Cyprus Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Cyprus?

Overview:

Cyprus is in the eastern Mediterranean Basin, 44 miles south of Turkey, 64 miles west of Syria, and 150 miles north of the Nile Delta. Its strategic location at the crossroads of Europe, the Middle East, and Africa, makes visits to those regions quite easy. The island has a maximum length of 142 miles from northeast to southwest and a maximum width of 60 miles from north to south. It is the third largest island in the Mediterranean, after Sicily and Sardinia, with an area of 3,572 square miles. Two mountain ranges dominate the landscape. The narrow and largely barren Kyrenia Range in the north (maximum elevation 3,360 feet) rises almost directly up from the northern coastline and follows it from east to west for some 80 miles. The forest‑covered Troodos Range rises in the southwestern sector of the island, culminating in Mount Olympus at an altitude of 6,400 feet. Between the two ranges, extending from Morphou Bay in the west to Famagusta Bay in the east lies the Mesaoria, meaning "between the mountains," a broad, fertile, coastal plain which produces most of the island’s cereal grains and other crops. Nicosia, the capital of Cyprus, is on the Mesaoria. Throughout the long summer the plain is arid and parched, but in the winter and spring it is carpeted with a lush growth of young wheat and barley. Cyprus supports a varied flora with some 1,800 different species of flowering plants, including over 120 endemic plants. Additionally, Cyprus is host to a diverse group of bird and insect fauna, as well as a surprising range of reptiles and amphibians.

Geography - note:

the third largest island in the Mediterranean Sea (after Sicily and Sardinia)

Climate:

Cyprus has hot, dry, dusty summers and moderately cool, damp winters. Nicosia's maximum mean temperature is about 80°F, while the minimum mean temperature is 50°F. From mid-June to mid-September, the temperature sometimes exceeds 100°F. After sunset, it usually falls to between 60°F and 70°F. The summer heat is tolerable because humidity is usually low and high temperatures are often tempered by westerly winds. Nicosia's summer weather is generally more comfortable than in the seaside towns, where humidity is higher though temperatures are lower. Rain falls almost exclusively from December through March. Winters are usually cool and damp. On the whole, Cyprus has an enjoyable Mediterranean climate.

Cyprus Use of Natural Resources

Cyprus Environment

Climate:

Cyprus has hot, dry, dusty summers and moderately cool, damp winters. Nicosia's maximum mean temperature is about 80°F, while the minimum mean temperature is 50°F. From mid-June to mid-September, the temperature sometimes exceeds 100°F. After sunset, it usually falls to between 60°F and 70°F. The summer heat is tolerable because humidity is usually low and high temperatures are often tempered by westerly winds. Nicosia's summer weather is generally more comfortable than in the seaside towns, where humidity is higher though temperatures are lower. Rain falls almost exclusively from December through March. Winters are usually cool and damp. On the whole, Cyprus has an enjoyable Mediterranean climate.

Terrain:

central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast

Natural Resources:

copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment

Natural Hazards:

moderate earthquake activity; droughts

Irrigated Land:

177 Square Miles
458 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water resource problems (no natural reservoir catchments, seasonal disparity in rainfall, sea water intrusion to island's largest aquifer, increased salination in the north); water pollution from sewage and industrial wastes; coastal degradation; loss of wildlife habitats from urbanization

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Cyprus Geography

Geographic Location Middle East
Total Area 3,572 Square Miles
9,251 Square Kilometers
Land Area 3,568 Square Miles
9,241 Square Kilometers
Water Area 4 Square Miles
10 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 93 Miles
150 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 177 Square Miles
458 Square Kilometers
Coastline 403 Miles
648 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 35 00 N, 33 00 E
Terrain central plain with mountains to north and south; scattered but significant plains along southern coast
Highest Point 1,951 Meters
Highest Point Location Olympus 1,951 m
Lowest Point Location Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Natural Resources copper, pyrites, asbestos, gypsum, timber, salt, marble, clay earth pigment
Time Zone UTC+2 (7 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)
Daylight saving time +1hr, begins last Sunday in March; ends last Sunday in October
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