Mongolia

Geography

 

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Mongolia is a landlocked country that is sandwiched in between Russia and China. Although it is the 18th largest country in the world (603,909 sq. mi), it has a total population of 3 million people. To the west, the north, and in the central plateau, are mountains. The east and the south are mostly steppe (grassland) and govi (gravel semi-desert).

 

Climate

 

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The Mongolian climate consists of long, cold winters and short, hot summers. The capital city, Ulan Bator, has an average January temperature of -40 degrees Farenheit. July has an average temperature of 63 degrees Farenheit. Spring brings wind and dust, summer brings rainstorms. The frozen snow of Mongolian winters can be hugely impactful to livestock, as they can no longer graze on pastures. This problem has been very intense in the past decade, and Nat Geo recently published a story about winter’s dangers (dzud). The story, can be read here: https://www.nationalgeographic.com/photography/proof/2018/04/extreme-winter-mongolia-dzud-environment-science/

 

Language

 

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Mongol is the official language of Mongolia. It is an Ural-Altaic language, and linguistically, most closely resembles the Turkic languages of Central Asian republics, and Turkey. With time, Tibetan, Chinese, and Russian terms have diffused into Mongol. The Mongolian Cyrillic alphabet was instituted after the Second World War, when the Soviet Union had a large foothold in Mongolia. Uighur is the earlier script that was introduced under Genghis Khan, and then banned during the Soviet period. It has since been revived with the birth of democracy in 1990.