Geography of English Speaking Countries
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24 – GEOGRAPHY OF ENGLISH SPEAKING COUNTRIES Canada occupies a major northern portion of North America. Canada borders on the USA in the south and on the Arctic Ocean in the north. Its area is almost 10 million square kilometres which makes it the second largest country in the world. It is divided into ten provinces and two territories: Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island, Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, Québec, Ontario, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Alberta, British Columbia, the Northwest Territories and the Yukon Territory. Canada is famous for its varied beautiful countryside, especially near the Great Lakes in the south-east and the Slave and Bear Lakes in the north-west. Visitors to Canada are eager to see Niagara Falls, which are to be found between Lake Ontario ant Lake Erie. The Canadian fall is called Horseshoe Fall and is 49 m high and almost 1 km wide. Canada also has high mountain ranges, such as the Rocky Mountains ant the Mackenzie Mountains. There are a few long rivers in Canada, such as the Yukon River or the St Lawrence River. There are about thirty national parks in Canada, one of them being Jasper National Park in Alberta. The climate is mostly continental, with warm summers and cold winters, but it is arctic in the north: winter temperatures fall to minus 50 °C. The capital of Canada is Ottawa. The city is located on the south bank of the Ottawa River in the eastern portion of Southern Ontario. Other major cities are Toronto, Vancouver and francophone Québec. Republic of Ireland The Republic of Ireland occupies about five-sixths of the total area of Ireland – the Emerald Isle. The rest of the island – the larger part of the province Ulster – is occupied by Northern Ireland. The Republic of Ireland covers 70,282 square kilometres and consists of four provinces: Ulster, Munster, Leinster and Connaught, and 26 counties. Most of the island is a central plain, ringed by low mountains in the west and south and by lowlands in the east. The Shannon River, the longest river in the British Isles, does through one fifth of the country. It forms many important lakes. The sea-coast is wild and beautiful. One of its most exciting features is the Cliffs of Moher in County Clare in the southern province of Munster. In the north only 20 kilometres of water separate Ulster from Scotland. The climate is temperate, with mild winters and cool summers. Heavy rainfall in all seasons encourages green vegetation, hence the name “the Emerald Isle”. Most of the soil is rich and fertile, suitable for farming and cattle raising, but in some areas insufficient drainage has caused the building up of layers of peat. The capital of the Republic of Ireland is Dublin, with more than one million inhabitants. Dublin means Dark Pool. Other major towns include Cork, Limerick and Galway. Australia Australia is the smallest continent and the biggest island in the world. It is situated between the Pacific and the Indian Oceans. There are two great deserts in Australia: the Great Sandy Desert and the Great Victoria Desert. They are red, orange and brown, and strange rocks can be found there. Ayers Rock, the largest piece of monolithic rock in the world, is the most famous of them. It is 335 m high. Australia has two big rivers, the Murray and the Darling, and three great lakes: Lake Eyre, Lake Torrens and Lake Gairdner. The highest mountain is Mount Kosciusko discovered by a Polish scientist in the Australian Alps in the south-east of New South Wales. Tasmania (abbreviated as Tas) is an island state located 240 kilometres to the south of the Australian continent. Australia has many different kinds of climate: tropical in the north, continental in the interior, subtropical or temperate in the rest of the continent. The capital of Australia is Canberra. It is located at the northern end of the Australian Capital Territory. The other cities are Sydney, Brisbane, Darwin and Perth. New Zealand New Zealand is to be found south-east of Australia. It consists of two large islands, the North Island and the South Island. New Zealand is mainly mountainous. Mount Cook in the South Island is the highest mountain in NZ. The North Island is predominantly famous for its volcanic area. At also has many small lakes. The climate is very pleasant all the year round. The capital of New Zealand is Wellington. The Wellington urban area is the major population centre of the southern North Island. The USA With an area of more than 9 million square kilometres, the US is the third largest country in the world, and the geography is very varied. There are mountains (highlands) in the West – Rocky Mountains, Sierra Nevada, and in the East – Appalachian Mountains. The highest peak in the USA is Mount McKinley in Alaska Range which is 6.194m high. The middle part of the USA is mostly lowlands (prairies, plans). The land is used for farming, especially around the Mississippi River. There are deserts in the South-West. The landscape of the USA can be separated into six regions: Northeast – industrial, highly populated, the oldest part, Southeast – farms (agricultural), Central Basin – Mississippi River, farms, Great Plains, Mountains and Deserts, Coast Valley. The rivers that run form the middle to the Atlantic Ocean are short (e.g. the Hudson). The most important river is Mississippi which rises in Minnesota and flows to the Gulf of Mexico. Other rivers are the Rio Grande, the Yukon, the Colorado. The climate varies from tropical in Hawaii to arctic in Alaska; however, most states have either mild or continental weather.