|Geography and Climate
Austria is a landlocked country, located in Central Europe, north of Italy and Slovenia. The area comparatively slightly smaller than Maine. The total land boundary is 2,562 km, border countries are zech Republic 362 km, Germany 784 km, Hungary 366 km, Italy 430 km, Liechtenstein 35 km, Slovakia 91 km, Slovenia 330 km and Switzerland 164 km.
Austria has temperate climate; continental, cloudy; cold winters with frequent rain in lowlands and snow in mountains; cool summers with occasional showers. Terrain in the west and south mostly mountains (Alps); along the eastern and northern margins mostly flat or gently sloping. The elevation extremes is lowest point in Neusiedler See 115 m and highest point in Grossglockner 3,797 m. Natural resources are iron ore, oil, timber, magnesite, lead, coal, lignite, copper, hydropower .
Land use: arable land: 17%, permanent crops: 1%, permanent pastures: 23%, forests and woodland: 39%, other: 20% (1996 est.). Irrigated land: 40 sq km (1993 est.)
Environment—current issues: some forest degradation caused by air and soil pollution; soil pollution results from the use of agricultural chemicals; air pollution results from emissions by coal- and oil-fired power stations and industrial plants and from trucks transiting Austria between northern and southern Europe
Geography—note: landlocked; strategic location at the crossroads of central Europe with many easily traversable Alpine passes and valleys; major river is the Danube; population is concentrated on eastern lowlands because of steep slopes, poor soils, and low temperatures elsewhere.
Ref. Anonymous, 1999