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USA – geography, weather, climate, population, places of interest

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10 USA – geography, weather, climate, population, places of interest The USA is situated in southern part of North America. Its neighbours are Canada on north and Mexico on south. East of the USA is the Atlantic Ocean and west the Pacific. South-east the american shore is washed by the Gulf of Mexico. The east coast is touched by the Labrador Stream that is cold as the California Stream is. The largest american state is Alaska, which to the north-west. Also the Hawaiian Islands belong to the USA. They are situated in the Pacific Ocean, south-west of California. On the eastern coast there are the Appalachian Mountains. These are geologically the oldest. The highest mountain is Mt. Mitchell. West of the Appalachian Highlands there is the Mississippi River which is probably the most famous american river, first of all thanks to Mark Twain and his Huckleberry Finn. Its name is probably of indian origin and means "great water." Probably half of the USA is made by the Cordilleras in the west. On the shore there are the Coast Mountains. Inland there are the Rocky Mountains which are higher than 4000 m. In the north on the border with Canada there are the Niagara Falls and the five Great Lakes - Lake Ontario, Lake Erie, Lake Michigan, Lake Huron and Lake Superior. They are the largest natural basin of fresh water in the world. The biggest river of Alaska is the Yukon which is often ice-bound. Another big river is the Missouri. It is a tributary of the Mississippi. The Rio Grande river is a natural border between Texas and Mexico. Famous Great Canyon can be found on the Colorado River. The United States has got many kinds of climate. From Arctic in Alaska to subtropic in Florida. The majority of the area of the USA has got a temperate climate. But we can divide it into four regions. The Atlantic Coast is relatively cold, occasionally with heavy snowfalls in winter. The Central Plains have got very humid summers and cold winters with strong winds. In the west there are cold winters and hot dry summers. The weather in the north often differs from that in the south. The Death Valley in California is about the hottest place on earth in summer. California, Arizona, New Mexico and Florida belong to the so-called Sun Belt States. The Middle West winters are cold and long. But the summers are very hot and we can find deserts and semi-deserts here. East of the Mississippi river and south of the Great Plains cold and warm streams often meet there. So, in this area there are often tornados. The terrible frost is in Montana or in Alaska. The Hawaiian Islands have got a very pleasant and warm climate. There are minimal differences between summers and winters. Owing to the different climate, the plant kingdom is also various. Deep forests are still in the Appalachian Mountains, in the Cordilleras and on the pacific shore. In the west part of the Central Plains there are prairie used for agriculture or as grassland. Inside of the Cordilleras there are some kinds of semi-desert flora. In Alaska there is diverse flora. We can find some kinds of moss and lichen there. In the Hawaii the flora is typically tropic. The population in the USA is about 250 million people. The density is about 26 people per 1 sq km. In New York there is a density 9185 people per 1 sq km. But single areas are inhabited unevently. The highest concentration is on the Atlantic Shore. From Boston, New York, Philadelphia to Washington. Another densely populated area is the region from Chicago to Pittsburgh. Imigration is one of extraordinary importance in american history because the original inhabitants - Indians - make only 1% of the population. There are over 100 major ethnic groups in the USA. America is sometimes called the "melting pot." The heart of the Americans consists of descendants of the British, the Irish or the Scottish. A number of the imigrants came from Germany or the Scandinavian countries. During the economic crisis of the 30´s the imigration stopped. But the increase continued after World War II. The most numerous minority in the USA is the black people. They came like african slaves taken to North America in the 17th and 18th centuries. The original inhabitants are the Indians. Today they live mostly in their reserves. The largest one is called Navaho on the boundary- lines of Arizona, New Mexico and Utah. In 17th and 18th cen. they were pushed west by white people. Last century they were almost massacred. Now they have got an organisation - The National Congress of American Indians. In Alaska there live the Eskimos - Inuits. In the USA live tens of millions of Americans of mexican origin. Mostly in the south-west corner. They came from Mexico to find jobs in the States, to earn money. But we can find lots of Puerto Ricans, Cubans or Japanese here. The official language in the USA is English. It has got a wide range of differences from the british English. Specially in the South. The second most-used language in the USA is spanish in the south-west. Also, in specific areas of the state of Louisiana, we can hear French. And the Indians have got their original tongues. In the USA there are many national parks. They represent one of the finest examples of nature conservation in the world. The first national park was Yellowstone founded in 1872. Another famous park is the Grand Canyon of the Colorado River located in the state of Arizona. Next wonderfull place to see are Niagara Falls and the five Great Lakes. Lake Erie and Lake Ontario are joined by the Niagara River with its Falls. Or South Dakota´s Mt. Rushmore. You will find the sixty-feet-high heads of four american presidents. G. Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Th. Roosevelt and A.Lincoln. The heads were carved into a mountainside. Another place to visit is Cape Canaveral in Florida. A home of American space shuttles. In the USA you can also find Disneyland near Los Angeles and Disney World in Florida near Orlando. And of course many interesting cities, e.g. Washington D

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