Kazakhstan Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Kazakhstan?

Overview:

Kazakhstan is the ninth largest country in the world, covering three time zones, 1,900 miles from East to West, and more than 1,000 miles from North to South. One-fifth of the territory is mountainous, with mountains over 6,000 feet accounting for one-tenth of the country. In contrast, the oil-rich land in the Caspian Sea basin is approximately 400 feet below sea level.

Geography - note:

world's largest landlocked country; Russia leases approximately 6,000 sq km of territory enclosing the Baykonur Cosmodrome; in January 2004, Kazakhstan and Russia extended the lease to 2050

Climate:

The climate throughout Kazakhstan is continental and dry, and there are four distinct seasons. The weather in Almaty is very moderate, and consecutive rainy days are rare. Winter temperatures and snowfall are rarely extreme (i.e., rarely below 0°F), and the wind is light. During the 4-5-month summer average high temperatures are usually in the low to mid-80's F. "Golden Fall," is perhaps the most pleasant season, particularly in Almaty, with brilliantly clear, dry days, colorful autumn leaves, and pleasant temperatures.


In Astana strong winds, long winters, and December-January temperatures periodically fall below 0°F. The summers are generally dry and sunny, but the weather changes rapidly and it is not uncommon to have a rainy morning followed by a sunny afternoon. Average summer highs in Astana are in the low 80's.

Kazakhstan Use of Natural Resources

Kazakhstan Environment

Climate:

The climate throughout Kazakhstan is continental and dry, and there are four distinct seasons. The weather in Almaty is very moderate, and consecutive rainy days are rare. Winter temperatures and snowfall are rarely extreme (i.e., rarely below 0°F), and the wind is light. During the 4-5-month summer average high temperatures are usually in the low to mid-80's F. "Golden Fall," is perhaps the most pleasant season, particularly in Almaty, with brilliantly clear, dry days, colorful autumn leaves, and pleasant temperatures.


In Astana strong winds, long winters, and December-January temperatures periodically fall below 0°F. The summers are generally dry and sunny, but the weather changes rapidly and it is not uncommon to have a rainy morning followed by a sunny afternoon. Average summer highs in Astana are in the low 80's.

Terrain:

extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia

Natural Resources:

major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium

Natural Hazards:

earthquakes in the south, mudslides around Almaty

Irrigated Land:

7,977 Square Miles
20,660 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

radioactive or toxic chemical sites associated with former defense industries and test ranges scattered throughout the country pose health risks for humans and animals; industrial pollution is severe in some cities; because the two main rivers which flowed into the Aral Sea have been diverted for irrigation, it is drying up and leaving behind a harmful layer of chemical pesticides and natural salts; these substances are then picked up by the wind and blown into noxious dust storms; pollution in the Caspian Sea; soil pollution from overuse of agricultural chemicals and salination from poor infrastructure and wasteful irrigation practices

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands

signed, but not ratified: Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol

Kazakhstan Geography

Geographic Location Asia
Total Area 1,052,084 Square Miles
2,724,900 Square Kilometers
Land Area 1,042,354 Square Miles
2,699,700 Square Kilometers
Water Area 9,730 Square Miles
25,200 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 7,571 Miles
12,185 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 7,977 Square Miles
20,660 Square Kilometers
Border Countries China 1,533 km, Kyrgyzstan 1,051 km, Russia 6,846 km, Turkmenistan 379 km, Uzbekistan 2,203 km
Geographic Coordinates 48 00 N, 68 00 E
Terrain extends from the Volga to the Altai Mountains and from the plains in western Siberia to oases and desert in Central Asia
Highest Point 6,995 Meters
Highest Point Location Khan Tangiri Shyngy (Pik Khan-Tengri) 6,995 m
Lowest Point -132 Meters
Lowest Point Location Vpadina Kaundy -132 m
Natural Resources major deposits of petroleum, natural gas, coal, iron ore, manganese, chrome ore, nickel, cobalt, copper, molybdenum, lead, zinc, bauxite, gold, uranium
Time Zone UTC+6 (11 hours ahead of Washington, DC, during Standard Time)

note: Kazakhstan has two time zones
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