Russia is well known for having bitterly cold winters. It is commonplace for most areas to see temperatures dropped below -18 °C (0 °F). There is one region, however, that is much warmer than the rest of Russia, the Black Sea coast. This region has a warm water port in Novorossiysk. The city of Novorossiysk serves as an asset for the country of Russia. Its port is an exporter of grain, oil, and steel. Geography influences its subtropical climate and the reason for it being founded in the first place as its bay and much of the Black Sea stays ice-free year-round. These factors make Novorossiysk Russia's main Black Sea port, and a major warm water port in Russia.
Geography of Russia
Russia is the world's largest nation. Its territory stretches from above the Arctic Circle in the far north to the Black Sea and Caucasus Mountains in the south. Russia at its westernmost point borders Norway. At its easternmost point, it is across the Bering Strait from the US state of Alaska. There are a variety of landforms in this vast nation, ranging from boreal forests and tundra to high mountains, vast plains, and wetlands. There are a variety of climates in Russia as a result. Humid continental and subarctic are the dominant climates in Russia. However, Russia does have a region with a humid subtropical climate along its Black Sea coast.
Russia's Subtropical Zone
The Black Sea coast is known as the Caucasian Riviera, reflecting the Caucasus Mountain range located nearby. Being in southwest Russia, the Krasnodar Krai is home to the warmest region in Russia. The Caucasus Mountains located in this region are the highest mountains in Russia. These mountains shield the Black Sea coast from the cold winds of the Siberian anticyclone. As a result, the world's northernmost subtropical climate is located here. Because of the climate, there is a large warm water port in this region.
Geography and Economy of Novorossiysk
The main warm water port of the Black Sea is Novorossiysk. This is Russia's main Black Sea port. Novorossiysk is located within Tsemess Bay. Where this Black Sea port city is located, the bay has been known for over 2,000 years as one of the Black Sea's better bays. Tsemess Bay is the only suitable natural harbor along the Russia's Black Sea coast. Being ringed by mountains makes this bay a decent harbor. Since the days of Ptolemy it has been a center of maritime trade. It was established as a Greek colony. It was a major center for the grain trade in its ancient days. It is Russia's main port for grain exports. Being so far south in Russia and with Russia's main wheat-growing region nearby, Novorossiysk is a fitting location for exporting grain. In addition to grain, Novorossiysk is a major oil port on the Black Sea. The Baku-Novorossiysk Pipeline carries oil from the Caspian Sea city of Baku, Azerbaijan to Novorossiysk. Steel is also produced and exported here.
Novorossiysk as a Warm Water Port
Novorossiysk has many benefits from being a warm water port on the Black Sea coast. While Murmansk has an ice-free port, Novorossiysk has an ice-free port located in significantly warmer waters. The ice-free port of Murmansk is located amid an ice-filled Arctic Ocean. The Northern Sea Route, even with declining levels of sea ice, is still only navigable for part of the year. Novorossiysk is a warm water port in the much warmer Black Sea. Any ice that forms in the Black Sea is often limited to the northern and northwestern shores of the Black Sea, with the rest of the Black Sea remaining free of ice year-round. This is especially important because the Bosphorus Strait connects the Black Sea with the Mediterranean Sea. This maritime thoroughfare is the route taken to reach places such as Egypt and Turkey.
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