About of Europe

Europe is the world’s second-smallest continent by surface area, covering about 10,180,000 square kilometers or 2% of the earth’s surface and about 6.8% of its land area. Europe’s approximately 50 countries, Russia is the largest by both and population, taking up 40% of the continent. Vatican City is the smallest. Europe is the third-most populous continent after Asia and Africa, with a population of 770 million or about 14% of the world’s population in 2011 AD. The most commonly used currency is the Euro.

Europe is sometimes described as a peninsula of peninsulas. A peninsula is a piece of land surrounded by water on three sides. There is Asia in the eastern direction which is separated by Ural mountain range and Ural River. Likewise Europe is separated by the Mediterranean Sea from Africa content in the southern direction. Europe continent totally lies in northern direction. It extends from 250 W to 650 E Longitudes and 350 N to 730 N latitudes. Expect a little piece of land in extreme north, Europe lies in North Temperate Zone.

Physical Division of Europe

Europe can be divided into four major physical regions, running from north to south: Western Uplands, North European Plain, Central Uplands, and Alpine Mountains.

Western Uplands

The Western Uplands, also known as the Northern Highlands, curve up the western edge of Europe and define the physical landscape of Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, and Denmark), Finland, Iceland, Scotland, and Ireland, the Brittany region of France, Spain, and Portugal.

North European Plain

The North European Plain extends from the Southern United Kingdom east to Russia. It includes parts of France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Germany, Denmark, Poland, the Baltic states (Estonia, Latvia, and Lithuania), and Belarus.

Central Uplands (The southern mountains and plateaus)

The Central Uplands extend east-west across central Europe and include western France and Belgium, southern Germany, the Czech Republic, and parts of northern Switzerland and Austria. These central plateaus are made of a system of old mountains and are not very high.

Important highlands in this region include the Massif Central and the Vosges in France, the Ardennes of Belgium, the Black Forest and the Taunus in Germany, and the Ore and Sudetenland in the Czech Republic.

Alpine Mountains

To the south of these mountains lies a chain of young fold mountains, which forms barrier between Northern Europe and the Mediterranean region which is called alpine system. The Alpine Mountains includes ranges in the Italian and Balkan peninsulas, northern Spain, and southern France. The region includes the mountains of the Alps, Pyrenees, Apennines, Dinaric Alps, Balkans, and Carpathians. Mount Elbrus (5,642 meters/ 18,510 feet) is in the Caucasus Mountains of Russia.

Climate and Natural Vegetation of Europe

Europe lies mainly in the temperate climate Zones. The climate is milder in comparison to other area of the same latitude around the globe due to influence of the Stream. The Gulf Stream is named “Europe’s central heating”, because it makes Europe’s climate warmer and wetter to Europe’s coast but also warms up the prevailing westerly winds that blow across the continent from the Atlantic Ocean. Overall, much of Europe has a relatively mild climate.

Like its physical regions, Europe’s plant and animal communities follow a general north-south orientation. The tundra is a treeless region where small mosses, lichens, and ferns grow. This grassland is called steppes. Wild animals like polar bear, reindeer are found in this region. Huge herds of reindeer feed on these tiny plants.

Around 15 percent of Europe’s animal species are threatened or endangered, mainly by habitat loss, population, overexploiting, and competition. Now governments and non-governmental organizations have been working to restore some of Europe’s rich biodiversity. Establishing fishing limits, protecting threatened habitats, and encouraging sustainable consumption habits are some efforts supported by European conservationists.

Social-economic Life of European People

Europe is one of the most developed continents of the world. As the economic activities are highly modernized, people’s living standard is very high. The area around the Mediterranean region is very suitable for the agricultural activities. So people adopt commercial cultivation system in this region. They cultivate fruits like, lime, grapes lemon, etc. in large amount. Though only around 10% of people involve in agricultural sector, their agricultural production is adequate for the people of entire continent. They use developed farming system there. Beside this, animal husbandry, industries, trade, fishing, mining etc. are highly developed in this continent. Transportation is well developed on the rivers and seas of Europe along with road, rail and air transportation. The common currency among European countries called Euro has made the economic activities these countries easier. So trade, business and other economic activities are flourished there.

People live their busy life there. Majority of them follow Christian religion and Christian rituals. Many people are residing here even from Asia and Africa permanently. Europe has largely been a center of great culture and economic achievement since the beginning.

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