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World Geography Europe & Russia Notes. Physical. Peninsulas and Islands . Europe is a large peninsula of Asia also has its own smaller peninsulas: a “peninsula of peninsulas” most places are within 300 miles of the ocean or a sea . Northern Peninsulas .

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World Geography Europe & Russia Notes

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World geography europe russia notes

World Geography Europe & Russia Notes



Peninsulas and islands

Peninsulas and Islands

  • Europe is a large peninsula of Asia

  • also has its own smaller peninsulas: a “peninsula of peninsulas”

  • most places are within 300 miles of the ocean or a sea

Northern peninsulas

Northern Peninsulas

  • The Scandinavian Peninsula includes Norway and Sweden

    - bounded by Norwegian, North, and Baltic Seas

  • Glaciers created fjords - steep U-shaped valleys connected to sea & filled with seawater (provides harbors for fishing boats)

  • Jutland Peninsula forms large part of Denmark, small part of Germany

Norway glaciers

Norway Glaciers

Southern peninsulas

Southern Peninsulas

  • Iberian Peninsula - Spain & Portugal

  • Italian Peninsula - Italy

  • Balkan Peninsula - bordered by Adriatic, Mediterranean, Aegean seas



  • Large - Great Britain, Ireland, Iceland, & Greenland

  • Smaller - Corsica, Sardinia Sicily, & Crete

Russia the republics

Russia & the Republics

  • Russia and the Republics cover 1/6 of earth’s land surface

  • 8 1/2 million square miles

  • Three times the land area of U.S.

    - Russia spans 11 time zones

  • Distance decay—long-distance communication, transportation are hard

Mountain chains

Mountain Chains

  • The Alps - Europe’s most famous mountain chain

    - crosses France, Italy, Germany, Switzerland, Austria, & Balkans

    - cuts Italy off from rest of Europe

Mountain chains1

Mountain Chains

  • Ural Mountains - separate Northern European & West Siberian Plains

    - some see them as dividing line between Europe and Asia

    - some consider Europe and Asia as single continent—Eurasia



  • Network of rivers encourage trade and travel

    - allows goods inland from coastal harbors, aids economic growth

  • Rhine - flows north 820 miles from interior to North Sea

  • Danube - flows east 1,771 miles, through 9 countries, to Black Sea



  • Volga River- longest river on the European continent

    - flows 2,300 miles south from Moscow & drains into the Caspian Sea basin

    - carries 60% of Russia’s river traffic



  • Caspian Sea - largest inland sea in world

    - 750-mile-long (north to south) saltwater lake



  • Aral Sea - east of Caspian, is also saltwater

    - has lost 80% of water volume since 1960 due to irrigation



  • Lake Baikal - Deepest & oldest lake in the world

    - a mile from surface to bottom at deepest point

    - 400 miles long, holds 20% of world’s fresh water

    - very clean lake, home to 1,200 unique plant & animal species

Polders land from the sea

Polders: Land from the Sea

  • dikes—earthen banks that hold back the sea

  • polder—land reclaimed by diking and draining

  • Seaworks—structures like dikes that control sea’s destructive force

Polders land from the sea1

Polders: Land from the Sea

  • terpen—high earthen platforms that provide safe ground during floods

  • Zuider Zee—arm of North sea the Dutch turned into a fresh-water lake

    - saltwater eventually replaced by fresh water

    - lake is now called Ijsselmeer

The northern european plain

The Northern European Plain

  • One of the most fertile agricultural regions in world

  • Stretches over 1,000 miles from the western border to the Urals

  • Flat agricultural land produces vast quantities of food - chernozem—world’s most fertile soil is abundant in area

Natural resources

Natural Resources

  • Fueling Industrialization - Coal and iron ore are needed to create steel for industrialization

  • Energy - Oil, & natural gas found in North Sea in 1959

  • Agricultural Land - 33% of Europe is suitable for agriculture ( world average only 11%)

  • Irish burn peat for fuel- partially decayed plant matter from bogs

Natural resources1

Natural Resources

  • Many of Russia’s resources are in Siberia - frigid, arctic Russian area of Asia

