GREAT BRITAIN (PART 3 )
Britain's longest rivers are the Severn, which is 220 miles (354 kilometers) long, and the Thames, which is 215 miles (346 kilometers) long. Many British rivers have drowned mouths, called estuaries, up which the ocean tides flow. These rivers include the Clyde and Forth of Scotland: the Humber, Mersey, and Thames of England: and the Severn of England and Wales. Their estuaries make excellent harbors. Bristol, Hull, Liverpool, London, Southampton, and other cities on or near estuaries are important ports.
Lough Neagh in Northern Ireland is the largest lake in the British Isles. It is about 18 miles (29 kilometers) long and about 11 miles (18 kilometers) wide. Loch Lomond in Scotland is the largest lake on the island of Great Britain. England's biggest lakes are in the Lake District.
Great Britain has a mild climate, even though it lies as far north as bitterly cold Labrador. Winter temperatures rarely drop as low as - 12°C, and summer temperatures seldom reach 32°C. Britain's climate is influenced by the Gulf Stream, a warm ocean current that sweeps up from the equator and flows past the British Isles. Southwest winds blow across this current and bring warmth in winter. In summer, the ocean waters are cooler than the land. Winds over the waters come to Britain as refreshing breezes.
The sea winds also bring plentiful rain. Britain has rain throughout the year, and rarely is any section of the country dry for as long as three weeks. Mild fogs hang over parts of Britain from time to time. But the famous «pea soup» fogs of London and other big cities seldom occur any more. These fogs were caused by pollution released into the air by home furnaces, factories, and cars. Antipollution laws have helped to make such fogs much less severe than they once were.
Except for coal, iron ore, natural gas, and oil, Britain has few natural resources. Coal has been mined in the country for over 300 years. The richest layers of coal along the Pennines, in southern Wales, and in the Central Lowlands of Scotland have been worked out. Thick new layers have been found in central and northeastern England. Britain's largest iron ore deposits lie south and east of the Pennines.
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