Southern Hemisphere

Last updated
The Southern Hemisphere from above the South Pole Southern Hemisphere LamAz.png
The Southern Hemisphere from above the South Pole
The Southern Hemisphere highlighted in yellow. The hemispheres appear to be unequal in this image because Antarctica is not shown. Global hemispheres.svg
The Southern Hemisphere highlighted in yellow. The hemispheres appear to be unequal in this image because Antarctica is not shown.

The Southern Hemisphere is the half (hemisphere) of Earth that is south of the Equator. It contains all or parts of five continents [1] (Antarctica, Australia, about 90% of South America, approx. one third of Africa, and some islands off the continental mainland of Asia) and four oceans (Indian Ocean, South Atlantic Ocean, South Pacific Ocean, and Southern Ocean), as well as New Zealand and most of the Pacific Islands in Oceania. Its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains 32.7% of Earth's land. [2]

Contents

Owing to the tilt of Earth's rotation relative to the Sun and the ecliptic plane, summer is from December to February (inclusive) and winter is from June to August (inclusive). September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox. The South Pole is in the center of the southern hemispherical region.

Characteristics

Southern Hemisphere climates tend to be slightly milder than those at similar latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, except in the Antarctic which is colder than the Arctic. This is because the Southern Hemisphere has significantly more ocean and much less land; water heats up and cools down more slowly than land. [3] The differences are also attributed to oceanic heat transfer and differing extents of greenhouse trapping. [4]

Aurora australis appearing in the night sky of Swifts Creek, 100 km (62 mi) north of Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia Aurora australis panorama.jpg
Aurora australis appearing in the night sky of Swifts Creek, 100 km (62 mi) north of Lakes Entrance, Victoria, Australia
Aurora australis appearing from Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of New Zealand AuroraAustralisDisplay.jpg
Aurora australis appearing from Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of New Zealand

In the Southern Hemisphere, the Sun passes from east to west through the north, although north of the Tropic of Capricorn the mean Sun can be directly overhead or due north at midday. The Sun follows a right-to-left trajectory through the northern sky unlike the left-to-right motion of the Sun when seen from the Northern Hemisphere as it passes through the southern sky. Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise throughout the day and sundials have the hours increasing in the anticlockwise direction. During solar eclipses viewed from a point to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the Moon moves from left to right on the disc of the Sun (see, for example, photos with timings of the solar eclipse of November 13, 2012), while viewed from a point to the north of the Tropic of Cancer (i.e., in the Northern Hemisphere), the Moon moves from right to left during solar eclipses.

The Coriolis effect causes cyclones and tropical storms to spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere (as opposed to anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere). [5]

The southern temperate zone, a subsection of the Southern Hemisphere, is nearly all oceanic.

The Sagittarius constellation that includes the galactic centre is a southern constellation as well as both Magellanic Clouds. This, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars.

Forests in the Southern Hemisphere have special features which set them apart from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Both Chile and Australia share, for example, unique beech species or Nothofagus , and New Zealand has members of the closely related genera Lophozonia and Fuscospora . The eucalyptus is native to Australia but is now also planted in Southern Africa and Latin America for pulp production, and increasingly, biofuel uses.

One of the most notable animals to be found almost exclusively in the Southern Hemisphere is the penguin. A species is found around Isabela Island on the Galápagos archipelago in the Pacific Ocean, which straddles the equator. [6] However, most of Isabela and the rest of the archipelago is located in the Southern Hemisphere, and it is deemed by the International Hydrographic Organization as being wholly within the South Pacific Ocean, rather than the North Pacific. [7]

Demographics and human geography

A photo of Earth from Apollo 17 (Blue Marble) with the south pole at the top and the continent of Africa Apollo17WorldReversed.jpg
A photo of Earth from Apollo 17 (Blue Marble) with the south pole at the top and the continent of Africa

More than 800 million people live in the Southern Hemisphere, representing around 10–12% of the total global human population. [8] [9] Of those 800 million people, more than 200 million live in Brazil, the largest country by land area in the Southern Hemisphere, while 145 million live on the island of Java, the most populous one in the world. The most populous country in the Southern Hemisphere is Indonesia, with 267 million people (roughly 30 million of whom live north of the Equator on the northern portions of the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi, as well as the most of North Maluku, while the rest of the population lives in the Southern Hemisphere).[ citation needed ] Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 230 million speakers in eight countries – mostly in Brazil. [10]

