InfoKekinian.com – Have you ever heard the term latitude and want to know what it is? Understanding latitude is a very important concept in geography and can provide a lot of information about the world in which we live.
Basically, latitude refers to the distance of a point on the Earth's surface from the equator. Latitude is measured in degrees, indicating the angle between a point and the equator.
Because the Earth is spherical, there are many latitudes formed around the world, and each latitude has a unique degree value.
In this article, we'll take a closer look at what latitude is and how it can affect climate, day length, seasons, and human history.
We will also discuss interesting facts about latitudes that you may not have heard of before.
Let's start by looking at a more detailed definition of what latitude is and how it is measured.
Definition of Latitude
The definition of latitude is one of two types of lines used to describe the position of a point on the surface of the Earth, apart from longitude.
In general, latitude refers to the distance of a point from the equator in degrees.
The degree value of a latitude is always positive and starts from zero at the equator, then increases towards the north or south pole. The main latitudes consist of five types, namely:
- Equator (0°)
- Tropical Cancer (23.5° N)
- Capricorn Tropics (23.5° S)
- Arctic Circle (66.5° N)
- Antarctic Circle (66.5° S)
The equator is the prime latitude that encircles the Earth in the middle and is located halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole.
This latitude has a degree value of 0° and is the starting point for calculating other latitudes.
The Tropics of Cancer and the Tropics of Capricorn are two latitudes located around the equator with degrees values of 23.5° South Latitude and 23.5° South respectively.
This latitude indicates the position where the Sun is directly overhead in the tropics during the summer and winter solstices.
The Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle, on the other hand, are the two latitudes located near the north and south poles with degrees values of 66.5° N and 66.5° S, respectively.
These latitudes denote areas where the Sun never sets in summer and never appears in winter.
With a better understanding of latitude, we can understand how this can affect climate, day length, seasons and human history. We will discuss this further in the next section.
Latitude plays an important role in many aspects of life, including navigation, meteorology, astronomy, commerce, and so on. Following are some important functions of latitude:
Latitude is used to determine the geographic location of a location on earth and to help navigate voyages, flights and land travel.
Latitude is also used in the study of weather and climate, and helps in predicting changes in weather and atmospheric conditions in an area.
Latitude helps in observing the motion of celestial bodies such as planets, stars and galaxies, and helps in determining the geographical position of an object in space.
Latitude affects international trade and relations between countries because of the differences in time zones in each region that are affected by latitude.
5. Culture and Customs
Latitude also influences the way of life, traditions and customs of a region as previously explained.
In conclusion, latitude plays an important role in various aspects of human life and the natural environment around the world.
Understanding differences in latitude and their influence on geographic conditions, habits of life and culture of a region can help us understand and appreciate the diversity of the world and build cooperation and solidarity among countries with significant differences in latitudes.
How Does Latitude Affect Earth?
Latitude has many impacts on Earth, including climate, day length, seasons, and human history. Let's discuss each of these impacts in more detail:
Latitude position affects the climate in a region. Areas near the equator tend to have a tropical climate that is warm and humid all year round, while areas near the poles tend to have a polar climate that is cold and dry.
Areas located between the equator and the poles tend to have a temperate climate with clear seasonal changes.
2. Day Length
Latitude also affects the length of day in an area.
Near the equator, day and night are of approximately the same duration throughout the year, whereas in areas farther from the equator, the length of day and night tends to change more with the changing seasons.
Latitude also affects the seasons in a region.
In tropical areas, there is no significant change of seasons throughout the year, whereas in temperate areas, there are four distinct seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter.
Near the poles, there are only two seasons: summer and winter.
4. Human History
Latitudes have also played an important role in human history, especially in terms of human migration and the development of civilizations.
For example, many of the world's great civilizations, such as Ancient Egypt and China, developed in areas located along major rivers that facilitated trade and agriculture.
Human migration also occurs between areas that have different climates and environments, such as human migration from Asia to North America through the Bering Strait which is located around the Arctic Circle.
Interesting Facts about Latitudes
Latitude is an important concept in geography and has been discussed extensively in previous articles.
However, there are some interesting facts about latitude that you may not know. Let's discuss these interesting facts:
1. Prime Latitudes
There are five main latitudes in the world, namely the equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle and Antarctic Circle.
This main latitude is used as a reference in determining the location of a region on Earth.
2. Signs of Latitude
Latitudes on a map are dashed lines that run horizontally across the Earth.
These signs make it easier for us to determine the position of a region on Earth based on its latitude.
3. Height Difference
An area's altitude can also affect the effect its latitude has on climate.
Areas that are located above sea level tend to have a cooler climate than areas that are located below sea level at the same latitude.
4. Influence on Agriculture
Latitude also affects agriculture in a region. Areas with a tropical climate which are located around the equator tend to be suitable for farming tropical crops such as bananas and coconuts.
