km² Mongolia is the world's nineteenth-largest country.
of Mongolia is varied with the Gobi desert to the south and with cold
and mountainous regions to the north and west. Mongolia consists of
relatively flat steppes. The highest point in Mongolia is the Khüiten
Peak in the Tavan bogd massif in the far west at 4,374 m. The basin
of the lake Uvs Nuur, shared with Tuva Republic in Russia, is a natural
World Heritage Site.
the country is hot in the summer and very cold in the winter, with January
averages going as low as -30°C (-22°F). Moreover, the country
is subject to occasional harsh climatic conditions known as zud. Ulan
Bator has the coldest average temperature of any national capital in
the world. Mongolia has an extreme continental climate with long, cold
winters and short summers, during which most of its annual precipitation
falls. The extreme south is the Gobi, some regions of which receive
no precipitation at all in most years.
"Gobi" is a Mongol term for a desert steppe, which usually
refers to a category of arid rangeland with insufficient vegetation
to support marmots but with enough to support camels. Mongols distinguish
Gobi from desert proper, although the distinction is not always apparent
to outsiders unfamiliar with the Mongolian landscape. Gobi rangelands
are fragile and are easily destroyed by overgrazing, which results in
expansion of the true desert, a stony waste where not even Bactrian
camels can survive.