|Jordan is an almost entirely landlocked country
in the Middle East. It is surrounded by Syria to the north, Iraq to the
northeast, Saudi Arabia to the east and south, and Israel to the west.
Jordanís only port is Aqaba on the Red Sea in the southwest.
Jordan has few sources of fresh water. The water of the Jordan River, which rises in Lebanon and passes through Lake Tiberias (also known as the Sea of Galilee), is controlled by a sluice at the south end of the lake. Often the river is no bigger than a stream. The Jordan River flows into the Dead Sea.
|The Jordan River Valley is part of the Great Rift
Valley, which extends from the Middle East all the way to east-central
Africa. The summers here are hot and dry and the winters are short and
mild, so the valley is suitable for agriculture. Another agricultural region
is the highlands, with a Mediterranean climate.
The rest of Jordan has a desert climate, with less than 5 cm of rainfall per year. Most cropland is irrigated to combat drought. Any rainfall normally comes between November and March. The climate ranges from very hot in summer (around 38°C) to below freezing in winter in the north, especially in the plateau area.
|The desert is part of the Syrian Desert, which
extends across Syria, Iraq, Saudi Arabia and Jordan. The southern desert
area in Jordan is known as Wadi Rum. It is characterized by rock and canyons
(wadi ) that trap rainfall, conserving water for livestock or crops if
a well is sunk. The Wadi Rum area is now rarely used for agriculture, but
is popular with tourists because of its unusual scenery.
Although Jordan has suffered from deforestation
and soil erosion, the governmentís tree planting program has begun to address