Kyrgyz Republic is located in the eastern part of central Asia and is bordered on the north by Kazakhstan, on the east by China, on the south by China and Tajikistan, and on the west by Uzbekistan. The total area is 198 500 km2.
Kyrgyzstan is very mountainous. The Tian Shan and Alay Mountains cover most of the country. Only about one-eighth of the country lies below 1 500 m. Glaciers and permanent snowfields cover the tops of the higher mountains. Jenish Chokosu is the highest peak at 7 439 m. The Fergana Valley in the west and the Chu Valley in the north are among the few significant lowland areas.
The chief rivers include the Naryn, Shu, and Talas. The Naryn, Kyrgyzstan's largest river, originates in the mountains in the north-east and flows westward through the middle of the country. The Shu River, in northern Kyrgyzstan, flows northward into southern Kazakhstan. Ysyk-Köl, the largest lake in Kyrgyzstan and one of the largest mountain lakes in the world, is located at an altitude of 1 609 m in the north-eastern portion of the country.
The country's climate varies with the altitude. The climate is subtropical in the Fergana Valley and temperate in the northern foothill zone. The lower mountain slopes have a dry continental climate while the upper elevations are alpine.
July temperatures average 16 to 24° C in the valleys and plains and about 5° C in the mountains. Winters are very chilly in the lowlands and extremely cold in the mountains. January temperatures average -5 to -14° C in the lowlands and -28° C in the mountains. Precipitation averages between 100 and 500 mm in the valleys and from 180 to 1 000 mm in the mountains.
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