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Northern Europe is the northern part or region of Europe. The United Nations defines Northern Europe as including the following countries and dependent regions:Denmark,Faroe Islands,Estonia,Finland,Aland Islands,Iceland,Ireland,Latvia,Lithuania,Norway,Svalbard and Jan Mayen,Sweden,United Kingdom, Guernsey,Isle of Man,Jersey

Nordic countries or Nordic region include only a subset of the mentioned countries and territories. Before the 20th century, the term 'Nordic' or 'Northern' was commonly used to mean Northern Europe in a sense that included the Nordic countries, European Russia, the Baltic countries (at that time Estonia, Livonia and Courland). The United Kingdom and Ireland are sometimes included in Western Europe.

Geography of Northern Europe

Northern Europe consists of the Scandinavian peninsula, the peninsula of Jutland, the Baltic plain that lies to the east and the many islands that lie offshore from mainland northern Europe, Greenland and the main European continent. The area is defined by the volcanic islands of the far northwest, notably Iceland and Jan Mayen, the mountainous western seaboard, extending from the mountainous sections of Great Britain & Ireland to the Scandinavian mountains, the central north mountains and hills of Sweden (which are the foothills of the Scandinavian mountains) and the large eastern plain, which contains, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Finland.

The region has a south west extreme of just under 50 degrees north and a northern extreme of 81 degrees north. The entire region's climate is affected by the Gulf Stream which has a mild influence on the climate. From the west climates vary from maritime and maritime subarctic climates. In the north and central climates are generally subarctic or Arctic and to the east climates are mostly subarctic and temperate/continental. As the climate and relief varies vegetation is also extremely variable, with sparse tundra in the north and high mountains, boreal forest on the north-eastern and central regions temperate coniferous forests (formerly of which a majority was in the Scottish highlands and south west Norway) and temperate broadleaf forests growing in the south, west and temperate east.