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United_States|Geography

Location: [[North America]], bordering both the [[North Atlantic Ocean]] and the [[North Pacific Ocean]], between [[Canada]] and [[Mexico]] 

Geographic coordinates: 38 00 N, 97 00 W 

Map references: [[North America]] 

Area: 
total: 9,629,091 sq km 
land: 9,158,960 sq km 
water: 470,131 sq km 
note: includes only the 50 states and [[District of Columbia]] 

Area - comparative: about one-half the size of [[Russia]]; about three-tenths the size of [[Africa]]; about one-half the size of [[South America]] (or slightly larger than [[Brazil]]); slightly larger than [[China]]; about two and one-half times the size of [[Western Europe]] 

Land boundaries: 
total: 12,248 km 
border countries: Canada 8,893 km (including 2,477 km with [[Alaska]]), [[Cuba]] 29 km (US Naval Base at [[Guantanamo Bay]]), [[Mexico]]
3,326 km 
note: [[Guantanamo Naval Base]] is leased by the US and thus remains part of Cuba 

Coastline: 19,924 km 

Maritime claims: 
contiguous zone: 24 nm 
continental shelf: not specified 
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm 
territorial sea: 12 nm 

Climate: mostly temperate, but tropical in [[Hawaii]] and [[Florida]], arctic in [[Alaska]], semiarid in the great plains west of the [[Mississippi
River]], and arid in the [[Great Basin]] of the southwest; low winter temperatures in the northwest are ameliorated occasionally in January
and February by warm [[chinook winds]] from the eastern slopes of the [[Rocky Mountains]] 

Terrain: vast central plain, mountains in west, hills and low mountains in east; rugged mountains and broad river valleys in Alaska;
rugged, volcanic topography in Hawaii 

Elevation extremes: 
lowest point: [[Death Valley]] -86 m 
highest point: [[Mount McKinley]] 6,194 m 

Natural resources: coal, copper, lead, molybdenum, phosphates, uranium, bauxite, gold, iron, mercury, nickel, potash, silver,
tungsten, zinc, petroleum, natural gas, timber 

Land use: 
arable land: 19% 
permanent crops: 0% 
permanent pastures: 25% 
forests and woodland: 30% 
other: 26% (1993 est.) 

Irrigated land: 207,000 sq km (1993 est.) 

Natural hazards: tsunamis, volcanoes, and earthquake activity around Pacific Basin; hurricanes along the Atlantic and [[Gulf of
Mexico]] coasts; tornadoes in the midwest and southeast; mud slides in [[California]]; forest fires in the west; flooding; permafrost in
northern Alaska, a major impediment to development 

Environment - current issues: air pollution resulting in acid rain in both the US and Canada; the US is the largest single emitter of
carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels; water pollution from runoff of pesticides and fertilizers; very limited natural fresh water resources in much of the western part of the country require careful management; desertification 

Environment - international agreements: 
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic Treaty, Climate Change,
Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, 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, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Biodiversity,
Climate Change-[[Kyoto Protocol]], Desertification, Hazardous Wastes 

Geography - note: world's third-largest country (after Russia and Canada)