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For your initial post in the discussion topic, discuss how the physical attributes of Europe and Russia vary. Do these attributes impact the relative location of Europe and Russia with that of the rest of the world any differently?
In response to your peers, you should make connections from the original post to your choice of one or more of the five themes of geography.
To complete this assignment, review the Discussion Rubric document.
Mary Jones posted Jan 21, 2020 5:48 PM
The physical differences of Europe and Russia include variation in landscape, size, and population.
Europe is considered to be a peninsula of peninsulas, as it is bordered by water on three sides. The Arctic Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Black Sea, Caspian Sea, and Mediterranean Sea surround this continent (National Geographic Society “Europe: Physical Geography” 2012). Russia is also surrounded by water, but only on two sides. The Arctic Ocean, Barents Sea, Kara Sea, Laptev Sea, East Siberian Sea, Bering Sea, Sea of Okhetsk, and Black Sea surround this country (“Russia Physical Map 2019”).
Europe can be divided into four major physical regions – the Western Uplands, North European Plain, Central Uplands, and the Alpine Mountains. The Western Uplands contain marshlands, lakes, and fjords. The North European Plain contains rivers and crops, and is the most populated area of the country. The Central Uplands are heavily wooded and are not home to much of the overall population. The Alpine Mountains includes higher elevations, plateaus, and volcanoes (National Geographic Society “Europe: Physical Geography” 2012).
The landscape of Russia includes mountains, such as the Ural Mountains, marshes, forests, and plains. The Caucaus Mountains contain the highest elevation in the country at 18,481 feet on Mt. Elbrus. Russia is home to over 100,000 rivers, most of them spanning over 7 miles in length. The tundra, otherwise known as the Russian Arctic, is another major landscape of this country. It stretches over 4300 miles from west to east. Besides these physical attributes, most of Russia is composed of forests. The Taiga is a region that accounts for over 60% of Russia, where forests run from the west towards the Pacific Ocean in the East (“Answers” 2017).
Another difference between Europe and Russia is the size of each. Europe is 3.9 million square miles and covers approximately 2% of the Earth’s surface. It is composed of 50 sovereign states and is the second-smallest continent in the world (“Physical Map of Europe”). Russia is the opposite, as it is the world’s largest country in total area, spanning 17.1 million square kilometers (“Answers” 2017).
Population is another physical variance that we see between the two. In 2016, the population of Europe was estimated at 741.4 million people (“Physical Map of Europe”), whereas the population of Russia according to the 2010 census was 142.9 million (“Russia Population 2020”). Even though Russia is significantly larger than Europe, the population density throughout Europe is much more than that of Russia.
Overall, the differences between Europe and Russia are quite extensive, even though they are located so closely.
“Physical Map of Europe.” Europe Physical Map, www.mapsofworld.com/physical-map/europe.htm.
“Russia Physical Map.” Maps of World, www.mapsofworld.com/physical-map/russia.html.
“Answers.” World Atlas – Maps, Geography, Travel, 7 Apr. 2017, www.worldatlas.com/webimage/countrys/asia/russia/ruland.htm.
National Geographic Society. “Europe: Physical Geography.” National Geographic Society, 9 Oct. 2012, www.nationalgeographic.org/encyclopedia/europe-physical-geography/.
Mattyasovszky, Miklos. “The Largest Countries in the World.” WorldAtlas, 10 May 2015, www.worldatlas.com/articles/the-largest-countries-in-the-world-the-biggest-nations-as-determined-by-total-land-area.html.
“Russia Population 2020.” Russia Population 2020 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs), worldpopulationreview.com/countries/russia-population/.
One of the first noticeable variations of Europe and Russian physical attributes is size. Russia boasts the broadest geographic realm on Earth, spanning from the Baltic Sea in the west to the Pacific Ocean in the east (Nijman et al. 2017). It shares a border with Europe, Southwest Asia, South Asia, and East Asia (Nijman et al. 2017). Europe is quite small and makes up the western peninsula of the world’s largest landmass Eurasia (National Geographic 2012). Even though it is the second smallest continent, it maintains a strategic location when compared to other areas such as Russia/Central Asia and Africa (National Geographic 2012).
The European realm has the waters of the Atlantic, Arctic, and Mediterranean to its west, north, and south while bordering Russia in the east (Nijman et al. 2017). Europe has navigable rivers, fertile soil, making it a dominant economic, social, and cultural force (National Geographic 2012). In spite of its immense size, the Russia/Central Asia realm severely lacks warm water access to the world ocean (Nijman et al. 2017). Much of Russia is cold and dry; the Ural Mountains, as seen in the picture, help create a natural barrier between warmer subtropical air while leaving most of it open to Arctic air mass from the north (Nijman et al. 2017). The largest population is on the west side of the mountain, along with its major industries and farming (Nijman et al. 2017). The lack of access to the world ocean, as seen in the map, has hindered Russia due to the Arctic ocean is frozen most of the year (Nijman et al. 2017).
The location of Russia and Europe, along with their varying physical attributes, makes for a significant impact compared to the rest of the world. Russia’s lack of access to open water dramatically hampers their ability to ship goods and given the rugged terrain, and extreme weather, agriculture, and shipping products by vehicle are difficult. Europe has a great location, and being a peninsula on the western flank of the Eurasian landmass gives them greater access to the world ocean (Nijman et al. 2017). Allowing them to be significant influencers on the global market.