kept the Faroe Islands and Iceland. In the 19th century there was a surge of nationalist movements, which were defeated in the 1864 Second Schleswig War. Denmark remained neutral during World War I. In April 1940, a German invasion saw brief military skirmishes while the Danish resistance movement was active from 1943 until the German surrender in May 1945. An industrialised exporter of agricultural produce in the second half of the 19th century, Denmark introduced social and labour-market reforms in the early 20th century that created the basis for the present welfare state model with a developed mixed economy; the Constitution of Denmark was signed on 5 June 1849, ending the absolute monarchy, which had begun in 1660.
It establishes a constitutional monarchy organised as a parliamentary democracy. The government and national parliament are seated in Copenhagen, the nation's capital, largest city, main commercial centre. Denmark exercises hegemonic influence in the Danish Realm, devolving powers to handle internal affairs. Home rule was established in the Faroe Islands in 1948. Denmark negotiated certain opt-outs, it is among the founding members of NATO, the Nordic Council, the OECD, OSCE, the United Nations. Denmark is considered to be one of the most economically and developed countries in the world. Danes enjoy a high standard of living and the country ranks in some metrics of national performance, including education, health care, protection of civil liberties, democratic governance and human development; the country ranks as having the world's highest social mobility, a high level of income equality, is among the countries with the lowest perceived levels of corruption in the world, the eleventh-most developed in the world, has one of the world's highest per capita incomes, one of the world's highest personal income tax rates.
The etymology of the word Denmark, the relationship between Danes and Denmark and the unifying of Denmark as one kingdom, is a subject which attracts debate. This is centered on the prefix "Dan" and whether it refers to the Dani or a historical person Dan and the exact meaning of the -"mark" ending. Most handbooks derive the first part of the word, the name of the people, from a word meaning "flat land", related to German Tenne "threshing floor", English den "cave"; the -mark is believed to mean woodland or borderland, with probable references to the border forests in south Schleswig. The first recorded use of the word Danmark within Denmark itself is found on the two Jelling stones, which are runestones believed to have been erected by Gorm the Old and Harald Bluetooth; the larger stone of the two is popularly cited as Denmark's "baptismal certificate", though both use the word "Denmark", in the form of accusative ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚢᚱᚴ tanmaurk on the large stone, genitive ᛏᛅᚾᛘᛅᚱᚴᛅᚱ "tanmarkar" on the small stone.
The inhabitants of Denmark are there called "Danes", in the accusative. The earliest archaeological findings in Denmark date back to the Eem interglacial period from 130,000–110,000 BC. Denmark has been inhabited since around 12,500 BC and agriculture has been evident since 3900 BC; the Nordic Bronze Age in Denmark was marked by burial mounds, which left an abundance of findings including lurs and the Sun Chariot. During the Pre-Roman Iron Age, native groups began migrating south, the first tribal Danes came to the country between the Pre-Roman and the Germanic Iron Age, in the Roman Iron Age; the Roman provinces maintained trade routes and relations with native tribes in Denmark, Roman coins have been found in Denmark. Evidence of strong Celtic cultural influence dates from this period in Denmark and much of North-West Europe and is among other things reflected in the finding of the Gundestrup cauldron; the tribal Danes came from the east Danish islands and Scania and spoke an early form of North Germanic.
Historians believe that before their arrival, most of Jutland and the nearest islands were settled by tribal J
Monaco the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides. Monaco has an area of 2.020 km2, making it the second-smallest country in the world after the Vatican. Its population was about 38,400 based on the last census of 2016. With 19,009 inhabitants per km², it is the most densely-populated sovereign state in the world. Monaco has a land border of 5.47 km, a coastline of 3.83 km, a width that varies between 1,700 and 349 m. The highest point in the country is a narrow pathway named Chemin des Révoires on the slopes of Mont Agel, in the Les Révoires Ward, 161 metres above sea level. Monaco's most populous Quartier is Monte Carlo and the most populous Ward is Larvotto/Bas Moulins. Through land reclamation, Monaco's land mass has expanded by 20 percent. Monaco is known as a playground for the famous, due to its tax laws. In 2014, it was noted. Monaco is a principality governed under a form of constitutional monarchy, with Prince Albert II as head of state.
Although Prince Albert II is a constitutional monarch, he wields immense political power. The House of Grimaldi has ruled Monaco, with brief interruptions, since 1297; the official language is French, but Monégasque and English are spoken and understood. The state's sovereignty was recognized by the Franco-Monegasque Treaty of 1861, with Monaco becoming a full United Nations voting member in 1993. Despite Monaco's independence and separate foreign policy, its defense is the responsibility of France. However, Monaco does maintain two small military units. Economic development was spurred in the late 19th century with the opening of the country's first casino, Monte Carlo, a railway connection to Paris. Since Monaco's mild climate and gambling facilities have contributed to the principality's status as a tourist destination and recreation centre for the rich. In more recent years, Monaco has become a major banking centre and has sought to diversify its economy into the services sector and small, high-value-added, non-polluting industries.
The state has no income tax, low business taxes, is well known for being a tax haven. It is the host of the annual street circuit motor race Monaco Grand Prix, one of the original Grands Prix of Formula One; the principality has a club football team. Monaco is not formally a part of the European Union, but it participates in certain EU policies, including customs and border controls. Through its relationship with France, Monaco uses the euro as its sole currency. Monaco joined the Council of Europe in 2004, it is a member of the Organisation Internationale de la Francophonie. Monaco's name comes from the nearby 6th-century BC Phocaean Greek colony. Referred to by the Ligurians as Monoikos, from the Greek "μόνοικος", "single house", from "μόνος" "alone, single" + "οἶκος" "house", which bears the sense of a people either settled in a "single habitation" or of "living apart" from others. According to an ancient myth, Hercules passed through the Monaco area and turned away the previous gods; as a result, a temple was constructed there, the temple of Hercules Monoikos.
Because the only temple of this area was the "House" of Hercules, the city was called Monoikos. It ended up in the hands of the Holy Roman Empire. An ousted branch of a Genoese family, the Grimaldi, contested it for a hundred years before gaining control. Though the Republic of Genoa would last until the 19th century, they allowed the Grimaldi family to keep Monaco, both France and Spain left it alone for hundreds of years. France did not annex it until the French Revolution, but after the defeat of Napoleon it was put under the care of the Kingdom of Sardinia. In the 19th century, when Sardinia became a part of Italy, the region came under French influence again but France allowed it to remain independent. Like France, Monaco was overrun by the Axis powers during the Second World War and for a short time was administered by Italy the Third Reich, before being liberated. Although the occupation lasted for just a short time, it meant the deportation of the Jewish population and execution of several resistance members from Monaco.
Since Monaco has been independent. It has taken some steps towards integration with the European Union. Following a land grant from Emperor Henry VI in 1191, Monaco was refounded in 1215 as a colony of Genoa. Monaco was first ruled by a member of the House of Grimaldi in 1297, when Francesco Grimaldi, known as "Il Malizia", his men captured the fortress protecting the Rock of Monaco while dressed as Franciscan monks—a monaco in Italian, although this is a coincidence as the area was known by this name. Francesco, was evicted only a few years afterwards by the Genoese forces, the struggle over "the Rock" continued for another century; the Grimaldi family was Genoese and the struggle was something of a family feud. However, the Genoese became engaged in other conflicts, in the late 1300s Genoa became involved in a conflict with the Crown of Aragon over Corsica; the Crown of Aragon became a part of Spain through marriage and other parts drifted into various pieces of other
Gibraltar is a British Overseas Territory located at the southern tip of the Iberian Peninsula. It is bordered to the north by Spain; the landscape is dominated by the Rock of Gibraltar at the foot of, a densely populated town area, home to over 30,000 people Gibraltarians. In 1704, Anglo-Dutch forces captured Gibraltar from Spain during the War of the Spanish Succession on behalf of the Habsburg claim to the Spanish throne; the territory was ceded to Great Britain in perpetuity under the Treaty of Utrecht in 1713. During World War II it was an important base for the Royal Navy as it controlled the entrance and exit to the Mediterranean Sea, the Strait of Gibraltar, only 8 miles wide at this naval choke point, it remains strategically important. Today Gibraltar's economy is based on tourism, online gambling, financial services and cargo ship refuelling; the sovereignty of Gibraltar is a point of contention in Anglo-Spanish relations because Spain asserts a claim to the territory. Gibraltarians rejected proposals for Spanish sovereignty in a 1967 referendum and, in a 2002 referendum, the idea of shared sovereignty was rejected.
