China: Geography                                                                

Asia is the planet's largest continent with 44 countries and assorted island dependencies. 

Significant features of the continent include the world's tallest mountain, Mt. Everest in Nepal, at 29,035 ft (8,850m), and the world's most populated countries, China and India. 

The continent's lowest point is in the Dead Sea, Israel/Jordan, at 1,286 ft (392m) below sea level.

Area                                        9,596,960 sq km


Area Comparative                  Slightly smaller than the US


Terrain                                    Mostly mountains, High plateaus, Deserts in the                                                   west; Plains, deltas and hills in the east


Natural Resources                  Coal, iron ore, petroleum, natural gas, mercury, tin,                                        tungsten, antimony, manganese,  molybdenum,                                                             vanadium, magnetite, aluminum, lead, zinc, rare earth               elements, uranium,  hydropower                                                    potential (world's largest), arable land


Natural Hazards                     Frequent typhoons (about 5 per year along south and east                     coasts)                                                                                                                                                                                              Damaging floods




                                              Land subsidence

                                              Volcanism: Historically active volcanoes include:                                                                 Changbaishan (photo) (also known as Baitoushan,                                                         Baegdu or P'aektu-san), Hainan Dao, and Kunlun                                     although most have been inactive in recent centuries


Environmental Issues            

  • Air pollution (greenhouse gases, sulfur dioxide particulates) from reliance on coal produces acid rain
  • China is the world's largest single emitter of carbon dioxide from the burning of fossil fuels
  • Water shortages, particularly in the north
  • Water pollution from untreated waste
  • Deforestation
  • Estimated loss of one-fifth of agricultural land since 1949 to soil erosion and economic development
  • Desertification
  • Trade in endangered species