Greece Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Greece?

Overview:

Greece, a rugged country of mountains and islands. The land area, including the islands, is 50,270 square miles (about the size of Alabama). Only 25% of the land is arable, and much of that is dry and rocky.

Geography - note:

strategic location dominating the Aegean Sea and southern approach to Turkish Straits; a peninsular country, possessing an archipelago of about 2,000 islands

Climate:

Greece has mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.


Athens daytime summer temperature averages 90°F and often exceeds 100°F for periods in July-August. Humidity is low and the heat is tempered by sea breezes. Summer evenings are comfortable outdoors. Spring and fall temperatures are pleasant, and winter temperatures are 30°-55°F. Snow flurries occur, particularly in the northern suburbs, but seldom accumulate. Air pollution is a major problem in Athens throughout the year, but the climate is otherwise healthy.


Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, experiences high temperatures and humidity from the end of May until the end of September. Summer heat is sometimes tempered by late morning and early evening breezes. July and August nights can be uncomfortably warm. In winter, periods of mild, sunny, and spring-like weather are interspersed with uncomfortable cold periods. Thessaloniki has periods of chilly and damp weather, with considerable rainfall and occasional snow. Temperatures often fall below freezing in winter. Although snow does not linger, the city has been struck by blizzards. One feature of Thessaloniki’s climate is the vardari, a strong northwesterly wind that appears suddenly and irregularly from the area of the Axios (Vardar) River Valley.

Greece Use of Natural Resources

Greece Environment

Climate:

Greece has mild, wet winters and hot, dry summers.


Athens daytime summer temperature averages 90°F and often exceeds 100°F for periods in July-August. Humidity is low and the heat is tempered by sea breezes. Summer evenings are comfortable outdoors. Spring and fall temperatures are pleasant, and winter temperatures are 30°-55°F. Snow flurries occur, particularly in the northern suburbs, but seldom accumulate. Air pollution is a major problem in Athens throughout the year, but the climate is otherwise healthy.


Thessaloniki, in northern Greece, experiences high temperatures and humidity from the end of May until the end of September. Summer heat is sometimes tempered by late morning and early evening breezes. July and August nights can be uncomfortably warm. In winter, periods of mild, sunny, and spring-like weather are interspersed with uncomfortable cold periods. Thessaloniki has periods of chilly and damp weather, with considerable rainfall and occasional snow. Temperatures often fall below freezing in winter. Although snow does not linger, the city has been struck by blizzards. One feature of Thessaloniki’s climate is the vardari, a strong northwesterly wind that appears suddenly and irregularly from the area of the Axios (Vardar) River Valley.

Terrain:

mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands

Natural Resources:

lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential

Natural Hazards:

severe earthquakes

volcanism: Santorini (elev. 367 m) 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; although there have been very few eruptions in recent centuries, Methana and Nisyros in the Aegean are classified as historically active

Irrigated Land:

6,004 Square Miles
15,550 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

air pollution; water pollution

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Treaty, 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, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds

Greece Geography

Geographic Location Europe
Total Area 50,949 Square Miles
131,957 Square Kilometers
Land Area 50,443 Square Miles
130,647 Square Kilometers
Water Area 506 Square Miles
1,310 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 763 Miles
1,228 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 6,004 Square Miles
15,550 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Albania 282 km, Bulgaria 494 km, Turkey 206 km, Macedonia 246 km
Coastline 8,498 Miles
13,676 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 39 00 N, 22 00 E
Terrain mostly mountains with ranges extending into the sea as peninsulas or chains of islands
Highest Point 2,917 Meters
Highest Point Location Mount Olympus 2,917 m
Lowest Point Location Mediterranean Sea 0 m
Natural Resources lignite, petroleum, iron ore, bauxite, lead, zinc, nickel, magnesite, marble, salt, hydropower potential
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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