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Interesting geography facts – Physical geography

Interesting geography facts – Physical geography

This animation presents some interesting facts in physical geography.

Geography

Keywords

physical geography, curiosity, geosphere, dry land, ocean, season, biosphere, hydrosphere, stratosphere, atmosphere, water, freshwater, salt water, supercontinent, change of seasons, zones, tropical zone, temperate zone, cold zone, Earth globe, Earth, world map, map, countries, border, nature, geography

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Questions

  • How much of the Earth's surface is covered by oceans?
  • In which hemisphere is the Tropic of Cancer located?
  • In which hemisphere is the Tropic of Capricorn located?
  • How much of the Earth's surface is covered by land?
  • How much is the mass of the hydrosphere of the total mass of the Earth?
  • How much is the mass of the atmosphere of the total mass of the Earth?
  • How much is the mass of the biosphere of the total mass of the Earth?
  • Is it true that the mass of the atmosphere is one millionth of the total mass of the Earth?
  • Is it true that the mass of the hydrosphere is one millionth of the total mass of the Earth?
  • Is it true that the mass of the biosphere is one millionth of the total mass of the Earth?
  • Is it true that the mass of the hydrosphere is one six-thousandth of the total mass of the Earth?
  • Is it true that freshwater comprises 20% of the total mass of the hydrosphere?
  • Is it true that surface water comprises 1% of the total mass of the hydrosphere?
  • Is is true that oceans cover one half of the total surface area of the Earth?
  • Is it true that each location on Earth has an antipode?
  • Is it true that one half of the Earth's continental locations are antipodal to oceans and the other half to other continents?
  • Is it true that the degrees of latitude of antipodal points are equal?
  • Is it true that the degrees of longitude of antipodal points are equal?
  • Is it true that there is a lot of precipitation near the Tropic of Cancer all year round?
  • Is it true that there is little precipitation near the Tropic of Capricorn all year round?
  • What percentage of the freshwater exists in the form of ice?
  • What percentage of the freshwater is comprised by groundwater?
  • What percentage of the freshwater is contained in surface waters (rivers, lakes)?
  • What is the difference between the geographical location of two antipodal points in terms of longitude?
  • What is the difference between the geographical location of two antipodal points in terms of latitude?
  • Where can we find dense vegetation on Earth all year round?

Scenes

Geospheres

  • mass of the atmosphere - One millionth of the total mass of the Earth.
  • mass of the hydrosphere - One six-thousandth of the total mass of the Earth.
  • mass of the biosphere - One billionth of the total mass of the Earth.

Primordial Earth formed around 4.6 billion years ago. Due to cooling and rotation, substances in gas, liquid and solid states separated and became arranged in spherical layers according to density. These layers are called the geospheres.

Geospheres are grouped into the outer and the inner layers. The outer layers are the atmosphere - the layer of air, the biosphere - the layer of life, and the hydrosphere - the layer of water. The inner layers are the crust, the mantle and the core.

The mass of the outer geospheres is surprisingly small compared to the total mass of the Earth: the mass of the hydrosphere is 1.4 x 10²¹ kg, that of the atmosphere is 5.1 x 10¹⁸ kg, and the mass of the biosphere (4 x 10¹⁵ kg) is merely one billionth of the mass of the Earth (5.974 x 10²⁴ kg).

Distribution of water

  • mass of the hydrosphere - 0.02% of the total mass of the Earth.
  • total mass of freshwater - 3% of the total mass of the hydrosphere.
  • total mass of accessible freshwater - 1% of the total mass of the hydrosphere.
  • mass of the hydrosphere - 0.02% of the total mass of the Earth.
  • total mass of freshwater - 3% of the total mass of the hydrosphere.

The mass of the hydrosphere (1.4 x 10²¹ kg) is relatively small compared to the total mass of the Earth (5.974 x 10²⁴ kg). Seawater constitutes 97% of the total amount of water on Earth, while freshwater accounts for only 3%.

69% of the freshwater on Earth is found in the form of ice in the polar ice caps and glaciers. Groundwater amounts to 30%, while the remaining 1% is found in rivers, lakes and swamps.

Antipodes

Assuming we are at a given location on Earth, a question might arise: what is beneath our feet at the opposite side of the Earth? To answer that question, an imaginary line should be drawn from our location, or point, through the centre of the Earth. The intersection of this line with the opposite side of the Earth gives us the exact opposite of our location, that is, the antipode.

Each location has its antipode on Earth, with a distance of 180° longitude between them. Their degrees of latitude are equal, but one is situated in the north and the other in the south.

Most antipodes are located in the ocean and only about 5% of the Earth’s continental locations are antipodal to another continental location.

Continents and oceans

  • continents: 1/3
  • oceans: 2/3
  • North America
  • South America
  • Africa
  • Europe
  • Asia
  • India
  • Antarctica
  • Australia

If all of the Earth’s continents formed a supercontinent, it would become obvious that oceans comprise , while continents form of the surface of Earth.

A supercontinent called Pangaea existed from the late Palaeozoic until the early Mesozoic Era, and was surrounded by the global ocean called Panthalassa. The supercontinent was formed about 300 million years ago and broke apart about 200 million years ago, thereby forming today’s continents.

Seasons

  • January
  • February
  • March
  • April
  • May
  • June
  • July
  • August
  • September
  • October
  • November
  • December
  • North Pole
  • Arctic Circle
  • Tropic of Cancer
  • Equator
  • Tropic of Capricorn
  • Antarctic Circle
  • South Pole
  • tropical zone - Located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn, it comprises 40% of the Earth’s surface area. This region is heated the most by the Sun. There is an abundance of rainfall in the equatorial region due to constant upward air currents. At the two tropics, there are downward air currents and the climate is arid.
  • north temperate zone - Located between the Tropic of Cancer and the Arctic Circle, it comprises 25% of the total surface area of the Earth. There are four seasons in this zone; the annual mean temperature varies greatly.
  • south temperate zone - Located between the Tropic of Capricorn and the Antarctic Circle, it comprises 25% of the total surface area of the Earth. There are four seasons in this zone; the annual mean temperature varies greatly.
  • north cold zone - Located between the Arctic Circle and the North Pole, it comprises 5% of the Earth’s surface area. This is the region where the angle of incidence of the Sun's rays is the lowest, therefore, the surface is heated the least.
  • south cold zone - Located between the Antarctic Circle and the South Pole, it comprises 5% of the Earth’s surface area. This is the region where the angle of incidence of the Sun's rays is the lowest, therefore, the surface is heated the least.

People’s lives are heavily influenced by the seasons and, as a result, by the change of vegetation. This is why it is interesting to see how vegetation transforms from season to season. If you look at a map, the greener the colour in a particular area, the more dense the vegetation is. The yellowish-brown parts indicate low vegetation.

Near the Equator, vegetation is dense throughout the year because there is an abundance of rainfall due to a high average temperature, high number of sunshine hours and upward air currents. At the tropics, where there are constant downward air currents, the climate is arid and vegetation is low. Between the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn and the polar circles, the density of vegetation and the snow coverage change season by season.

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