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Geography of Albania

Albania is a small country in Southern and Southeastern Europe strategically positioned on the Adriatic and Ionian Sea inside the Mediterranean Sea, with a coastline of about 476 km. It is bounded by Montenegro to the northwest, Kosovo to the northeast, North Macedonia to the east and Greece to the southeast and south. Most of Albania rises into mountains and hills, tending to run the length of the country from north to south, as for instance the Albanian Alps in the north, the Sharr Mountains in the northeast, the Skanderbeg Mountains in the center, the Korab Mountains in the east, the Pindus Mountains in the southeast, the Ceraunian Mountains in the southwest. Plains and plateaus extend in the west along the Albanian Ionian Sea Coast. Few of the most considerable and oldest bodies of freshwater of Europe occur in Albania; the second largest lake of Southern Europe, the Lake of Shkodër, is located in the northwest surrounded by the Albanian Alps and the Adriatic Sea. One of the oldest continuously existing lakes in the world, the Lake of Ohrid, straddles in the southeast, while the highest tectonic lakes of the Balkan Peninsula, the Large and Small Lake of Prespa are well hidden among high mountains in the southeast.

Rivers originate in loops towards the west into the sea. They are encompassed by the drainage basins of the Adriatic and Black Sea; the longest river in the country, measured from its mouth to its source, is the Drin that starts at the confluence of its two headwaters, the Black and White Drin, though notable is the Vjosë, one of the last intact large river systems in Europe. For a small country, Albania is characterised for its biological diversity and abundance of contrasting ecosystems and habitats, defined in an area of 28,748 square kilometres; this great diversity derives from Albania's geographic location on the Mediterranean Sea, with typical climatic conditions, varied topography, as well as the wealth of terrestrial and marine ecosystems providing a variety of habitats, each with its own typical flora and fauna. There are 799 Albanian protected areas covering a surface of 5,216.96 square kilometres. These include 2 strict nature reserves, 14 national parks, 1 marine park, 8 archaeological parks, 750 natural monuments, 22 habitat/species management areas, 5 protected landscapes, 4 protected landscapes, 4 managed resources areas and 4 ramsar wetlands.

The national parks cover a surface area of 210,668.48 hectares or 13.65% of the overall territory. A total surface area of 28.748 square kilometres, the country is located in the southeastern part of the Adriatic and the northeastern part of the Ionian Sea, both located within the Mediterranean Sea. It has a length of borders of about 1,094 kilometres, 657 kilometres of which are taken by terrestrial borders, 316 kilometres of shore borders, 48 kilometres river borders and 73 kilometres of lake borders. Inland water surface is 1,350 square kilometres, composed by natural lakes 325 square kilometres, coastal lagoons 130 square kilometres, artificial lakes 174 square kilometres and rivers 721 kilometres; the countries of Montenegro and Kosovo border the country in the northeast, respectively. A significant portion of this border connects high points and follows mountain ridges through the inaccessible Albanian Alps; the eastern border is shared with North Macedonia. This border is located at the tripoint between Albania and North Macedonia passing through the Sharr and Korab Mountains and continues until it reaches Lake Ohrid and Lake Prespa.

The southern and southeastern border with Greece is 282 kilometres long. The border is located at the tripoint border between Albania, North Macedonia, Greece running across the Large and Small Lake Prespa until it reaches the Ionian Sea at the Strait of Corfu; the most significant feature of Albania is its relief, with numerous successive mountain ranges and its average altitude, more than 700 metres above sea level. Much of the mountains lie to the north and south of the western lowlands in the northern and southern mountain ranges; the Albanian Alps extend over 90 kilometres through the north of Albania, traversing an area of 2,000 square kilometers. These mountains represent no wider than 40 kilometers, they are fragmented and inaccessible. It holds the Maja Jezercë, the highest point of the Dinarides and the second highest point of Albania; the Korab Mountains dominate the east of the country and expand 40 kilometres along the eastern border of the country, where peaks can reach 2,500 metres.

The mountains offer the country's most prominent peak at Mount Korab, fragmented by many deep structural depressions. Another distinguishing feature remains the evidence of the last ice age in form of glacial lakes at low altitudes. One of the most remarkable features about the south of Albania is the presence of the Ceraunian Mountains that cut across the landscape for nearly 100 kilometres. Thousand meter high mountains fall vertically into the Mediterranean Sea constituting at least the first barrier to communication between the sea and the country's southern inland; the country streams characterized by a high flow rate. They belong to the drainage basins of the Adriatic and Black Sea, they rise in the mountainous eastern half of the country and have their mouths in the west along the coasts. They are sustained from snowmelt of the snowcapped mountains or from the abundant precip

Ducati Sporting Club DesmoDue Championship

The'DesmoDue Championship' is a one-make motorcycle racing series based in the United Kingdom. The series was started by the Ducati Sporting Club in 2005 and is administered by them, staging races through New Era MCC meetings in the UK until 2010 with Hottrax Motorsport and most with North Gloucester Road Racing; the motorcycles must be based on an air-cooled 2-valve Ducati twin-cylinder engine produced since 1992. The machines are allowed limited modifications. Most modifications are for safety reasons; the control tyre, which changed to a Dunlop Alpha 13 for the 2016 season, with Dunlop Wets allowed. Two capacity classes compete for the championship; the series began in 2005. This innovative series consisted of 11 races at circuits including, Cadwell Park, Castle Combe, Donington Park and Brands Hatch. 41 riders took part. The inaugural series was won by a dominant Geoff Spencer. In 2006 the series moved to two machine classes and 50 riders; the circuit line-up expanded to include the TT circuit of Assen in the Netherlands.

