North America is the northern continent of the Americas, situated in the Earth's northern hemisphere and almost totally in the western hemisphere. It is bordered on the north by the Arctic Ocean, on the east by the North Atlantic Ocean, on the southeast by the Caribbean Sea, and on the west by the North Pacific Ocean; South America lies to the southeast. North America covers an area of about 9 540 000 sq. mi, about 4.8% of the planet's surface or about 16.5% of its land area. The North America includes also the numerous of islands: Greenland, Canadian Arctic archipelago, Aleutian islands, Vancouver island, the archipelago of Alexander and others. Area of North America without the islands 7 900 000 sq. mi.
The density of population is high on the islands of Caribbean sea and in the mainland part of central America. Here it is more than 500 people by 1 sq. mi.
22 independent states are located on the territory of North America: Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Belize, Haiti, Guatemala, Honduras, Dominic, Dominican Republic, Canada, Costa Rica, Cuba, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama, El Salvador, Saint-Lusiya, Saint-Vincent and Grenadins, the United States of America, Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaica.
North America is the only continent that has every kind of climate, from the dry, bitter cold of the Arctic to the steamy heat of the tropics. An icecap permanently covers the interior of Greenland, where the temperature almost never rises above freezing. In the North American tundra, the vast treeless plain of the far north, the temperature rises above freezing for only a short period each summer. In the low-lying areas of the far south, it is hot and rainy all the time.
Most of the rest of North America is cold in the winter and warm in the summer, with moderate precipitation. Some areas have mild winters and long, hot summers. Other areas have harsh winters and short summers. The highest temperature ever recorded in North America was 134ºF (27ºC) at Death Valley in 1913. The lowest temperature was -87ºF. (-66ºC) at Northice in Greenland in 1954.