The Alps in Europe which run through the middle of this MODIS image, is one of the great mountain range systems of Europe, stretching from Austria, Italy and Slovenia in the east, through Italy. As well as Switzerland, Liechtenstein and Germany to France in the west.
The altitude and size of the range affects the climate in Europe; in the mountains precipitation levels vary greatly and climatic conditions consist of distinct zones. Wildlife such as ibex live in the higher peaks to elevations of 3,400 m (11,155 ft), and plants such as Edelweiss grow in rocky areas in lower elevations as well as in higher elevations. Evidence of human habitation in the Alps goes back to the Palaeolithic era.