The largest metropolitan areas in the Southern Hemisphere are Jakarta (33 million people), São Paulo (22 million), Kinshasa-Brazzaville (17 million), Buenos Aires (16 million), Rio de Janeiro, Surabaya (12 million each), Johannesburg (11 million), Nairobi, Lima (10 million each), Bandung (9 million), Luanda (8 million), Dar es Salaam (7 million), Santiago, Semarang (6 million each), Sydney, Belo Horizonte and Melbourne (5 million each). Important financial and commercial centers in the Southern Hemisphere include São Paulo, where the B3 (stock exchange) is headquartered, along with Sydney, home to the Australian Securities Exchange, Jakarta, seat of the Indonesia Stock Exchange, Johannesburg, home to the Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Buenos Aires, headquarters of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the oldest stock market in the Southern Hemisphere.

Common tourist destinations in the Southern Hemisphere include Bali, Buenos Aires, Cape Town, Easter Island, Lima, Rio de Janeiro, Sydney and Tahiti. [11] [12] According to a 2017 report, the most popular Southern Hemisphere "bucket list" destinations among Australians were Antarctica, New Zealand, Galápagos Islands, South Africa and Peru. [13]

Among the most developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere is Australia, with a nominal GDP per capita of US$67,464 and a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.951, the fifth-highest in the world as of the 2022 report. New Zealand is also well developed, with a nominal GDP per capita of US$49,847 and an HDI of 0.937, putting it at number 13 in the world in 2022. The least developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere cluster in Africa and Oceania, with Mozambique and Burundi at the lowest ends of the HDI, at 0.446 (number 185 in the world) and 0.426 (number 187 in the world), respectively. The nominal GDPs per capita of these two countries do not go above US$550, a tiny fraction of the incomes enjoyed by Australians and New Zealanders.

The Southern Hemisphere has long been secondary in the global distribution of demographic, economic and political power, as it has less land than the Northern Hemisphere. [14] In recent times however, countries such as Australia have made greater efforts to economically engage with those from their own hemisphere. [14] Prior to the Age of Discovery, the Southern Hemisphere was largely cut off from cultural constructs of the Western and Eastern worlds. [14] Some view both the West and the East as being Northern Hemisphere-centric concepts. [15]

The most widespread religions in the modern Southern Hemisphere are Christianity in South America, Africa, Australia, Oceania, and East Timor, followed by Islam in East Africa and Indonesia, and Hinduism, which is mostly concentrated on/around the islands of Bali, Mauritius, and Fiji.

The oldest continuously inhabited city in the Southern Hemisphere is Bogor, in western Java, which was founded in 669 CE. Ancient texts from the Hindu kingdoms prevalent in the area definitively record 669 CE as the year when Bogor was founded. However, some evidence shows that Zanzibar, an ancient port with around 200,000 inhabitants off the coast of Tanzania, may be older than Bogor. A Greco-Roman text written between 1 and 100 CE, the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, mentioned the island of Menuthias (Ancient Greek: Μενουθιάς) as a trading port on the east African coast, which is probably the small Tanzanian island of Unguja on which Zanzibar is located. The oldest monumental civilizations in the Southern Hemisphere are the Norte Chico civilization and Casma–Sechin culture from the northern coast of Peru. These civilizations built cities, pyramids, and plazas in the coastal river valleys of northern Peru with some ruins dated back to 3600 BCE. Easter Island, located about 3,500 kilometers from Chile and French Polynesia, is considered to be the most remote place on Earth to have been permanently inhabited by humans before the Age of Discovery. [16] It was settled by a Polynesian group known as the Rapa Nui. Areas of the Southern Hemisphere that had no contact with humans prior to the Age of Discovery include Christmas Island and Mauritius (in the Indian Ocean), the Galápagos Islands, Juan Fernández Islands and Lord Howe Island (in the South Pacific), the Falkland Islands and Tristan da Cunha (in the South Atlantic) and the continent of Antarctica.

