Only three European countries-Estonia, Finland, and Iceland-are farther north in their entirety than Latvia, which has latitude of between 55° and 58° and a longitude of between 20° and 28°. During most of December and January, the sun does not rise until after 9 a.m. and sets as early as 3 p.m. On the other hand, to compensate, the longest day of summer lasts almost 18 hours. In spite of its northern location, daytime winter temperatures average only slightly below freezing because of the Baltic Sea and the Gulf Stream. Daytime summer temperatures average about 70°F. The maritime climate also accounts for the country's frequent cloud cover and considerable precipitation (average per year is about 25 inches).
peat, limestone, dolomite, amber, hydropower, wood, arable land
3 Square Miles
8 Square Kilometers
Latvia's environment has benefited from a shift to service industries after the country regained independence; the main environmental priorities are improvement of drinking water quality and sewage system, household and hazardous waste management, and reduction of air pollution; in 2001, Latvia closed the EU accession negotiation chapter on environment committing to full enforcement of EU environmental directives by 2010
Environment - International Agreements:
party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Wetlands
signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements