Latitudes and Temperature Zones

  • The cartographers have marked imaginary lines on earth, to know the location of any place. These lines are recognised as grid system of earth. The grid system of the earth is made up of two sets of lines; latitudes and longitudes.
  • The latitudes run in east-west direction. The longitudes run in north-south direction.
  • Latitudes are the imaginary lines, which run in east-west direction around the globe.
  • They are parallel to each other, therefore, they never meet.
  • Latitudes express the extent of the part of earth in relation to the north or south of the equator.
  • They have a great effect on the weather and climate of any place.
  • Northern Latitudes lie north of the equator. They are denoted by the letter “N”. Southern Latitudes lie south of the equator. They are denoted by the letter “S”.
  • Angular distance is measured and expressed in degrees.
  • There are 180 parallels of latitudes. Latitudes are drawn at constant intervals of 1 degree. One degree is equal to sixty minutes and, minutes are further divided into seconds.
  • The important parallels of latitudes are Equator, Tropic of Cancer, Tropic of Capricorn, Arctic Circle and, Antarctic Circle.
  • The equator passes through the middle of the earth. It is known as 0° latitude. It is also known as the ‘Great Circle’. It receives the maximum amount of sunlight. The equator divides the earth into two equal halves: Northern Hemisphere and, Southern Hemisphere.
  • Tropic of Cancer is positioned at 23½° north of equator.
  • Tropic of Capricorn lies to the south of the equator. It makes an angle of 23½° at the centre of the earth.
  • Arctic Circle is positioned at 66½° north.
  • Antarctic Circle is situated at 66½° south.
  • Earth is divided into three temperature zones, on the basis of the amount of heat received. These zones are Torrid Zone, Temperate Zone and, Frigid Zone.
  • Torrid Zone lies between 23½° north and 23½°south latitudes.
  • Temperate Zone lies between 23½° and 66½° north and south latitudes in both the hemispheres.
  •  Frigid Zone lies between 66½° and 90° north and south latitudes in both the hemispheres.

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  • Q1

    What are latitudes?


    Latitude is the angular distance of a place north or south of the equator.

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  • Q2

    What are the lines called that extending from the North Pole to South Pole?


    Meridians of longitudes

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  • Q3

    Name the parallel of latitude also known as Great Circle.



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  • Q4

    Name the Greek scholar who realised the need of grid system, to locate the places on earth.


    Eratosthenes, the Greek scholar as well as a mathematician was the one who realised the need of grid system on earth.

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  • Q5

    How many parallels of latitudes are on earth?


    There are 180 parallels of latitudes on earth.

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