Northern Hemisphere

Source: Wikipedia

caption Earth's northern hemisphere highlighted in yellow. Source Wikipedia

The "northern hemisphere" is the half of a planet that is north of the equator.

Earth's Northern Hemisphere contains most of its land area and most of its human population (about 90%).

Due to the Earth's axial tilt, winter lasts from the winter solstice (typically December 22) to the vernal equinox (typically March 20) while summer occurs from the summer solstice (typically June 21) through to the autumnal equinox (typically September 21).

The Arctic is the region north of the Arctic Circle. Its climate is characterized by cold winters and cool summers. Precipitation mostly comes in the form of snow. The Arctic experiences some days in summer on which the sun never sets, and some days in winter on which the sun never rises. The duration of these phases varies from one day for places right on the Arctic Circle to several months near the North Pole itself.

Between the Arctic Circle and the Tropic of Cancer lies the Northern Temperate Zone. The changes in these regions between summer and winter are generally mild, rather than extreme hot or cold. However, a temperate climate can have very unpredictable weather.

caption Earth's northern hemisphere from above the North Pole. Source Wikipedia.

Tropical regions (between the Tropic of Cancer and the Equator) generally are hot all year round and tend to experience a rainy season during the 'summer' months, and a dry season during the 'winter' months.

In the northern hemisphere, objects moving across or above the surface of the Earth tend to turn to the right because of the Coriolis effect. As a result, large-scale horizontal flows of air or water tend to form clockwise-turning gyres north of the Equator. These are seen best in ocean circulation patterns in the North Atlantic and North Pacific Oceans. South of the Equator, the directions are reversed.

For the same reason, currents of air down toward the northern surface of the Earth tend to spread across the surface in a clockwise pattern. Clockwise air circulation, therefore, is characteristic of high pressure weather cells in the northern hemisphere. Conversely, air rising from the northern surface of the Earth (creating a region of low pressure) tends to draw air toward it in a counterclockwise pattern. Hurricanes and tropical storms (massive low-pressure systems) spin anti-clockwise in the northern hemisphere (by contrast, they spin clockwise in the southern hemisphere).

The shadow of a sun dial moves clockwise in the northern hemisphere (opposite of the southern hemisphere). During the day the sun tends to raise to its maximum at a southerly position, whereas in the southern hemisphere it raises to a maximum that is northerly in position (as it tends towards the direction of the equator). In both hemispheres the sun rises in the east and sets in the west.

The North Pole faces away from the galactic center of the Milky Way, this results in there being far fewer and less bright visible stars in the northern hemisphere compared to the southern hemisphere, making the northern hemisphere more suitable for deep-space observation as it is not 'blinded' by the Milky Way.

See also: Southern Hemisphere

Note: This article uses material from the Wikipedia article Northern Hemisphere that was accessed on <<November 20, 2008>>. The Author(s) and Topic Editor(s) associated with this article may have significantly modified the content derived from Wikipedia with original content or with content drawn from other sources. All content from Wikipedia has been reviewed and approved by those Author(s) and Topic Editor(s), and is subject to the same peer review process as other content in the EoE. The current version of the Wikipedia article may differ from the version that existed on the date of access. This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License 1.2. See the EoE Wikipedia Policy for more information.

Glossary

Citation

(2009). Northern Hemisphere. Retrieved from http://www.eoearth.org/view/article/154920

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