Interesting geography facts – Physical geography
This animation presents some interesting facts in physical geography.
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
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 (3.086 x 10²¹ lb), that of the atmosphere is 5.1 x 10¹⁸ kg (1.124 x 10¹⁹ lb), and the mass of the biosphere (4 x 10¹⁵ kg or 8,818 x 10¹⁵ lb) is merely one billionth of the mass of the Earth (5.974 x 10²⁴ kg or 1.31668×10²⁵ lb).
The mass of the hydrosphere (1.4 x 10²¹ kg or 3.086 x 10²¹ lb) is relatively small compared to the total mass of the Earth (5.974 x 10²⁴ kg or 1.31668×10²⁵ lb). 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.
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 center 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.
If all of the Earth’s continents formed a supercontinent, it would become obvious that oceans comprise ⅔, while continents form ⅓ of the surface of Earth.
A supercontinent called Pangaea existed from the late Paleozoic 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.
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 color 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.
Due to the Earth´s tilted axis, the angle of the Sun's rays at given latitudes continuously changes during the year.
The Earth is divided into geographical and climatic zones, which result in the zonation of vegetation.
The Earth's continents have been in constant motion during the history of the planet.
Dry land on the surface of Earth is divided into continents which are separated by oceans.
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