Russia’s Climate and Physical Geography
Russia is the largest country globally but remains less than two percent of the world’s population. Two landforms mainly dominate Russia; half the country is covered with lowland plains, while the rest is plateaus. The climate is mostly winter, and these features have significantly shaped the human geography and development in the country. Russia’s settlement patterns, the development of infrastructure, and the utilization of resources have been greatly shaped by its physical geography and climate. These features have been more of a detriment to the country than a benefit.
Russia’s climate and physical geography significantly impacted its human settlement patterns, infrastructural development, and resource utilization. Most of Russia is extremely cold and unfavorable for human settlement, presenting challenges for its population. Due to the cold climate, most of Russia’s population is found in the western regions, a relatively small area compared to the whole country. They have been scattered over large landmasses in huge but isolated urban centers. The arable land and that which is suitable for development is comparatively smaller as Russia lacks variety in terms of climate and landforms. This challenges people’s development and creativity since they have to adjust to the climate in all aspects of their lives. Businesses and industries had to adjust to the extreme cold by developing infrastructure and buildings to withstand the harsh climate. Moreover, Russia has a lot of natural resources, but most are inaccessible due to its physical geography. The resources can be found in remote, climatically unfavorable areas making them difficult (or impossible) to utilize. Thus, Russia’s physical geography and climate have affected the country’s settlement patterns, development, and resource utilization.
Overall, Russia’s climate and physical geography have been a detriment to the country. They have been a detriment because the harsh climates and poor physical geography have resulted in most of its land being left uninhabited and unused. The climate and physical geography also make it impractical to develop the areas, which is a detriment to Russia’s development. Most of the country is full of natural resources, but it is difficult or almost impossible to tap them and transport them to industrial areas because of these features. Another reason is that the few human settlements and industrial developments in harsh climatic regions have to be highly specialized and require high energy consumption to cope with permanently frozen soils and cold temperatures. This is a disadvantage to Russia due to the significantly higher infrastructural development costs. These factors show that Russia’s climate and physical geography are an overall detriment instead of a benefit to the country.