Norway Geography

What is the terrain and geography like in Norway?

Overview:

Located in northwestern Europe on the Scandinavian Peninsula, Norway is a picturesque country bounded on the west by the North Atlantic and the North Sea and on the east by Sweden, Finland, and Russia. Norway covers 150,000 square miles, including Svalbard and Jan Mayen Islands, with landscape ranging from farms and fields to forests, lakes, plateaus, glaciers, and the highest peak in northern Europe. The jagged coastline stretches 1,625 miles when measured in a straight line and a staggering 13,125 miles including the ins and outs of the fjords. Although small in population, Norway is one of the largest European countries in area.

Geography - note:

about two-thirds mountains; some 50,000 islands off its much-indented coastline; strategic location adjacent to sea lanes and air routes in North Atlantic; one of the most rugged and longest coastlines in the world

Climate:

Many people expect Norway's climate to be bitterly cold. The latitude of the country certainly suggests this would be true. The Arctic Circle cuts through Norway about halfway up the length of the country.

Oslo lies in the southern part of the country but is at the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. Hammerfest, on the northern tip of the Norwegian mainland, is the world's most northerly town. Still, the climate of cities along the Norwegian coast is much milder than might be expected at such northerly latitudes, even during midwinter, because of the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.

Summer in the southern part of the country can last from early May to late August or, in a bad year, for only a week in late June. There are about 20 hours of daylight during June and July in Oslo. (Note: In northern Norway, the midnight sun shines for nearly two months during this period!) Summer days rarely get warmer than 80 F and can be quite cool in the 50s and 60s.

Winter brings only about six hours of daylight in Oslo and none in areas north of the Arctic Circle. Snow brightens the landscape considerably, even during the shortest days. However, some people find the darkness oppressive. Norwegians seem to have found numerous ways to combat the depression of winter such as utilizing the many (often lit) cross-country trails and downhill slopes within the Oslo city limits or keeping things cozy and bright inside, using lots of candlelight for cheer and warmth.

Norway Use of Natural Resources

Norway Environment

Climate:

Many people expect Norway's climate to be bitterly cold. The latitude of the country certainly suggests this would be true. The Arctic Circle cuts through Norway about halfway up the length of the country.

Oslo lies in the southern part of the country but is at the same latitude as Anchorage, Alaska. Hammerfest, on the northern tip of the Norwegian mainland, is the world's most northerly town. Still, the climate of cities along the Norwegian coast is much milder than might be expected at such northerly latitudes, even during midwinter, because of the warming effect of the Gulf Stream.

Summer in the southern part of the country can last from early May to late August or, in a bad year, for only a week in late June. There are about 20 hours of daylight during June and July in Oslo. (Note: In northern Norway, the midnight sun shines for nearly two months during this period!) Summer days rarely get warmer than 80 F and can be quite cool in the 50s and 60s.

Winter brings only about six hours of daylight in Oslo and none in areas north of the Arctic Circle. Snow brightens the landscape considerably, even during the shortest days. However, some people find the darkness oppressive. Norwegians seem to have found numerous ways to combat the depression of winter such as utilizing the many (often lit) cross-country trails and downhill slopes within the Oslo city limits or keeping things cozy and bright inside, using lots of candlelight for cheer and warmth.

Terrain:

glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north

Natural Resources:

petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower

Natural Hazards:

rockslides, avalanches

Irrigated Land:

444 Square Miles
1,149 Square Kilometers

Environmental Issues:

water pollution; acid rain damaging forests and adversely affecting lakes, threatening fish stocks; air pollution from vehicle emissions

Environment - International Agreements:

party to: Air Pollution, Air Pollution-Nitrogen Oxides, Air Pollution-Persistent Organic Pollutants, Air Pollution-Sulfur 85, Air Pollution-Sulfur 94, Air Pollution-Volatile Organic Compounds, Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, 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, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Norway Geography

Geographic Location Europe
Total Area 125,020 Square Miles
323,802 Square Kilometers
Land Area 117,483 Square Miles
304,282 Square Kilometers
Water Area 7,537 Square Miles
19,520 Square Kilometers
Land Boundaries 1,580 Miles
2,542 Kilometers
Irrigated Land 444 Square Miles
1,149 Square Kilometers
Border Countries Finland 729 km, Sweden 1,619 km, Russia 196 km
Coastline 15,626 Miles
25,148 Kilometers
Geographic Coordinates 62 00 N, 10 00 E
Terrain glaciated; mostly high plateaus and rugged mountains broken by fertile valleys; small, scattered plains; coastline deeply indented by fjords; arctic tundra in north
Highest Point 2,469 Meters
Highest Point Location Galdhopiggen 2,469 m
Lowest Point Location Norwegian Sea 0 m
Natural Resources petroleum, natural gas, iron ore, copper, lead, zinc, titanium, pyrites, nickel, fish, timber, hydropower
Time Zone UTC+1 (6 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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