Evidence of Neanderthal habitation in Gibraltar from around 50,000 years ago has been discovered at Gorham's Cave. The caves of Gibraltar continued to be used by Homo sapiens after the final extinction of the Neanderthals. Stone tools, ancient hearths and animal bones dating from around 40,000 years ago to about 5,000 years ago have been found in deposits left in Gorham's Cave. Numerous potsherds dating from the Neolithic period have been found in Gibraltar's caves of types typical of the Almerian culture found elsewhere in Andalusia around the town of Almería, from which it takes its name. There is little evidence of habitation in the Bronze Age, when people had stopped living in caves. During ancient times, Gibraltar was regarded by the peoples of the Mediterranean as a place of religious and symbolic importance; the Phoenicians were present for several centuries since around 950 BC using Gorham's Cave as a shrine to the genius loci, as did the Carthaginians and Romans after them. Gibraltar was known as Mons Calpe, a name of Phoenician origin.
Mons Calpe was considered by the ancient Greeks and Romans as one of the Pillars of Hercules, after the Greek legend of the creation of the Strait of Gibraltar by Heracles. There is no known archaeological evidence of permanent settlements from the ancient period, they settled at the head of the bay in. The town of Carteia, near the location of the modern Spanish town of San Roque, was founded by the Phoenicians around 950 BC on the site of an early settlement of the native Turdetani people. After the collapse of the Western Roman Empire, Gibraltar came under the control of the Vandals, who crossed into Africa at the invitation of Boniface, the Count of the territory; the area formed part of the Visigothic Kingdom of Hispania for 300 years, from 414 until 711 AD. Following a raid in 710, a predominantly Berber army under the command of Tariq ibn Ziyad crossed from North Africa in April 711 and landed somewhere in the vicinity of Gibraltar. Tariq's expedition led to the Islamic conquest of most of the Iberian peninsula.
Mons Calpe was renamed the Mount of Tariq, subsequently corrupted into Gibraltar. In 1160 the Almohad Sultan Abd al-Mu'min ordered that a permanent settlement, including a castle, be built, it received the name of Medinat al-Fath. The Tower of Homage of the Moorish Castle remains standing today. From 1274 onwards, the town was fought over and captured by the Nasrids of Granada, the Marinids of Morocco and the kings of Castile. In 1462 Gibraltar was captured by 1st Duke of Medina Sidonia. After the conquest, Henry IV of Castile assumed the additional title of King of Gibraltar, establishing it as part of the comarca of the Campo Llano de Gibraltar. Six years Gibraltar was restored to the Duke of Medina Sidonia, who sold it in 1474 to a group of 4350 conversos from Cordova and Seville and in exchange for maintaining the garrison of the town for two years, after which time they were expelled, returning to their home towns or moving on to other parts of Spain. In 1501 Gibraltar passed back to the Spanish Crown, Isabella I of Castile issued a Royal Warrant granting Gibraltar the coat of arms that it still uses.
In 1704, during the War of the Spanish Succession, a combined Anglo-Dutch fleet, representing the Grand Alliance, captured the town of Gibraltar on behalf of the Archduke Charles of Austria in his campaign to become King of Spain. Subsequently most of the population left the town with many settling nearby; as the Alliance's campaign faltered, the 1713 Treaty of Utrecht was negotiated, which ceded control of Gibraltar to Britain to secure Britain's withdrawal from the war. Unsuccessful attempts by Spanish monarchs to regain Gibraltar were made with the siege of 1727 and again with the Great Siege of Gibraltar, during the American War of Independence. Gibraltar became a key base for the Royal Navy and played an important role prior to the Battle of Trafalgar and during the Crimean War of 1854–56, because of its strategic location. In the 18th century, the peacetime military garrison fluctuated in numbers from a minimum of 1,100 to a maximum of 5,000; the first half of the 19th century saw a significant increase of population to more t
Winter is the coldest season of the year in polar and temperate zones. It occurs before spring in each year. Winter is caused by the axis of the Earth. Different cultures define different dates as the start of winter, some use a definition based on weather; when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, it is summer in the Southern Hemisphere, vice versa. In many regions, winter is associated with freezing temperatures; the moment of winter solstice is when the Sun's elevation with respect to the North or South Pole is at its most negative value. The day on which this occurs has the shortest day and the longest night, with day length increasing and night length decreasing as the season progresses after the solstice; the earliest sunset and latest sunrise dates outside the polar regions differ from the date of the winter solstice and these depend on latitude, due to the variation in the solar day throughout the year caused by the Earth's elliptical orbit. The English word "winter" comes from the Proto-Indo-European root "wend," relating to water.