List of continents or submerged continents in the Southern Hemisphere

Continents or Submerged Continent
Africa Antarctica Asia Australia South America Zealandia
About one-third of the continent, from south of Mogadishu in Somalia in the east to south of Libreville in Gabon in the west. From the Equator (Latitude: 0°) to Cape Agulhas (Latitude: 34°50′S).The entire continent and its associated islands are within the Southern Hemisphere. From Prime Head, at the northern tip of the Trinity Peninsula (Latitude: 63°12′48″S) to the South Pole (Latitude: 90° S).The entire continental mainland is within the Northern Hemisphere, only the southern portion of Maritime Southeast Asia, including East Timor and most of Indonesia, plus the British Indian Ocean Territory and two out of 26 atolls of Maldives in the Indian Ocean. From the Equator (Latitude: 0°) to Pamana Island, Indonesia (Latitude: 11°00'S).The entire continent and most of its associated islands are within the Southern Hemisphere. From the Equator (Latitude: 0°) to Bishop and Clerk Islets, Tasmania, Australia (Latitude: 55°03′ S).Most of the continent, from south of the Amazon River mouth in Brazil in the east to north of Quito in Ecuador in the west. From the Equator (Latitude: 0°) to Águila Islet, Diego Ramírez Islands, Chile (Latitude: 56°32′16″S), or, if the South Sandwich Islands are included as part of South America, Cook Island, South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands (Latitude: 59°29′20″S).The entire submerged continent, including New Caledonia, New Zealand, Norfolk Island, and other associated low-lying islands above sea level, is within the Southern Hemisphere. From Belep, New Caledonia, France (Latitude: 19°45′00″S) to Jacquemart Island (Latitude: 52°37′S).

List of mainland countries or territories in the Southern Hemisphere

Countries or Territories
Africa Asia [note 1] Americas Antarctica Australia
Entirely
Mostly
Partly
Entirely
Mostly
Partly
Entirely
Entirely

List of island countries or territories in the Southern Hemisphere

Countries or Territories
Atlantic Indian Pacific Southern
Entirely
Partly
Entirely
Mostly
Partly
Entirely
Mostly
Partly
Entirely

See also

Notes

  1. The entire continental mainland is wholly within the Northern Hemisphere, only the southern portion of Maritime Southeast Asia, plus the British Indian Ocean Territory and two out of 26 atolls of Maldives in the Indian Ocean are in the Southern Hemisphere.

Related Research Articles

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Northern Hemisphere</span> Half of Earth that is north of the Equator

The Northern Hemisphere is the half of Earth that is north of the Equator. For other planets in the Solar System, north is defined as being in the same celestial hemisphere relative to the invariable plane of the solar system as Earth's North Pole.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Pacific Ocean</span> Ocean between Asia, Australia and the Americas

The Pacific Ocean is the largest and deepest of Earth's five oceanic divisions. It extends from the Arctic Ocean in the north to the Southern Ocean in the south, and is bounded by the continents of Asia and Australia in the west and the Americas in the east.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Tropic of Capricorn</span> Line of southernmost latitude at which the sun can be directly overhead

The Tropic of Capricorn is the circle of latitude that contains the subsolar point at the December solstice. It is thus the southernmost latitude where the Sun can be seen directly overhead. It also reaches 90 degrees below the horizon at solar midnight on the June Solstice. Its northern equivalent is the Tropic of Cancer.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Antipodes</span> Diametrically opposite points on Earths surface

In geography, the antipode of any spot on Earth is the point on Earth's surface diametrically opposite to it. A pair of points antipodal to each other are situated such that a straight line connecting the two would pass through Earth's center. Antipodal points are as far away from each other as possible. The North and South Poles are antipodes of each other.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Oceanic climate</span> Climate classification

An oceanic climate, also known as a marine climate, is the humid temperate climate sub-type in Köppen classification Cfb, typical of west coasts in higher middle latitudes of continents, generally featuring cool summers and mild winters, with a relatively narrow annual temperature range and few extremes of temperature. Oceanic climates can be found in both hemispheres generally between 40 and 55 latitude, most notably in Northwest Europe, Northwest North America, as well as New Zealand.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Ocean gyre</span> Any large system of circulating ocean currents

In oceanography, a gyre is any large system of circulating ocean currents, particularly those involved with large wind movements. Gyres are caused by the Coriolis effect; planetary vorticity, horizontal friction and vertical friction determine the circulatory patterns from the wind stress curl (torque).

