CALIFORNIA, principal Pacific Coast State of United States (No. 31 in order of ad mission), bounded north by Oregon, south by Mexico (Lower California), east by Nevada and Arizona, west by Pacific Ocean. Extreme length about 800 miles, coast line 1,097 miles, greatest width about 2'0 miles. Area (No. 2 in United States), 158,360 square miles (2,380 water). Pop. (1910) (No. 21 in United States) 2,377,549, an increase of 892,496 (60.1 per cent) since the census of 1900. Pop. (1916) 2,938,654, an increase of 561,105 (23.6 per cent) in six years.
Topography and Its peculiar shape, determined less by political than by nat ural delimitations, gives California a character unique among the States, climatically and eco nomically. It has a range of climate all its own, and its boundaries include all the climates in North America. It is longest of the States; and, in proportion to its length, narrowest. It corresponds with an area which upon the At lantic seaboard should run as far inland as does South Carolina, and as long coastwise as from Charleston to Boston. This in itself gives large range of climate by latitudes; but its to pography and its colimitations greatly increase this range. Its peculiar projection or gleaning outs upon the Pacific; its enormous coast line (somewhat less than one-fifth total coastline of the United States) ; and particularly its ((ex to the west and south upon this great equalizer; its contact on the east with the °Great American Deserts; its huge mountain systems; and its orographic protection against the north, are all vital factors in determining its atmos pheric temperament. While the Atlantic sea board is made humid by the warm Gulf Stream, and is open to the north (its mountains being scattered, low and well inland), California is screened from the Arctic air-currents by a vast Alpine range, almost unbroken in its whole length and with its lowest passes 50 per cent higher than the highest peak east of Colorado. The State has 120 peaks exceeding 8,000 feet, 41 exceeding 10,000 feet and 11 exceeding 13,000 feet. From its northern boundary down
to Point Conception, California is washed by the cold Kuro Siwo, or Japan current, swinging back from the Arctic; and the exposure is largely westerly. From this point southward the exposure is more southerly, the Japan cur rent is deflected far off-shore, and the coast is sheltered by a long line of islands. Tempered on one side by an equable ocean, on the other by 1,000 miles of arid lands, the climate of Cal ifornia is still further differentiated by its mountain systems. Roughly speaking, it is all 'under wall.° Two huge cordilleras, inosculat ing at the north and south, form an almost com plete circumvallation of the great agricultural region; while to the south, though the ranges are much broken down, there is something like a repetition of this pattern, on a much smaller scale; the whole forming something like an inverted figure 8. In their major loop, these ranges enclose one great central valley, practi cally level, of 18,000 square miles,— or about the aggregate area of Massachusetts, New Jer sey and Delaware,— screening it from the Arc tic, and filtering the winds from sea and desert. This great rampart is broken down only at the Golden Gate, through which, in a mile-wide pas sage, the drainage of this enormous watershed reaches the sea. In their imperfect minor loop, there is a broken congeries of valleys aggregat ing an almost equal area, sheltered from the desert, but as a rule open southerly toward the here warmer sea. To the east of the main wall lies a large but almost uninhabited area, strictly desert, and part of the great interior wastes. The inclination of the State to the west, and its consequent southern exposure, is indicated by the fact that despite its narrowness the ex tremes are three-fourths as far apart in longi tude as in latitude. The southeast corner or San Bernardino County is nearly 500 miles more easterly than False Cape; while from Ore gon to the Mexican line the north and south distance is about 655 miles.