The Dutch round of the series was hosted by the Ducati Club Nederland at their famous Club Races. Phil Huntley became the inaugural 583cc Champion, winning 9 races, whilst Dominic Cann, for Charles Dudley's OD2 team, was crowned 620cc Champion with 8 wins; the two riders went head-to-head in the season finale at Cadwell Park. Huntley qualified for Pole Position. Cann went on to score 32 consecutive podium finishes over two and a half seasons. 2007 Class A champion was Kyle Hinton, who smashed all records riding for Alan & Charlotte Knight of the Knight RR Team, taking 11 victories from 13 starts, winning the last 7 races in a row and setting 5 new class lap records on the 620 Monster. The 583cc championship was wrapped up by Andy Sheppard who won 6 races, took 11 podiums and 5 Pole Positions; the 2008 season saw the Desmodue series given a large stamp of approval by the participation of repeat British champion and ex-International star Ian Cobby. Riding in the 620 series, having entered a one-off race the year before on a 583 machine at Oulton Park, Ian secured the title with one round still to go taking 9 races and 12 podiums.

The ex BSB rider did not have things all his own way though and was threatened by 2005 season 4th-place finisher, Mike Dawson, who won at Mallory Park and Cadwell Park. Richard Fogg won a single inspired race in wet conditions at Brands Hatch. Mike ran Ian Cobby to the wire except for a bike blow up, he came 2nd in the championship. 2007 B class champion, Andy Sheppard won his first A class race at the Cadwell Park finale, giving an indication of his future. The 583 championship was secured by Matt Traynar, who despite enjoying a 92cc advantage over most of his rivals managed not to win all of the races that year. Dominic Clegg put up a good fight to take second place. Harriet Ridley became the first woman to take a top 3 championship position and showed that she was becoming a force to be reckoned with. 2009 started with Andy Sheppard winning first time out at Donington Park. Tim Pritchard, started his first full season in Desmodue, having contested only the occasional rounds in previous seasons, won the next race that day and set in motion what would become an epic struggle.

Pritchard suffered a slight dip in form at the midpoint. After discovering a bike set up to suit him though, Tim came back at the end of the season with the midsummer races at Cadwell Park. 80% of the crowd fainted. Sheppard took the title despite Pritchard winning both races. In a dramatic twist to the end of the season, it transpired that Sheppard had been suffering with a heart defect and needed an immediate operation. Andy put the operation off to try to win the title, in doing so became the first rider to win both the B class and A class championships, he was medically prohibited from entering races and his number 65 was retired as a mark of respect. Andy and Tim were the only riders to win races in 2009, taking 7 respectively; the 583 championship was taken by Sam West, coming back from a horrific testing smash at Snetterton the year before that broke his leg into 786 pieces. It was far from an easy ride though, with crashes and mechanical failures threatening to let Harriet Ridley through.

Sam's misfortunes came in non-championship races and won out with 10 wins. Harriet took runner up with 5 wins and held the consolation prize of “finest booty to grace a DD bike”. 2010 was the fifth year of the series, became a battle between Tim Pritchard and Mark Lister. Mark hurtled into the series at the first round, despite crashing in qualifying, he set a new lap record. Tim won the next 2 races at Silverstone, but couldn't match Lister's pace at Mallory Park where Mark won both races. Pritchard was injured in a nasty starting line smash during the second non-championship race at Snetterton, allowing Mark an easy yet inevitable cruise to the title as Tim missed the next 3 rounds; the series hadn't seen such raw pace since Ian Cobby entered the series in 2008 and a healthy Pritchard would have been a longshot. Tim regained some pride at the end of the season though, winning his first race back from injury against Neil Appleby, whose progress over the season netted

Claude Lorius

Lorius is a French glaciologist. He is director emeritus of research at CNRS, he was the director of the Laboratoire de glaciologie et géophysique de l'environnement in Grenoble from 1983 to 1988. He has taken part in more than 20 polar expeditions to Antarctica, has helped organise many international collaborations, notably the Vostok Station ice core, he was instrumental in the discovery and interpretation of the palaeo-atmosphere information within ice cores. Commandeur of the Légion d'honneur, 2009 Blue Planet Prize, 2008 Vernadsky medal of the EGU, 2006 CNRS Gold Medal, 2002 Balzan Prize 2001 for climatology Tyler Prize for Environmental Achievement, 1996 officer of the Légion d'honneur, 1998 member of the French Academy of Sciences, 1994 Italgas Prize, 1994 Belgica Medal, 1989 Humboldt Prize, 1988 Bower Medal and Prize, Franklin Institute, 2017, 2017 Imbert, Bertrand. Le grand défi des pôles. Collection "Découvertes Gallimard". 15. Paris: Éditions Gallimard. U. S. edition – Imbert, Bertrand.

North Pole, South Pole: Journeys to the Ends of the Earth. "Abrams Discoveries" series. New York: Harry N. Abrams. UK edition – Imbert, Bertrand. North Pole, South Pole: Journeys to the Ends of the Earth.'New Horizons' series. London: Thames & Hudson. Jouzel, Claude Lorius and Dominique Raynaud; the white planet: the evolution and future of our frozen world. Princeton, N. J.: Princeton University Press. CS1 maint: uses authors parameter Ice and the Sky, a documentary film about Lorius' work in Antarctica - biography in French or English Claude Lorius International Balzan Prize Foundation