|Geography and Climate
United Kingdom in Western Europe, are islands including the northern one-sixth of the island of Ireland between the North Atlantic Ocean and the North Sea, northwest of France.
Area - comparative: slightly smaller than Oregon. Total land boundary 360 km, border country, Ireland 360 km.
Climate is temperate; moderated by prevailing southwest winds over the North Atlantic Current; more than one-half of the days are overcast. Terrain consists of mostly rugged hills and low mountains; level to rolling plains in east and southeast. Elevation extreme has the lowest point in Fenland -4 m and highest point in Ben Nevis 1,343 m. Natural resources are coal, petroleum, natural gas, tin, limestone, iron ore, salt, clay, chalk, gypsum, lead, silica. Land use: arable land: 25%, permanent crops: 0%, permanent pastures: 46%, forests and woodland: 10%, other: 19% (1993 est.). Irrigated land: 1,080 sq km (1993 est.).
Environmentâ€”current issues: sulfur dioxide emissions from power plants contribute to air pollution; some rivers polluted by agricultural wastes and coastal waters polluted because of large-scale disposal of sewage at sea.
Geographyâ€”note: lies near vital North Atlantic sea lanes; only 35 km from France and now linked by tunnel under the English Channel; because of heavily indented coastline, no location is more than 125 km from tidal waters.
Ref. Anonymous, 1999