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Hemispheres of the Earth

Geography | 7-14 yrs | Reading Pod, Interactive

How would you react if someone tells you that his birthday falls in the month of December during the nice and warm summers? You would think that either he is quite at sea in Geography subject and does not know anything about the seasons, or is just lying blatantly. Before jumping to any conclusion, ask him where he lives! Such a ‘miracle’ is experienced in real life by those who live in the southern hemisphere of the Earth, for example, in Australia. Now the question arises—what is a hemisphere?

What is a Hemisphere?

‘Hemi’ means ‘half’ in Greek language and ‘sphere’ means ‘a round object’. Hemisphere, thus, means half of the Earth that is spherical in shape. Geographers have divided the Earth into four distinct hemispheres—Eastern, Western, Northern and Southern—each representing one half of the Earth.

How many Hemispheres does the Earth have?

Geographers divide the Earth into the North and South Hemispheres separated by the equator, and into the East and West Hemispheres separated by the Greenwich Meridian. But, these four regions are not clearly demarcated from each other and also overlap sometimes. So, for the ease of studying, the Earth is divided into only two distinct and non-overlapping hemispheres: the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere.

Northern Hemisphere

The Northern Hemisphere comprises of all of North America, northern parts of South America, around two-thirds of Africa, all of Asia except some parts of Indonesia, and all of Europe.

Southern Hemisphere

The Southern Hemisphere comprises of most of South America, one-third of Africa, some parts of Indonesia, all of Antarctica and all of Australia/Oceania.

Why is the climate in both the Hemispheres different?

The climate of the Northern Hemisphere is different from that of the Southern Hemisphere because of the Earth’s seasonal tilt towards and away from the sun. All of you know that the Earth is slightly tilted on its axis, and depending on the time of the year, one of the hemispheres is tilted toward the Sun, while the other half is, obviously, tilted away from the Sun. And thus, when one hemisphere experiences the cold conditions of the winter season, the other hemisphere experiences the warm conditions of summers.

4 Interesting Facts about Hemispheres

  1. The Northern Hemisphere is made up of 90% land, and contains most of the human population.
  2. The Southern Hemisphere is made up of 90% water and is rather uninhabitable.
  3. Though the two hemispheres differ drastically in climate, they have one thing in common—the sun rises in the East and sets in the West in both hemispheres.
  4. The Northern Hemisphere is ideal for deep-space observation. Due to the clarity of the sky, the stars are far more visible and seem much brighter.

To know a few more interesting facts about the planet Earth, visit: http://mocomi.com/interesting-facts-about-earth/