Rainfall and the tropical climate dominate the tropical rain belt, which oscillates from the northern to the southern tropics over the course of the year, roughly following the solar equator. The tropical rain belt is an area of active rain that is positioned mostly around the tropics.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Nuclear-weapon-free zone</span> Treaty-defined zone in which nuclear weapons are prohibited

A nuclear-weapon-free zone (NWFZ) is defined by the United Nations as an agreement that a group of states has freely established by treaty or convention that bans the development, manufacturing, control, possession, testing, stationing or transporting of nuclear weapons in a given area, that has mechanisms of verification and control to enforce its obligations, and that is recognized as such by the General Assembly of the United Nations. NWFZs have a similar purpose to, but are distinct from, the Treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons to which most countries including five nuclear weapons states are a party. Another term, nuclear-free zone, often means an area that has banned both nuclear power and nuclear weapons, and sometimes nuclear waste and nuclear propulsion, and usually does not mean a UN-acknowledged international treaty.

The five main latitude regions of Earth's surface comprise geographical zones, divided by the major circles of latitude. The differences between them relate to climate. They are as follows:

  1. The North Frigid Zone, between the North Pole at 90° N and the Arctic Circle at 66°33′48.7" N, covers 4.12% of Earth's surface.
  2. The North Temperate Zone, between the Arctic Circle at 66°33′48.7" N and the Tropic of Cancer at 23°26'11.3" N, covers 25.99% of Earth's surface.
  3. The Torrid Zone, between the Tropic of Cancer at 23°26'11.3" N and the Tropic of Capricorn at 23°26'11.3" S, covers 39.78% of Earth's surface.
  4. The South Temperate Zone, between the Tropic of Capricorn at 23°26'11.3" S and the Antarctic Circle at 66°33'48.7" S, covers 25.99% of Earth's surface.
  5. The South Frigid Zone, from the Antarctic Circle at 66°33'48.7" S and the South Pole at 90° S, covers 4.12% of Earth's surface.
<span class="mw-page-title-main">Galápagos hotspot</span> Pacific volcanic hotspot

The Galápagos hotspot is a volcanic hotspot in the East Pacific Ocean responsible for the creation of the Galápagos Islands as well as three major aseismic ridge systems, Carnegie, Cocos and Malpelo which are on two tectonic plates. The hotspot is located near the Equator on the Nazca Plate not far from the divergent plate boundary with the Cocos Plate. The tectonic setting of the hotspot is complicated by the Galapagos Triple Junction of the Nazca and Cocos plates with the Pacific Plate. The movement of the plates over the hotspot is determined not solely by the spreading along the ridge but also by the relative motion between the Pacific Plate and the Cocos and Nazca Plates.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Boundaries between the continents of Earth</span>

Determining the boundaries between the continents of Earth is generally a matter of geographical convention. Several slightly different conventions are in use. The number of continents is most commonly considered seven but may range as low as four when Afro-Eurasia and the Americas are both considered a single continent. An island can be considered to be associated with a given continent by either lying on the continent's adjacent continental shelf or being a part of a microcontinent on the same principal tectonic plate. An island can also be entirely oceanic while still being associated with a continent by geology or by common geopolitical convention. Another example is the grouping into Oceania of the Pacific Islands with Australia and Zealandia.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Southern Ocean</span> Ocean around Antarctica

The Southern Ocean, also known as the Antarctic Ocean, comprises the southernmost waters of the World Ocean, generally taken to be south of 60° S latitude and encircling Antarctica. 20,327,000 km2 in size, it is regarded as the second-smallest of the five principal oceanic divisions: smaller than the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian oceans but larger than the Arctic Ocean. Over the past 30 years, the Southern Ocean has been subject to rapid climate change, which has led to changes in the marine ecosystem.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Borders of the oceans</span> Limits of Earths oceanic waters