  • Hard to get at & move resources due to climates, terrain & distances

  • taiga—largest forest on earth located in Russia

    - Produces 1/5 of the world’s timber

Westerly winds warm europe

Westerly Winds Warm Europe

  • Marine west coast climate - : warm summers & cool winters

    - Spain, France, Poland, British Isles & coastal Scandinavia

  • North Atlantic Drift - warm-water tropical current flows by west coast of Europe

  • prevailing westerlies carry current’s warmth, moisture inland

  • Enables France to be a major agricultural producer

Harsher conditions inland

Harsher Conditions Inland

  • Not Reached by Westerly Winds

  • Continentality - Distance from sea decreases precipitation

    -moisture from Atlantic Ocean is lost further inland

  • Humid continental climate: cold, snowy winters; warm or hot summers

Special winds

Special Winds

  • Mediterranean coast of France is not protected by mountains

  • mistral—a cold, dry winter wind from north

  • Sirocco—hot North African wind carries sea moisture or desert dust

Land of the midnight sun

Land of the Midnight Sun

  • Tundra climate in far northern Scandinavia, along Arctic Circle

    - permafrost with no trees, only mosses & lichens

  • South of tundra is subarctic climate - cool with cold, harsh winters

    - little growth except stunted trees

  • Region’s sunlight varies sharply: long winter nights & summer days

    - area north of Arctic Circle the Land of the Midnight Sun

    - some winter days have no sun, some summer days have no night

Russia s climate

Russia’s Climate

  • Humid continental and subarctic climates dominate region

  • Continentality - effect the region’s enormous size has on its climates

    -Distance from sea decreases precipitation

  • -moisture from Atlantic Ocean is lost further inland

  • Distance from sea also creates extreme temperatures

Russia s climate1

Russia’s Climate

  • Siberia – average temperatures are usually below 50 degrees F

    - Siberian temperatures can drop below –90 degrees F

  • Region has layer of permafrost that can reach depths of 1,500 feet

  • Buildings on permafrost sink and fall when their heat thaws ground

    - buildings must be set off ground on concrete pillars

Review questions

Review Questions

What body of water is Eastern Europe farther away from than Western Europe which results in it having a harsher climate?

What is the North Atlantic drift & what effect does it have on Western Europe?

What is chernozem?

What mountains divide Europe from Asia?

What do people who believe Europe & Asia are one continent call it?

What is Europe’s longest river?

What is the oldest & deepest lake in the world?

What region in Russia has many resources & a very cold climate cold climate?

Review questions1

Review Questions

How many times does Russia cross?

What is taiga

Why do builder in Siberia have to take special precautions with their buildings?

What is the largest inland sea in the world?

What is Europe’s most famous mountain chain?

What is distance decay?

Culture economy

Culture & Economy

Modern life in europe

Modern Life in Europe

  • Strong economies allow a high standard of living in western Europe

  • Most Western Europeans live in cities

    - good public transportation, cultural attractions, & low crime rates

  • Most homes are small, so socializing is done in public cafés, parks

Modern life in europe1

Modern Life in Europe

  • Eastern Europe has less Urban Development

    - only 40% in Bosnia and Herzegovina, 37% in Albania live in cities

Traditional russian country home

Traditional Russian Country Home



  • Coal, iron made France, Germany, Netherlands industrial leaders

  • Sweden has timber, Iceland has fishing, & Norway has North Sea oil

  • Computer production is major part of Ireland’s economy

  • Scotland has Silicon Glen—area with many high-tech companies

    - produces at least a third of Europe’s personal, notebook computers

Tourism and luxury

Tourism and Luxury

  • Tourism is major part of French, Swiss, Austrian economies

  • Switzerland’s neutrality makes it a banking center

  • Germany has the autobahn highway

Eastern europe s economy

Eastern Europe’s Economy

  • 1945 – 1989 - Eastern Europe had a command economy - central government made major economic decision

    - Inefficient system brought shortages, trade deficiencies, & pollution

  • 1989, - Soviet Union tried market economy - making goods consumers want

  • 1992 - Russia began process of privatization -sold government-owned businesses to private individuals & companies (prices of goods increase 250%)

