A planet, homeworld of the Cardassians and capital of the Cardassian Union.
Unlike many M-class planets, Cardassia Prime has little in the way of climatic variation. The heavy cloud-cover acts like a thermal blanket, ensuring that divisions between climatic zones are extremely fuzzy. Cardassian environmentalists tend to categorize by terrain rather than temperature. There is some variation by latitude, of course: at the poles, temperatures approach those of the subtropical regions of Earth, averaging around 26 degrees Celsius. The equatorial regions, favoured by the natives, regularly reach temperatures in excess of 36 degrees.
Once lush and fertile, the land is now poor in trace minerals and desert-like, due to centuries of over-farming and excessive industrialization. There are isolated pockets of vegetation centred on water, but most moisture tends to remain suspended in the atmosphere. Foods that cannot be grown in the depleted soil are imported from off-world, making Cardassia Prime fully dependent on colonies and client states. Higher elevations give rise to barren, sere landscapes; only the hardiest of vegetation and small creatures live there. A few mountain tops are as high as 10,000 metres but most of the highlands are between 2000 and 4000 in elevation.