the Mexican state of Baja California to the south. With an area of 160,000 square miles (414,000 km2), it is the third- largest state in the United States in size, after Alaska and Texas .If it were a country, California would be the 59th- largest in the world in area .
California's climate varies from Mediterranean to subarctic .
Much of the state has a Mediterranean climate , with cool, rainy winters and dry summers. The cool California Current offshore often creates summer fog near the coast. Further inland, one encounters colder winters and hotter summers.
California is one of the richest and most diverse parts of the world, and includes some of the most endangered ecological communities. California is part of the Nearctic ecozone and spans a number of terrestrial ecoregions .
Flora and fauna
California boasts several superlatives in its collection of flora: the largest trees , the tallest trees , and the oldest trees . California's native grasses are perennial plants . After European contact, these were generally replaced by invasive species of European annual grasses; and, in modern times, California's hills turn a characteristic golden-brown in summer.
Because California has the greatest diversity of climate and terrain, the state has six life zones which are the lower Sonoran (desert); upper Sonoran (foothill regions and some coastal lands), transition (coastal areas and moist northeastern counties); and the Canadian, Hudsonian, and Arctic Zones, comprising the state's highest elevations.
Plant life in the dry climate of the lower Sonoran zone contains a diversity of native cactus, mesquite, and paloverde. The Joshua tree (Yucca brevifolia) is found in the Mojave Desert. Flowering plants include the dwarf desert poppy and a variety of asters . Fremont cottonwood and valley oak thrive in the Central Valley. The upper Sonoran zone includes the chaparral belt, characterized by forests of small shrubs, stunted trees, and herbaceous plants. Nemophila , mint , phacelia , viola , and the California poppy (Eschscholtzia californica)- the state flower- also flourish in this zone, along with the lupine, more species of which occur here than anywhere else in the world.
The transition zone includes most of California's forests with the redwood ( Sequoia sempervirens ) and the "big tree" or giant sequoia (Sequoia gigantea), among the oldest living things on earth (some are said to have lived at least 4,000 years). Tanbark oak , California laurel , Sugar Pine , madrona , broad-leaved maple, and Douglas-fir also grow here. Forest floors are covered with swordfern , alumnroot, barrenwort , and trillium , and there are tickets of huckleberry , azalea , elder, and wild currant. Characteristic wild flowers include varieties of mariposa, tulip , and tiger and leopard lilies.
Languages As of 2005, 57.6% of California residents age five and older spoke English as a first language at home, while 28.2% spoke Spanish . In addition to English and Spanish, 2.0% spoke Filipino , 1.6% spoke Chinese (which included Cantonese [0.6%] and Mandarin [0.4%]), 1.4% spoke Vietnamese , and 1.1% spoke Korean as their mother tongue . In total, 42.4% of the population spoke languages other than English.[California was historically one of the most linguistically diverse areas in the world, and is home to more than 70 indigenous languages derived from 64 root languages in 6 language families. About half of the indigenous languages are no longer spoken, and all of California's living indigenous languages are endangered . There are some efforts toward language revitalization , such as for the Karuk language . Los Ángeles is the second largest city in the United States The official language of California has been English since the passage of Proposition 63 in 1986 .  However, many state, city, and local government agencies still continue to print official public documents in numerous languages.For example, the California Department of Motor Vehicles offers the written exam for the standard C Class license in 31 languages along with English, and the audio exam in 11 languages.
Produccion Pierre arnold guaman Miguel Derechos reservados