Shanxi Province covers an area of 156,700 square kilometers, accounting for 1.6 percent of China’s total area. It is 682 kilometers in length and 385 kilometers in width.
The province belongs to the loess plateau, with the layout boundary of a parallelogram slanting from north-east to south-west. The topographic condition is high in north-east and low in south-west, and very complex, including various kinds of landforms as mountainous region, hill, tableland, and plain. Mountainous region and hills make up 80.1% of the whole province while the figure for plains and valleys is 19.9%.
Most part of the province is located at 1500 meters above sea level. The main peak of Mount Wutai Yedou with the height of 3061.1 meters above sea level is the highest in North China.
Shanxi province is inland at middle latitude and has a temperate continental monsoon climate, with four distinct seasons and abundant sunshine and significant climate differences between its southern and northern parts, as well as great temperature changes between summer and winter, as well as between day and night.
Its average temperatures run between 4.2 and 14.2 C and annual precipitation varies between 358 and 621 mm. The June to August period sees the most rainfall, accounting for 60 percent of the total.
Environmental protection and forestation
Shanxi had closed outdated production facilities in 2012 to bring its resource utilization rate and large-scale industrial solid-waste utilization rate reaching above 50 percent and worked on improving its environmental quality through air monitoring in 11 major cities, where air quality met national Level two standards and water quality rose 5.3 percent. It has had some success in improving environmental quality in the city of Taiyuan, the provincial capital and it has also improved environmental management in key areas. By the end of 2012, its forested area totaled 2,824,000 hectares and forest coverage reached 18.03 percent.