Meanwhile, areas with temperate climates around latitudes of 30-60 degrees tend to be suitable for growing crops such as wheat and corn.
5. Seasonal Determination
Latitude also affects seasonal changes in an area.
Areas near the equator tend to have slightly different seasons throughout the year, while areas around 30-60 degrees latitude tend to have distinct seasonal changes, namely spring, summer, fall, and winter.
6. Effects on Navigation
Latitude also plays an important role in navigation, both anciently and today.
In ancient times, sailors used latitude as a reference in determining the position of their ship in the ocean.
Currently, GPS technology uses satellites to determine our position on Earth based on latitude and longitude.
7. Application in Sports
Latitude is also used in several sports such as football and track and field.
Due to the differences in climate and temperature between areas located around the equator and areas located around the poles, athletics such as sprinting and soccer have different regulations in different temperatures.
8. Relation to Health
Latitude also has to do with human health.
Areas located near the equator have a higher risk of contracting diseases such as malaria and dengue fever.
Meanwhile, areas located around latitudes of 30-60 degrees tend to have a higher risk of illnesses such as influenza.
9. Time Difference
Because the Earth's rotation varies at each latitude, there are time differences in each region of the Earth.
For example, the time difference between Indonesia and the United States is very large because the two are at different latitudes.
10. Time Zone Concept
Talking about the difference in time at each latitude, the concept of time zones is also formed.
Time zone is an area or region that has the same time in one particular latitude.
11. Influence on Aviation
Latitude also affects flight in the air. Flight routes that cross areas located around the poles tend to be shorter than routes that traverse areas located around the equator.
This is due to the rounded shape of the Earth, so flight routes that cross latitudes at the top or bottom of the globe tend to be shorter.
12. Changed Over Time
Latitudes are not fixed and can change over time. This change is caused by a change in the Earth's axis of rotation.
Although the changes are not significant in the short term, they can have a big effect in the long term.
1. The Equator
The equator or equator is the main latitude that divides the Earth into two parts, namely the Northern and Southern hemispheres.
This line has coordinates of 0 degrees latitude and crosses 13 countries, including Indonesia, Kenya and Brazil.
2. North Central Line
The North Central Line or the North Equatorial Current (NEC) is a latitude that lies north of the Equator.
This line has coordinates between 0-30 degrees north latitude and crosses several countries in Southeast Asia, such as Thailand, Laos and Vietnam.
3. Tropic of Cancer
The Tropic of Cancer or the latitude of 23.5 degrees north latitude is the latitude that crosses several countries in Asia, such as India, China and Mexico.
This line is called the Tropic of Cancer because when the sun is directly above this line, astrology considers that the Cancer zodiac is at its peak.
4. South Central Line
The South Central Line or South Equatorial Current (SEC) is a latitude that lies south of the Equator.
This line has coordinates between 0-30 degrees south latitude and crosses several countries in Africa, such as Angola, Zambia and Mozambique.
5. Tropic line of Capricorn
The Tropic of Capricorn or the latitude of 23.5 degrees south latitude is the latitude that crosses several countries in South America, such as Brazil, Argentina and Chile.
This line is called the Tropic of Capricorn because when the sun is directly above this line, astrology considers that the Capricorn zodiac is at its peak.
6. Arctic Circle
The Arctic Circle line or latitude 66.5 degrees north latitude is a latitude that crosses areas in the north polar region, such as Greenland, Iceland and Norway.
In this area, the sun never sets for a few days in summer and never rises for a few days in winter.
7. Antarctic Circle
The Antarctic Circle line or latitude 66.5 degrees south latitude is the latitude that crosses the south polar region, such as Antarctica and several islands around it.
In this region, the sun never rises for a few days in winter and never sets for a few days in summer.
8. Middle Latitudes
Middle Latitude or Equidistant Latitude is the latitude that is in the middle of two other latitudes.
This line has coordinates of 45 degrees latitude and crosses several countries in Europe, such as France, Italy and Austria.
9. Antarctic latitude
The Antarctic Latitude or Antarctic Convergence is the latitude that lies around Antarctica and forms the boundary between Antarctic waters and subtropical waters.
This line has coordinates between 45-60 degrees south latitude and is often used as a separation between cold oceans and warmer oceans.
By knowing these types of latitudes, we can understand that latitudes are not just imaginary lines that divide the Earth, but also have a significant influence on the climate and weather in a region.
That's a little information regarding the meaning of latitude and how latitude affects Earth.
Latitude is an imaginary line used to determine the position of a location on Earth.
Latitude also influences climate, day length, seasons, and human history in a region.
By understanding the concept of latitude, we can understand more about the world we live in and how humans have adapted to their surroundings.
We can also understand the differences in climate and seasons in different regions of the world, as well as how human civilization developed in a particular area.
Therefore, it is important for us to learn more about the concept of latitude and its impact on Earth.
Hopefully this article can help improve our understanding of geography and the environment around us.