Canada is the second-largest country in world after Russia, but much of that land is wilderness and is only very sparsley populated. Nearly 90% of the population is concentrated within 160 km of the Canada-US border. Canada also has the world's longest coastline.
Geographic coordinates: 60 00 N, 95 00 W
Map references: North America
Climate: varies from temperate in south to subarctic and arctic in north
Terrain: Canada has a varied terrain. The west of the country is extremely mountainess with the Rocky Mountains being the largest range. The center area of the country is a vast sedimetary plain that makes up most of the provinces of Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. The north of Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, and Quebec is located on the vast rocky Canadian Shield which cannot support agriculture but does have large mineral reserves. The south of Ontario and Quebec is rich agricultural land that is the centre of Canada's produce and dairy farms. It is also the most heavily populated part of the country. The maritime provinces have the Adirondack Mountains, but these are quite short and the provinces are generally flat.
Natural hazards: continuous permafrost in north is a serious obstacle to development; cyclonic storms form east of the Rocky Mountains, a result of the mixing of air masses from the Arctic, Pacific, and North American interior, and produce most of the country's rain and snow
Environment - current issues: air pollution and resulting acid rain severely affecting lakes and damaging forests; metal smelting, coal-burning utilities, and vehicle emissions impacting on agricultural and forest productivity; ocean waters becoming contaminated due to agricultural, industrial, mining, and forestry activities
Environment - international agreements: