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The Southern Hemisphere is the half ( hemisphere) of
Earth Earth is the third planet from the Sun and the only astronomical object known to harbor life. About 29% of Earth's surface is land consisting of continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by con ...
that is
south South is one of the cardinal directions or compass points. South is the opposite of north and is perpendicular to the east and west. Etymology The word ''south'' comes from Old English ''sūþ'', from earlier Proto-Germanic language, Proto-Germa ...
of the
Equator The Earth's equator is an imaginary planetary line that is about long in circumference. The equator divides the planet into the Northern Hemisphere and Southern Hemisphere and is located at 0 degrees latitude In geography, latitude is ...
. It contains all or parts of five
continent A continent is one of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered from largest in area to smallest, these ...
s (
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Oce ...

Antarctica
,
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...
, about 90% of
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It can also be described as a southern Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent ...
, one third of
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of it ...

Africa
, and several islands off the continental mainland of
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the conti ...
), four
ocean The ocean (also the sea or the world ocean) is the body of salt water which covers approximately 71% of the surface of the Earth.
s (
Indian
Indian
,
South Atlantic
South Atlantic
,
Southern
Southern
, and
South Pacific
South Pacific
),
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...
and most of the Pacific Islands in Oceania. Its surface is 80.9% water, compared with 60.7% water in the case of the Northern Hemisphere, and it contains 32.7% of Earth's land. Owing to the tilt of Earth's rotation relative to the Sun and the ecliptic, ecliptic plane, summer is from December to February (inclusive) and winter is from June to August (inclusive). September 22 or 23 is the vernal equinox and March 20 or 21 is the autumnal equinox. The South Pole is in the center of the southern hemispherical region.


Characteristics

Southern Hemisphere climates tend to be slightly milder than those at similar latitudes in the Northern Hemisphere, except in the Antarctica, Antarctic which is colder than the Arctic. This is because the Southern Hemisphere has significantly more ocean and much less land; water heats up and cools down more slowly than land. The differences are also attributed to oceanic heat transfer and differing extents of greenhouse trapping. File:AuroraAustralisDisplay.jpg, left, Aurora australis appearing from Stewart Island / Rakiura in the south of
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...
In the Southern Hemisphere, the sun passes from east to west through the north, although north of the Tropic of Capricorn the Mean solar time, mean sun can be directly overhead or due north at midday. The Sun follows a right-to-left trajectory through the northern sky unlike the left-to-right motion of the Sun when seen from the Northern Hemisphere as it passes through the southern sky. Sun-cast shadows turn anticlockwise throughout the day and sundials have the hours increasing in the anticlockwise direction. During solar eclipses viewed from a point to the south of the Tropic of Capricorn, the Moon moves from left to right on the disc of the Sun (see, for example, photos with timings of the solar eclipse of November 13, 2012), while viewed from a point to the north of the Tropic of Cancer (i.e., in the Northern Hemisphere), the Moon moves from right to left during solar eclipses. The Coriolis effect causes cyclones and tropical storms to spin clockwise in the Southern Hemisphere (as opposed to anticlockwise in the Northern Hemisphere). The southern temperateness, temperate zone, a subsection of the Southern Hemisphere, is nearly all oceanic. The Sagittarius (constellation), Sagittarius constellation that includes the Milky Way, galactic centre is a southern constellation as well as both Magellanic Clouds. This, combined with clearer skies, makes for excellent viewing of the night sky from the Southern Hemisphere with brighter and more numerous stars. Forests in the Southern Hemisphere have special features which set them apart from those in the Northern Hemisphere. Both Chile and Australia share, for example, unique beech species or ''Nothofagus'', and New Zealand has members of the closely related genera ''Lophozonia'' and ''Fuscospora''. The eucalyptus is native to Australia but is now also planted in Southern Africa and Latin America for pulp production, and increasingly, biofuel uses.