The tilt of the Earth's axis relative to its orbital plane plays a large role in the formation of weather. The Earth is tilted at an angle of 23.44° to the plane of its orbit, causing different latitudes to directly face the Sun as the Earth moves through its orbit. This variation brings about seasons; when it is winter in the Northern Hemisphere, the Southern Hemisphere faces the Sun more directly and thus experiences warmer temperatures than the Northern Hemisphere. Conversely, winter in the Southern Hemisphere occurs when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted more toward the Sun. From the perspective of an observer on the Earth, the winter Sun has a lower maximum altitude in the sky than the summer Sun. During winter in either hemisphere, the lower altitude of the Sun causes the sunlight to hit the Earth at an oblique angle, thus a lower amount of solar radiation strikes the Earth per unit of surface area. Furthermore, the light must travel a longer distance through the atmosphere, allowing the atmosphere to dissipate more heat.
Compared with these effects, the effect of the changes in the distance of the Earth from the Sun is negligible. The manifestation of the meteorological winter in the northerly snow–prone latitudes is variable depending on elevation, position versus marine winds and the amount of precipitation. For instance, within Canada, Winnipeg on the Great Plains, a long way from the ocean, has a January high of −11.3 °C and a low of −21.4 °C. In comparison, Vancouver on the west coast with a marine influence from moderating Pacific winds has a January low of 1.4 °C with days well above freezing at 6.9 °C. Both places are at 49°N latitude, in the same western half of the continent. A similar but less extreme effect is found in Europe: in spite of their northerly latitude, the British Isles have not a single non-mountain weather station with a below-freezing mean January temperature. Meteorological reckoning is the method of measuring the winter season used by meteorologists based on "sensible weather patterns" for record keeping purposes, so the start of meteorological winter varies with latitude.
Winter is defined by meteorologists to be the three calendar months with the lowest average temperatures. This corresponds to the months of December and February in the Northern Hemisphere, June and August in the Southern Hemisphere; the coldest average temperatures of the season are experienced in January or February in the Northern Hemisphere and in June, July or August in the Southern Hemisphere. Nighttime predominates in the winter season, in some regions winter has the highest rate of precipitation as well as prolonged dampness because of permanent snow cover or high precipitation rates coupled with low temperatures, precluding evaporation. Blizzards develop and cause many transportation delays. Diamond dust known as ice needles or ice crystals, forms at temperatures approaching −40 °C due to air with higher moisture from above mixing with colder, surface-based air, they are made of simple hexagonal ice crystals. The Swedish meteorological institute defines winter as when the daily mean temperatures are below 0 °C for five consecutive days.
According to the SMHI, winter in Scandinavia is more pronounced when Atlantic low-pressure systems take more southerly and northerly routes, leaving the path open for high-pressure systems to come in and cold temperatures to occur. As a result, the coldest January on record in Stockholm, in 1987, was the sunniest. Accumulations of snow and ice are associated with winter in the Northern Hemisphere, due to the large land masses there. In the Southern Hemisphere, the more maritime climate and the relative lack of land south of 40°S makes the winters milder. In this region, snow occurs every year in elevated regions such as the Andes, the Great Dividing Range in Australia, the mountains of New Zealand, occurs in the southerly Patagonia region of South Argentina. Snow occurs year-round in Antarctica. In the Northern Hemisphere, some authorities define the period of winter based on astronomical fixed points, regardless of weather conditions. In one version of this definition, winter begins at the winter solstice and ends at the ver
Prevailing winds are winds that blow predominantly from an individual direction over a particular point on the Earth's surface. The dominant winds are the trends in direction of wind with the highest speed over a particular point on the Earth's surface. A region's prevailing and dominant winds are enacted by global patterns of movement in the Earth's atmosphere. In general, easterly flow occurs at low and medium latitudes globally. In the mid-latitudes, westerly winds are the rule and their strength is determined by the polar cyclone. In areas where winds tend to be light, the sea breeze/land breeze cycle is the most important to the prevailing wind. Elevated surfaces can induce a thermal low, which augments the environmental wind flow. Wind roses are tools used to determine the direction of the prevailing wind. Knowledge of the prevailing wind allows the development of prevention strategies for wind erosion of agricultural land, such as across the Great Plains. Sand dunes can orient themselves perpendicular to the prevailing wind regime within coastal and desert locations.
