Germany/Geography

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Location:

Central Europe, bordering the Baltic Sea and the North Sea, between the Netherlands and Poland, south of Denmark
Geographic coordinates: 51 00 N, 9 00 E
Map references: Europe

Area:

total: 357,021 sq km
land: 349,223 sq km
water: 7,798 sq km
comparative: slightly smaller than Montana


Climate:

temperate and marine; cool, cloudy, wet winters and summers; occasional warm foehn wind

Terrain:

lowlands in north, uplands in center, Bavarian Alps in south

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Freepsum Lake -2 m
highest point: Zugspitze 2,963 m

Land boundaries:

total: 3,621 km
border countries: Austria 784 km, Belgium 167 km, Czech Republic 646 km, Denmark 68 :km, France 451 km, Luxembourg 138 km, Netherlands 577 km, Poland 456 km, :Switzerland 334 km
Coastline: 2,389 km
Maritime claims:
continental shelf: 200-m depth or to the depth of exploitation
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
territorial sea: 12 nm

Land use:

arable land: 33%
permanent crops: 1%
permanent pastures: 15%
forests and woodland: 31%
other: 20% (1993 est.)

Natural resources:

iron ore, coal, potash, timber, lignite, uranium, copper, natural gas, salt, nickel, arable land
Irrigated land: 4,750 sq km (1993 est.)

Natural hazards: flooding

Environment

Current issues:

emissions from coal-burning utilities and industries contribute to air pollution; acid rain, resulting from sulfur dioxide emissions, is damaging forests; pollution in the Baltic Sea from raw sewage and industrial effluents from rivers in eastern Germany; hazardous waste disposal; government currently attempting to define mechanism for ending the use of nuclear power; government working to meet EU commitment to identify nature preservation areas in line with the EU's Flora, Fauna, and Habitat directive

International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulphur 85, Air Pollution-Sulphur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Nuclear Test Ban, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Geography - note: strategic location on North European Plain and along the entrance to the Baltic Sea