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Geography of Peru

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  • October 2005
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Peru
Peru is located on the west coast of South America, bordered by the South Pacific Ocean, Ecuador, Colombia, Brazil, Bolivia and Chile. Peru can be divided into three major regions, Costa (Coast) - the 3,079-kilometer (1,900 mile) Pacific Coastline; Sierra (Andes) - the central Andean Highlands; Selva (Amazon Basin) — the remote eastern vastness of the Amazonian jungle. The best know of these is the central high sierra of the Andes, with its massive peaks, steep canyons, and extraordinary pre- Columbian archaeological sites. The Andes are still one of the world's most unstable mountain ranges, with frequent earthquakes, landslides, and flash floods. Peru is South America's third largest country. The absolute location of Peru is 10 degrees south and 76 degrees west. Peru is located in the tropics near the equator; Peru's weather is not what you'd expect. On Earth you can find a total of 32 kinds of climate and Peru has 28 of them. On a trip through Peru you might find hot deserts, dry forests, humid savannas, plain rainforests, cold plateaus, cool steppes and icy mountains. Average temperatures decrease about 1.7-Celsius degrees with 450-m increase in elevation. The climate in Peru is strongly influenced by altitude. In the southern hemisphere, the seasons are reversed compared to the northern hemisphere. The Peruvian capital enjoys a particular microclimate originated in the cold current of Humboldt, which skirts to the coast. During the winter, the city is covered with a thick fog very wet, which in general stagnates all the day. In July and August the weather is colder and warmer clothing is recommended. Climatically, it is a desert of remarkable aridity associated with cold ocean waters along the shore. Air moving landward becomes chilled over these waters. Onshore, a relatively cool and heavy layer of surface air underlies warmer air. For this reason, the turbulence needed to generate precipitation is absent, although the surface...

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