Insects drift along with the prevailing wind. Prevailing winds in mountain locations can lead to significant rainfall gradients within the topography, ranging from wet across windward-facing slopes to desert-like conditions along their lee slopes. Prevailing winds can have differences due to the uneven heating of the Earth. A wind rose is a graphic tool used by meteorologists to give a succinct view of how wind speed and direction are distributed at a particular location. Presented in a polar coordinate grid, the wind rose shows the frequency of winds blowing from particular directions; the length of each spoke around the circle is related to the frequency that the wind blows from a particular direction per unit time. Each concentric circle represents a different frequency, emanating from zero at the center to increasing frequencies at the outer circles. A wind rose plot may contain additional information, in that each spoke is broken down into color-coded bands that show wind direction ranges.
Wind roses use 8 or 16 cardinal directions, such as north, NNE, NE, etc. although they may be subdivided into as many as 32 directions. The trade winds are the prevailing pattern of easterly surface winds found in the tropics near the Earth's equator, equatorward of the subtropical ridge; these winds blow predominantly from the northeast in the Northern Hemisphere and from the southeast in the Southern Hemisphere. The trade winds act as the steering flow for tropical cyclones that form over world's oceans, guiding their path westward. Trade winds steer African dust westward across the Atlantic Ocean into the Caribbean sea, as well as portions of southeast North America; the westerlies or the prevailing westerlies are the prevailing winds in the middle latitudes, which blow in areas poleward of the high pressure area known as the subtropical ridge in the horse latitudes. These prevailing winds blow from the west to the east, steer extra-tropical cyclones in this general manner; the winds are predominantly from the southwest in the Northern Hemisphere and from the northwest in the Southern Hemisphere.
They are strongest in the winter when the pressure is lower over the poles, such as when the polar cyclone is strongest, weakest during the summer when the polar cyclone is weakest and when pressures are higher over the poles. Together with the trade winds, the westerlies enabled a round-trip trade route for sailing ships crossing the Atlantic and Pacific oceans, as the westerlies lead to the development of strong ocean currents in both hemispheres; the westerlies can be strong in the southern hemisphere, where there is less land in the middle latitudes to cause the flow pattern to amplify, which slows the winds down. The strongest westerly winds in the middle latitudes are called the Roaring Forties, between 40 and 50 degrees south latitude, within the Southern Hemisphere; the westerlies play an important role in carrying the warm, equatorial waters and winds to the western coasts of continents in the southern hemisphere because of its vast oceanic expanse. The westerlies explain why coastal North America tends to be wet from Northern California to Alaska, during the winter.
Differential heating from the sun between the land, quite cool and the ocean, warm causes areas of low pressure to develop over land. This results in moisture rich air from the Pacific Ocean to flow from the west, resulting in frequent rainstorms and wind on the coast; this moisture continues to flow eastward until orographic lift caused by the Coast, Cascade and Rocky Mountains cause a rain shadow effect which limits further penetration of these systems and associated rainfall eastward. This trend reverses in the summer when strong heating of the land causes high pressure and tends to block moisture-rich air from the Pacific from reaching land; this explains why most of coastal North America in the middle latitudes experiences dry summers, despite abundant rainfall in the winter. The polar easterlies are the dry, cold prevailing winds that blow from the high-pressure areas of the polar highs at the North and South Poles towards the low-pressure areas within the westerlies at high latitudes.
