Uvs Nuur Basin, Mongolia. Image courtesy of NASA.
Far from a moderating ocean, the Uvs Nuur Basin has an extreme climate with temperatures that swing from a low of -58 degrees Celsius (-72 Fahrenheit) during the winter up to 40 Celsius (104 Fahrenheit) in the summer. Containing a number of ecosystems in its fresh and salt water lakes, deserts, mountains, grasslands, and forests, the basin provides an important habitat for a variety of animals ranging from the endangered snow leopard to the white-tailed sea eagle. Because of its diversity and the relatively low amount of human impact on the area, the basin is a United Nations World Heritage Site.