martes, 22 de marzo de 2011

MEXICO GEOGRAPHY

Location:
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Middle America, bordering the Caribbean Sea and the Gulf of Mexico, between Belize and the United States and bordering the North Pacific Ocean, between Guatemala and the United States
Geographic coordinates:
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23 00 N, 102 00 W
Map references:
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North America
Area:
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total: 1,964,375 sq km
country comparison to the world: 15
land: 1,943,945 sq km
water: 20,430 sq km
Area - comparative:
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slightly less than three times the size of Texas
Land boundaries:
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total: 4,353 km
border countries: Belize 250 km, Guatemala 962 km, US 3,141 km
Coastline:
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9,330 km
Maritime claims:
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territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm or to the edge of the continental margin
Climate:
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varies from tropical to desert
Terrain:
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high, rugged mountains; low coastal plains; high plateaus; desert
Elevation extremes:
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lowest point: Laguna Salada -10 m
highest point: Volcan Pico de Orizaba 5,700 m
Natural resources:
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petroleum, silver, copper, gold, lead, zinc, natural gas, timber
Land use:
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arable land: 12.66%
permanent crops: 1.28%
other: 86.06% (2005)
Irrigated land:
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63,200 sq km (2003)
Total renewable water resources:
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457.2 cu km (2000)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):
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total: 78.22 cu km/yr (17%/5%/77%)
per capita: 731 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
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tsunamis along the Pacific coast, volcanoes and destructive earthquakes in the center and south, and hurricanes on the Pacific, Gulf of Mexico, and Caribbean coasts
volcanism: Mexico experiences volcanic activity in the central-southern part of the country; the volcanoes in Baja California are mostly dormant; Colima (elev. 3,850 m, 12,631 ft), which erupted in 2010, is Mexico's most active volcano and is responsible for causing periodic evacuations of nearby villagers; it has been deemed a "Decade Volcano" by the International Association of Volcanology and Chemistry of the Earth's Interior, worthy of study due to its explosive history and close proximity to human populations; Popocatepetl (elev. 5,426 m, 17,802 ft) poses a threat to Mexico City; other historically active volcanoes include Barcena, Ceboruco, El Chichon, Michoacan-Guanajuato, Pico de Orizaba, San Martin, Socorro, and Tacana
Environment - current issues:
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scarcity of hazardous waste disposal facilities; rural to urban migration; natural fresh water resources scarce and polluted in north, inaccessible and poor quality in center and extreme southeast; raw sewage and industrial effluents polluting rivers in urban areas; deforestation; widespread erosion; desertification; deteriorating agricultural lands; serious air and water pollution in the national capital and urban centers along US-Mexico border; land subsidence in Valley of Mexico caused by groundwater depletion
note: the government considers the lack of clean water and deforestation national security issues
Environment - international agreements:
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party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements
Geography - note:
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strategic location on southern border of US; corn (maize), one of the world's major grain crops, is thought to have originated in Mexico

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