Like trade winds and unlike the westerlies, these prevailing winds blow from the east to the west, are weak and irregular. Due to the low sun angle, cold air builds up and subsides at the pole creating surface high-pressure areas, forcing an outflow of air toward the e
Geography of Belgium
Belgium is a federal state located in Western Europe, bordering the North Sea. Belgium shares borders with France, Germany and the Netherlands. Belgium comprises the regions of Flanders and Brussels. Total renewable water resources: 18.3 cu km Freshwater withdrawal: total: 6.22 cu km/yr per capita: 589.8 cu m/yr Natural hazards: flooding is a threat in areas of reclaimed coastal land, protected from the sea by concrete dikes Geography - note: crossroads of Western Europe. By provinces, the area is distributed as such: Luxembourg: 4,440 km² Liège: 3,862 km² Hainaut: 3,786 km² Namur: 3,666 km² West Flanders: 3,144 km² East Flanders: 2,982 km² Antwerp: 2,867 km² Limburg: 2,422 km² Flemish Brabant: 2,106 km² Walloon Brabant: 1,091 km²To get the total area of Belgium, the surface of the Brussels-Capital Region should be added to the list, since Brussels is not in any Belgian province anymore since the province of Brabant has been split. Belgium has 3,462 square kilometers of sea territories in the North Sea.
On 29 May 2000, 2,000 square meters were granted by the Netherlands to Belgium. Compared to other countries, Belgium is 44% larger than Wales in the United Kingdom and about the size of Maryland in the United States. Belgium is used as an unusual unit of measurement in comparing country sizes. In November 2016, Belgium and the Netherlands agreed to cede small, uninhabited parcels of land to reflect a change in course of the river Meuse; the land swap is to take effect as of 2018. Belgium has three main geographical regions: the coastal plain in the north-west, the central plateau, the Ardennes uplands in the south-east; the coastal plain consists of sand dunes and polders. Polders are areas of land, close to or below sea level that have been reclaimed from the sea, from which they are protected by dikes or, further inland, by fields that have been drained with canals; the second geographical region, the central plateau, lies further inland. This is a smooth rising area that has many fertile valleys and is irrigated by many waterways.
Here one can find rougher land, including caves and small gorges. The third geographical region, called the Ardennes, is more rugged than the first two, it is a thickly forested plateau rocky and not good for farming, which extends into northern France and in Germany where it is named Eifel. This is. Belgium's highest point, the Signal de Botrange is located in this region at only 694 metres. Belgium has few natural lakes and none of any great size. Notable natural regions include the Ardennes and High Fens. All of Belgium is drained into the North Sea, except the municipality of Momignies, drained by the Oise river into the English Channel. Three major rivers flow into the sea: the Meuse and the Yser. Other rivers are the Rupel, Sambre, Ourthe and Dijle; the main lakes include the Lake Genval, Lake Bütgenbach, Lake Eau d'Heure, Lake Gileppe, Lake Eupen and Lake Robertville. Belgium has many artificial waterways or canals, among others the Brussels–Scheldt Maritime Canal, the Brussels–Charleroi Canal, the Canal du Centre and the Albert Canal.
The Belgian climate, like most of northwest Europe, is maritime temperate, with significant precipitation in all seasons. Belgium has cool winters but temperatures as low as -16 °C have been registered and summers are comfortably warm but temperatures can rise as high as 30 °C. Belgium's highest point is the Signal de Botrange at 694 metres above the sea level. Other hills in Belgium include the Kemmelberg and the Koppenberg both known as part of the route of the cycle races Gent–Wevelgem and the Tour of Flanders respectively; this is a list of the extreme points of Belgium, the points that are farther north, east, high or low than any other location. Northernmost point — Dreef, municipality of Hoogstraten, Antwerp Southernmost point — Torgny, municipality of Rouvroy, Luxembourg Westernmost point — De Panne, West Flanders Easternmost point — Krewinkel, municipality of Büllingen, Liège Highest point — Signal de Botrange Lowest point — De Moeren The Belgian National Geographic Institute calculated that the central point of Belgium lies at coordinates 50°38′28″N 4°40′05″E, in Nil-Saint-Vincent-Saint-Martin in the municipality of Walhain.
Natural resources in Belgium include silica sand and carbonates. Belgium used to have coal mines; as of 2012, the land use was as follows: Arable land: 26.49% Permanent crops: 0.79% Other: 72.72%As of 2007, the estimated area of irrigated land was of 233.5 km². Because of its high population density and location in the center of Western Europe, Belgium faces serious environmental problems. A 2003 report suggested that the water in Belgium's rivers was of the lowest quality in Europe, bottom of the 122 countries studied; the environment is exposed to intens