Eastern europe s economy1

Eastern Europe’s Economy

  • Lingering Problems include old equipment, lack of materials, few educated workers & capital

  • 1990s - “Russian mafia” criminal organizations grew rapidly

  • control 40% of private companies & 60% of state- owned companies

  • Organized crime slowed economic reform by rewarding illegal activity

    - government cannot tax such activity

European union

European Union

  • Following WWII - Some people believed the best way to rebuild & avoid conflicts was to unify Europe

  • 1951, France Germany, Italy & Benelux move toward unification by forming the European Coal and Steel Community (ECSC)

  • 1957 - European Economic Community (EEC) or Common Market formed

    - removed trade barriers & sets common economic goals

    - people could live and work in any member countries

European union1

European Union

  • 1967 - EEC merged with ECSC to form European Community (EC)

  • 1993 - Maastricht Treaty replaced EC with European Union (EU)

  • Mixed feelings about European Union and euro—common currency

    -Some concerned about use of common euro currency &shifting populations as workers move to areas with higher wages

  • Others feel euro increases business efficiency & international trade

Review questions2

Review Questions

What effect has the Russian mafia had on the economy of Russia?

Who makes all of the economic decisions in a command economy?

Pollution problems

Pollution Problems



  • Wood was used for fuel, building material for ships & houses

  • industry needed wood charcoal for blast furnaces

  • eventually coal replaces wood, but damage to forests is done

Air pollution

Air Pollution

  • Burning fossil fuels like petroleum, gas, and coal creates pollution

    - smog—brown haze from gases interacting with sunlight

    - smog includes ozone -health-threatening form of oxygen

Water pollution

Water Pollution

  • Mines and factories create much of Europe’s water pollution

    - chemicals & solid waste contaminate water

    - burning coal, other fuels causes acid rain

  • Not all cities have sewage treatment plants

  • Pesticides and fertilizers for cotton are picked up by runoff—rainfall not absorbed by soil, runs into streams and rivers

Water pollution1

Water Pollution

  • 2000 - Romanian gold mine leak cyanide enabled poison to get into Hungary’s Tisza River

    - killed 80% of river’s fish, fishing jobs are lost

  • Hydroelectric plants damage animal and plant habitats through thermal pollution - damming discharge of unusually hot water

Cleaning up europe

Cleaning up Europe

  • Pollution has many complex causes and results since it often spreads across borders, contaminating a region.

  • The nations of Europe are cooperating to try to clean up their environment.

  • 1950 - International Commission for Protection of the Rhine formed to clean up Rhine River pollution

    - France, Germany, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Switzerland

  • Individual countries passed laws to make air safer to breathe

  • 1998 - the EU nations agreed to reduce car emissions in 2000

The soviet union s nuclear legacy

The Soviet Union’s Nuclear Legacy

  • The former Soviet Union’s nuclear programs have become a problem

    - poorly constructed nuclear power stations are not being maintained

    - nuclear waste dumps are decaying

The soviet union s nuclear legacy1

The Soviet Union’s Nuclear Legacy

  • Break up of USSR left fate of Soviet nuclear weapons unclear

    - instead of 1 country with weapons, there are 15 independent republics

    - United States fears that Russian nuclear materials could be stolen & misused

  • Also facing problems with aging, poorly built nuclear reactors

    - many are same design as one at 1986 Chernobyl disaster

  • Many regional leaders reluctant to shut down Soviet nuclear reactors

    - it would be too expensive to build new non-nuclear plants

Environmental prospects

Environmental Prospects

  • Some hope that region’s environmental outlook can improve

  • 2000, - Ukraine shut down last active Chernobyl reactor

    - hope to build protective dome for disaster site

  • In 2000, a U.S.-funded treatment plant opened near the White Sea

    - facility treats radioactive waste from Russian nuclear submarines

    - submarine nuclear waste formerly dumped in the sea

Preparing to destroy a russian nuclear missile

Preparing to destroy a Russian nuclear missile

Review questions3

Review Questions

What is smog?

What is ozone?

What river was poisoned when a gold mine in Romania leaked cyanide?

What has the United States been concerned about following the Soviet Union’s break up?

What was the problem, with many of the Russian nuclear reactors?

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