Brazil

By Tadrean Shaw-Rucker

History


Eastern South America, bordering the Atlantic Ocean

Geographic coordinates:

10 00 S, 55 00 W

Map references:

South America

Area:

total: 8,514,877 sq km

country comparison to the world: 5

land: 8,459,417 sq km

water: 55,460 sq km

note: includes Arquipelago de Fernando de Noronha, Atol das Rocas, Ilha da Trindade, Ilhas Martin Vaz, and Penedos de Sao Pedro e Sao Paulo

Area - comparative:

slightly smaller than the US

Land boundaries:

total: 16,885 km

border countries: Argentina 1,261 km, Bolivia 3,423 km, Colombia 1,644 km, French Guiana 730 km, Guyana 1,606 km, Paraguay 1,365 km, Peru 2,995 km, Suriname 593 km, Uruguay 1,068 km, Venezuela 2,200 km

Coastline:

7,491 km

Maritime claims:

territorial sea: 12 nm

contiguous zone: 24 nm

exclusive economic zone: 200 nm

continental shelf: 200 nm or to edge of the continental margin

Climate:

mostly tropical, but temperate in south

Terrain:

mostly flat to rolling lowlands in north; some plains, hills, mountains, and narrow coastal belt

Elevation extremes:

lowest point: Atlantic Ocean 0 m

highest point: Pico da Neblina 2,994 m

Natural resources:

bauxite, gold, iron ore, manganese, nickel, phosphates, platinum, tin, rare earth elements, uranium, petroleum, hydropower, timber

Land use:

arable land: 8.45%

permanent crops: 0.83%

other: 90.72% (2011)

Irrigated land:

54,000 sq km (2011)

Total renewable water resources:

8,233 cu km (2011)

Freshwater withdrawal (domestic/industrial/agricultural):

total: 58.07 cu km/yr (28%/17%/55%)

per capita: 306 cu m/yr (2006)

Natural hazards:

recurring droughts in northeast; floods and occasional frost in south

Environment - current issues:

deforestation in Amazon Basin destroys the habitat and endangers a multitude of plant and animal species indigenous to the area; there is a lucrative illegal wildlife trade; air and water pollution in Rio de Janeiro, Sao Paulo, and several other large cities; land degradation and water pollution caused by improper mining activities; wetland degradation; severe oil spills

Environment - international agreements:

party to: Antarctic-Environmental Protocol, Antarctic-Marine Living Resources, Antarctic Seals, Antarctic Treaty, Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Environmental Modification, Hazardous Wastes, Law of the Sea, Marine Dumping, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 83, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: none of the selected agreements

Geography - note:

largest country in South America; shares common boundaries with every South American country except Chile and Ecuado