The Northern Hemisphere is the hemisphere that is above the equator and goes up and through the Arctic Circle.
Also known as the land hemisphere, the Northern Hemisphere encompasses 68 percent of the planet’s landmasses and 87 percent of the Earth’s population. Many countries are located in the Northern Hemisphere, and it is home to approximately 6.4 billion humans.
The Northern Hemisphere is also called the Land Hemisphere because it comprises most of the world’s land and continents. It is twice the size of the Southern Hemisphere and is 40 percent land and 60 percent water.
Because this hemisphere has more land than the Southern Hemisphere, most of the world’s countries are located here.
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The Northern Hemisphere is more populated because it has more land, and thus it has more countries than the Southern Hemisphere. The Southern Hemisphere has more oceans and more water than the Northern Hemisphere, and by that trait alone, fewer people are able to live there.
Water does not cool as quickly as land does, and this results in different climates on these opposite sides of the equator.
As such, the Northern Hemisphere is also typically cooler than the Southern Hemisphere, with temperatures on land decreasing as the land moves further past the equator. In the Northern Hemisphere, all of the countries combined make approximately 255 million square kilometers or approximately 410 square miles.
This size of the land is why the Northern Hemisphere has more people and more countries. Those countries include the biggest countries in the world by population and landmass.
North America, Russia, Europe, Asia, the Middle East, and much of Africa are all located in the Northern Hemisphere.
There are numerous countries in the Northern Hemisphere.
Countries in North America include Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Suriname, Venezuela, Canada, the United States, and Mexico. Russia and all European countries are also in the Northern Hemisphere.
The continent of Asia including Japan, China, and many other Asian countries is in the Northern Hemisphere as well.
The Middle Eastern countries of Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, and others are also in the Northern Hemisphere. For ease of reading, we’ve listed them alphabetically:
- North Korea
- South Korea
- Sri Lanka
- United Arab Emirates
African countries in the Northern Hemisphere include (alphabetically):
- Burkina Faso
- Cape Verde
- The Central African Republic
- The Gambia
- Ivory Coast
- Sierra Leone
- South Sudan
All of Europe is located in the Northern Hemisphere and that includes (alphabetically):
- Czech Republic
- Russia (also a component of Asia)
- United Kingdom: England, Wales, Scotland, Northern Ireland
- Vatican City
All hemispheres experience a seasonal climate; however, the Northern Hemisphere and the Southern Hemisphere have opposite seasons to each other. When it is winter in the north, it is summer in the southern hemisphere.
The fall season in the north is the spring season in the Southern Hemisphere.
That is not to say that it is always cold in the winter in the Northern Hemisphere. Temperate climates exist in the winter in many Northern Hemisphere countries.
The seasonal differences between hemispheres are a result of the way the Earth is tilted in relation to the sun.
The Northern Hemisphere tilts at 23 degrees in the winter from the December solstice to the March equinox, or the start of spring. Ocean patterns may change weather patterns in the Northern Hemisphere, but the seasons are not determined by the outside temperature but rather by the placement of the Earth relative to the sun.
Countries situated further away from the equator become colder in their winter seasons. However, that does not mean they have winter-like temperatures all the time.
Mexico and Canada have extremely different climates, with Mexico being temperate to hot year-round.
The Arctic region of the Northern Hemisphere is in the North Pole of the planet and has extremely cold climates and cooler summers. Most precipitation here is snow.
The sun’s position in the summer makes it such that there are days when the sun just never sets in the Arctic. Alternatively, however, in the winter there are areas that may never see daylight during certain parts of the season.
The tropical regions of the Northern Hemisphere will have sun more than northern regions and have extremely hot temperatures almost all year long with rain as the predominant form of precipitation.
The Coriolis Effect is a word you might hear when the topic of the Northern Hemisphere comes up. This is a component of the physical nature of the landscape and geography of the Northern Hemisphere.
The Coriolis Effect refers to how objects are shown through a deflection that is cast towards the right physically.
As such, air moves clockwise in the Northern Hemisphere. In the Southern Hemisphere, air moves counterclockwise. This will change seasonal patterns.
In the Northern Hemisphere, these air patterns lead to pressure systems that generate greater atmospheric pressure than in the Southern Hemisphere. This is best seen by studying ocean patterns and currents with the Coriolis Effect being responsible, for example, for currents such as El Nino.
The Northern Hemisphere is different by climate, seasonal timing, and also by population due to landmass. The climate in the Southern Hemisphere tends to be milder and warmer, save for the Antarctic.
The Antarctic has temperatures that are colder than the Arctic in the Northern Hemisphere.
These temperature differences are due primarily to the amount of water in the Southern Hemisphere. Water is typically warmer longer than land, and this results in a milder climate in ocean-locked countries or regions.
Greenhouse trapping is also more prevalent in areas locked by water, making these regions even warmer today than they were hundreds of years ago.
The movement of the planets also has different perspectives between the two hemispheres. In the Southern Hemisphere, the sun rises from west to east, and the Moon moves to the left during a solar eclipse.
The opposite patterns are seen in the Northern Hemisphere.
You can learn more about the Northern Hemisphere by studying each country in it separately. Approximately 6.5 billion people live in the Northern Hemisphere, and each person lives in a region that offers a unique history and way of living due to their climate and geographical location.
The Southern Hemisphere is just as interesting, with a physically opposite perspective from every country found in the Northern Hemisphere.