Demographics and human geography

More than 800 million humans live in the Southern Hemisphere, representing around 10–12% of the total global human population of 7.3 billion. Of those 800 million people, more than 200 million live in Brazil, the largest country by land area in the Southern Hemisphere, while 145 million live on the island of Java, the most populous in the world. The most populous country in the Southern Hemisphere is Indonesia, with 267 million people (roughly 30 million of whom live north of the Equator on the northern portions of the islands of Sumatra, Borneo, and Sulawesi, as well as the most of North Maluku, while the rest of the population lives in the Southern Hemisphere). Portuguese language, Portuguese is the most spoken language in the Southern Hemisphere, with over 230 million speakers in eight countries. The largest metropolitan areas in the Southern Hemisphere are Jakarta (33 million people), São Paulo (22 million), Kinshasa-Brazzaville (17 million), Buenos Aires (16 million), Rio de Janeiro, Surabaya metropolitan area, Surabaya (12 million each), Johannesburg (11 million), Lima (10 million), Bandung metropolitan area, Bandung (9 million), Luanda (8 million), Dar es Salaam (7 million), Santiago, Semarang metropolitan area, Semarang (6 million each), Sydney, Belo Horizonte and Melbourne (5 million each). Important financial and commercial centers in the Southern Hemisphere include São Paulo, where the B3 (stock exchange) is headquartered, along with Sydney, home to the Australian Securities Exchange, Jakarta, seat of the Indonesia Stock Exchange, Johannesburg, home to the JSE Limited, Johannesburg Stock Exchange, and Buenos Aires, headquarters of the Buenos Aires Stock Exchange, the oldest stock market in the Southern Hemisphere. Among the most developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere is Australia, with a nominal GDP ''per capita'' of USD 51,885 and a Human Development Index (HDI) of 0.944, the eighth-highest in the world as of the 2020 report. New Zealand is also well developed, with a nominal GDP ''per capita'' of USD 38,675 and an HDI of 0.931, putting it at number 14 in the world in 2020. The least developed nations in the Southern Hemisphere cluster in Africa and Oceania, with Mozambique and Burundi at the lowest ends of the HDI, at 0.456 (number 181 in the world) and 0.433 (number 185 in the world), respectively. The nominal GDPs ''per capita'' of these two countries do not go above USD 550, a tiny fraction of the incomes enjoyed by Australians and New Zealanders. The most widespread religions in the Southern Hemisphere are Christianity in South America, Southern Africa, Australia and Oceania, followed by Islam in most of the islands of Indonesia and in parts of southeastern Africa, and Hinduism, which is mostly concentrated on and around the islands of Bali, Mauritius and Lombok. The oldest continuously inhabited city in the Southern Hemisphere is Bogor, in western Java, which was founded in 669 CE. Ancient texts from the Hindu kingdoms prevalent in the area definitively record 669 CE as the year when Bogor was founded. However, some evidence shows that Zanzibar City, Zanzibar, an ancient port with around 200,000 inhabitants off the coast of Tanzania, may be older than Bogor. A Greco-Roman text written between 1 and 100 CE, the Periplus of the Erythrean Sea, ''Periplus of the Erythraean Sea'', mentioned the island of ''Menuthias'' (Ancient Greek: Μενουθιάς) as a trading port on the east African coast, which is probably the small Tanzanian island of Unguja on which Zanzibar is located. The oldest monumental civilizations in the Southern Hemisphere are the Norte Chico civilization and Casma–Sechin culture from the northern coast of Peru. These civilizations built cities, pyramids, and plazas in the coastal river valleys of northern Peru with some ruins dated back to 3600 BCE.


List of continents and countries


Continents and submerged continent

*
Africa Africa is the world's second-largest and second-most populous continent, after Asia in both cases. At about 30.3 million km2 (11.7 million square miles) including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of Earth's total surface area and 20% of it ...

Africa
– about one-third, from south of Mogadishu in Somalia in the east to south of Libreville in Gabon in the west. *
Antarctica Antarctica ( or ) is Earth's southernmost continent. It contains the geographic South Pole and is situated in the Antarctic region of the Southern Hemisphere, almost entirely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is surrounded by the Southern Oce ...

Antarctica
– the entire continent and its associated islands are wholly within the Southern Hemisphere. *
Asia Asia () is Earth's largest and most populous continent, located primarily in the Eastern Hemisphere, Eastern and Northern Hemisphere, Northern Hemisphere of the Earth, Hemispheres. It shares the continental landmass of Eurasia with the conti ...
– only the southern portion of Maritime Southeast Asia, including East Timor and most of Indonesia, plus the British Indian Ocean Territory and two out of 26 atolls of Maldives in the Indian Ocean. The entire continental mainland is wholly within the Northern Hemisphere. *
Australia Australia, officially the Commonwealth of Australia, is a Sovereign state, sovereign country comprising the mainland of the Australia (continent), Australian continent, the island of Tasmania, and numerous List of islands of Australia, smal ...
– the entire continent and its associated islands such as Tasmania and New Guinea are wholly within the Southern Hemisphere. *
South America South America is a continent entirely in the Western Hemisphere and mostly in the Southern Hemisphere, with a relatively small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It can also be described as a southern Continent#Subcontinents, subcontinent ...
– mostly, from south of the Amazon River mouth in Brazil in the east to north of Quito in Ecuador in the west. * Zealandia – the entire submerged continent, including New Caledonia,
New Zealand New Zealand ( mi, Aotearoa ) is an island country in the southwestern Pacific Ocean. It consists of two main landmasses—the North Island () and the South Island ()—and more than 700 List of islands of New Zealand, smaller islands, coveri ...
, Norfolk Island, and other associated low-lying islands above sea level, is wholly within the Southern Hemisphere.


Countries and territories


See also

* Land and water hemispheres


Notes


References


External links

* {{Authority control Southern Hemisphere, Hemispheres of Earth