English group 110
History of Kazakhstan
24 september 2014
Geography of central Asia
Central Asia is the core region of the Asian continent and stretches from the Caspian Sea in the west to China in the east and from Afghanistan in the south to Russia in the north. It is also sometimes referred to as Middle Asia, and, colloquially, "the 'stans" (as the six countries generally considered to be within the region all have names ending with the Persian suffix "-stan", meaning "land of") and is within the scope of the wider Eurasian continent.
In modern contexts, all definitions of Central Asia include these five republics of the former Soviet Union: Kazakhstan (pop. 17.9 million), Kyrgyzstan (5.8 million), Tajikistan (8.0 million), Turkmenistan (5.2 million), and Uzbekistan (30.2 million), for a total population of 67.1 million as of 2013-2014. Afghanistan (pop. 31.1 million) is also sometimes included. Central Asia is an extremely large region of varied geography, including high passes and mountains (Tian Shan), vast deserts (Kara Kum, Kyzyl Kum, Taklamakan), and especially treeless, grassy steppes. The vast steppe areas of Central Asia are considered together with the steppes of Eastern Europe as a homogeneous geographical zone known as the Eurasian Steppe. Much of the land of Central Asia is too dry or too rugged for farming. The Gobi desert extends from the foot of the Pamirs, to the Great Khingan Mountains, 116°–118° E. Central Asia has the following geographic extremes:
The world's northernmost desert (sand dunes), at Buurug Deliin Els, Mongolia, 50°18′ N. The Northern Hemisphere's southernmost permafrost, at Erdenetsogt sum, Mongolia, 46°17′ N. The world's shortest distance between non-frozen desert and permafrost: 770 km (480 mi). The Eurasian pole of inaccessibility.
Major rivers of the region include the Amu Darya, the Syr Darya, Irtysh, the Hari River and...
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