The borders of the oceans are the limits of Earth's oceanic waters. The definition and number of oceans can vary depending on the adopted criteria. The principal divisions of the five oceans are the Pacific Ocean, Atlantic Ocean, Indian Ocean, Southern (Antarctic) Ocean, and Arctic Ocean. Smaller regions of the oceans are called seas, gulfs, bays, straits, and other terms. Geologically, an ocean is an area of oceanic crust covered by water.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Land and water hemispheres</span>

The land hemisphere and water hemisphere are the hemispheres of Earth containing the largest possible total areas of land and ocean, respectively. By definition, the two hemispheres do not overlap.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solar eclipse of January 21, 1852</span> Partial solar eclipse January 21, 1852

A partial solar eclipse occurred on January 21, 1852 during summer. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A partial solar eclipse occurs in the polar regions of the Earth when the center of the Moon's shadow misses the Earth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Solar eclipse of July 9, 1888</span> Partial solar eclipse July 9, 1888

A partial solar eclipse occurred on July 9, 1888 during winter. A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. A partial solar eclipse occurs in the polar regions of the Earth when the center of the Moon's shadow misses the Earth.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">South Pacific garbage patch</span> Region of marine debris

The South Pacific garbage patch is an area of ocean with increased levels of marine debris and plastic particle pollution, within the ocean's pelagic zone. This area is in the South Pacific Gyre, which itself spans from waters east of Australia to the South American continent, as far north as the Equator, and south until reaching the Antarctic Circumpolar Current. The degradation of plastics in the ocean also leads to a rise in the level of toxics in the area. The garbage patch was confirmed in mid-2017, and has been compared to the Great Pacific garbage patch's state in 2007, making the former ten years younger. The South Pacific garbage patch is impossible to detect using satellites, or other visual means as most particles are smaller than a grain of rice.

References

  1. "Hemisphere Map". WorldAtlas. Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  2. Life on Earth: A - G.. 1. ABC-CLIO. 2002. p. 528. ISBN   9781576072868 . Retrieved 8 September 2016.
  3. Granite specific heat = 0.79 and water = 4.18 J/g⋅K see Heat capacity#Table of specific heat capacities.
  4. Kang, Sarah M.; Seager, Richard. "Croll Revisited: Why is the Northern Hemisphere Warmer than the Southern Hemisphere?" (PDF). Columbia University.
  5. "Surface Ocean Currents". National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . Retrieved 13 June 2014.
  6. "World Penguin Day: 6 places you'd never have thought you could see them". The Independent. 2021-04-25. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  7. International Hydrographic Organization (1953). "Limits of Oceans and Seas" (PDF). Nature (3rd ed.). 172 (4376): 484. Bibcode:1953Natur.172R.484.. doi: 10.1038/172484b0 . S2CID   36029611. Archived from the original (PDF) on 8 October 2011. Retrieved 28 December 2020.
  8. "90% Of People Live In The Northern Hemisphere - Business Insider". Business Insider. 4 May 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  9. "GIC - Article". galegroup.com. Retrieved 10 November 2015.
  10. "Potencial Económico da Língua Portuguesa" (PDF). University of Coimbra.
  11. Bahamondes, Bianca (2016-11-17). "10 Best Southern Hemisphere Destinations Where It Will Soon Be Summer". The Daily Meal. Retrieved 2022-03-05.
  12. "Southern Hemisphere round the world holiday with Easter Island and Tahiti". Travel Nation.
  13. https://www.theaustralian.com.au/business/from-antarctica-to-botswana-aussies-set-for-summer-exodus/news-story/aff91c1407a581250f7009f470d871af [ bare URL ]
  14. 1 2 3 Benjamin Reilly (July 2013). "Australia as a Southern Hemisphere power" (PDF). www.files.ethz.ch. Australian Strategic Policy Institute. Retrieved 17 March 2022.
  15. Paton, Michelle; Chengmin, Zhang (January 2014). "Southern culture and the North/South divide: More than a metaphor". The Journal of the Oriental Society of Australia. 46: 26–40 via search.informit.org (Atypon).
  16. Hemm, Robert & Mendez, Marcelo. (2003). Aerial Surveys of Isle De Pasqua: Easter Island and the New Birdmen. 10.1007/978-1-4615-0183-1_12