Europe – Map, Facts, Land, People, & Economy

Bordered by the Arctic Ocean to the north, the Atlantic Ocean to the west and the Mediterranean Sea to the south is the continent of Europe located entirely in the Northern Hemisphere and mostly in the Eastern Hemisphere. The second smallest continent, it covers about 3.9 million square miles or 2% or Earth’s surface. It is divided into fifty sovereign states with the Russian Federation having the largest and most populous.

Ancient Greece in Europe was the birthplace of Western Civilization. Between the 16th and 20th centuries, it controlled at various times the Americas, almost all of Africa and the majority of Asia. Two world wars and economic depression drew most European nations that dominated the early 20th century. Europe has a continually evolving politics factored by the historical events within the continent.

Europe

Geography

The continent of Europe is a gathering of linked peninsulas and nearby islands. Thus, it is called the peninsula of peninsulas. Europe and Scandinavia, divided by the Baltic Sea are the two largest peninsulas and three smaller are Iberia, Italy, and Balkans. Europe shows great variation of land relief within comparatively small areas. Regions in the south are mountainous, while northward the terrain descends from the Alps, Pyrenees, and Carpathians from hilly uplands to low, broad northern plains. Iberia and Italy which are sub-regions contain their particular intricate features where the relief encloses plateaus, river valleys, and basins that obscure the overall trend. Iceland and the British Isles, both special cases were a result of North Atlantic volcanic formation for the former and latter consist of upland areas used to be joined to the mainland only to be cut off by increasing sea levels.

Population

Climate

Although lying mainly in the temperate climate zones, Europe is being subjected to prevailing westerlies. Cold and dry weather is brought by Siberian High from the east. Parts of central and eastern Europe have marginal Oceanic/Continental Climate and are lay open to more frequent snowfalls. Southern Europe has a Mediterranean climate while Western Europe’s is intensely conditioned by the Gulf Stream. The Gulf Stream is said to be “Europe’s Central Heating” as it makes the climate warmer than it would otherwise be.

Economy

With more than 740 million people in 50 different countries, Europe as a whole is the largest economy in the world outdoing the Americas by more than 2 trillion. Its trillions in assets under management represented more than one-third of the world’s wealth.

Demographics

Figures of the population of Europe depend on the boundaries of Europe. Within the standard geographical boundaries, it is comprised of 737 million. Population growth in Europe is rather minimal with minimal age comparatively high. European countries saw an increase in immigration after World War II. Ethnic Groups / People of Europe are at 87. 33 forms the majority of the population while 54 are of ethnic minorities.

Culture

As Paul Valery stated, “The idea of culture, of intelligence, of great works, has for us a very ancient connection with the idea of Europe.” When someone says culture, literature, music, philosophy, and fine arts, nothing best comes to mind than Europe. Their culture has been the cradle for many cultural revolutions. It is best defined as a series of overlapping cultures. As hard as the European Unions try to identify a common cultural value, they just can’t and every time, it just turn out to be a highly controversial issue.

Tourism

With the richness of Europe’s culture, tourists are drawn in to visit the perceived glamour and sophistication. With 1.3 billion tourist arrivals tallied by UN in 2017, it is expected to surpass previous records despite the frustration in tourism. Many anti-tourism demonstrations are held in many cities throughout Europe mainly sending out messages that tourism kills Mallorca.

North America – Map and Facts

North America covers an area of about 9.5 million square miles or 16.5% of Earth’s land area and 4.8 of its total surface. It occupies the northern portion generally referred to as the New World. It is shaped roughly like a triangle, having its base in the north and apex in the south. This continent is bounded on the North by the Arctic Ocean, North Atlantic Ocean by the East, Carribean Sea by the South, and North Pacific Ocean by the West.

Amerigo Vespucci, the Italian explorer, and navigator was one of the earliest who explored the New World thus America was derived from. America was only applied to the southern half of the continent at first then soon designated to the whole landmass.

North America

Geography

The northern half of North America is mostly covered by Canada. The northeastern portion is occupied by Greenland and northwestern by Alaska. North America is divided into at least 5 physiographic regions; Canadian Shield, Appalachian Mountains, Atlantic Coastal Plain, Interior Lowlands, and North American Cordillera. These define North American landforms into distinct regions. Canadian Shield or Laurentian Plateau, composed of igneous rocks resultant from long volcanic history stretches north from the Great Lakes to the Arctic Ocean covering over half of Canada. The Appalachian Mountains in Eastern North America first formed about 480 million years ago ranges mostly in the United States but extends into southeastern Canada. Atlantic Coastal Plain is a region of low relief that extends 2,200 miles from New York Bight southward to Georgia/Florida section of Eastern Continental Divide. Interior Lowlands extends down from Mackenzie Valley to Atlantic Coastal Plain. The North American Cordillera is a belt of mountains with plateaus and basins to which some were formed as recently as 100-65 MA.

The only land connection of North America is South America by the narrow of Isthmus of Panama. Denali (Mount McKinley) is the continent’s highest point rising at 6,190 meters above sea level. Death Valley is the lowest at 86 meters below sea level

History

There have been many theories regarding the origins of early human population in North America that even the indigenous people of this continent themselves have many creation stories. In the Pre-Columbian era, many different communities lived in several culture areas. It is believed that Inuit people of the high Arctic came to this continent much later than any native groups.

American Revolution had a great impact across North America that it directly led to the creation of the United States of America. American Revolutionary War was an important feud that touched all corners of this region. As Spain’s hold on Mexico was slumping, independence was given in 1810 by Miguel Hidalgo and it started the Mexican War of Independence.

Demography

North America is ethnically diverse. The three main groups are Caucasian, Mestizos, and Blacks. The less numerous groups come from Indigenous Americans and Asians. Languages of North America does not only reflect the continents indigenous people but the European colonization too. Dominant languages are English, Spanish, and to a lesser extent French. English is widely used in Canada, United States, Bermuda, and the Cayman Islands. Mexico and all of Central America apart from Belize speaks Spanish more than they do with English. Canada, especially in the Quebec and Saint Pierre and Miquelon has French as the dominant language. It is also spoken in other parts along with French-based creole languages.

Population

Geology

Being the third-largest in the world, North American geology is a matter of regional geology. Units and processes for Geology are studied on a large scale to reach an amalgamated picture of the development of the continent. More than 50% of Canadian geology consists of Precambrian rocks that have been above sea level since the Palaeozoic era. Mineral resources here are diverse and extensive that across the Canadian shield are large iron, nickel, zinc, copper, gold, lead, molybdenum, and uranium reserves. Recently, large diamond concentrations have been developed in the Arctic as well making Canada the world’s largest producers. Geology is active in Central America with volcanic eruptions and earthquakes occurring from time to time.

South America Map | Climate, Location & Facts

South America also considered as a subcontinent of the Americas is a continent in the Western Hemisphere, mostly in the Southern Hemisphere with a small portion in the Northern Hemisphere. It is the fourth largest continent with an area of 6.8 million square miles. The population is the 5th amongst the 7 continents at nearly more than 420 million. Majority of the population live near the continent’s western or eastern coasts.

The long history of colonialism, the majority of South Americans speak Spanish. Indigenous people’s interaction with European conquerors and immigrants was the basis of the continent’s cultural and ethnic outlook. South America has been home to many interesting species of animals. The rainforests of Amazon has made this continent one of the most biodiverse. The export of manufactured goods and natural resources is what South America relies on. In terms of politics, all South American countries are presidential republics except for Peru which is semi-presidential republic and Suriname, a parliamentary republic.

South America

Geography

Many diverse regions and climates contain the geography of South Africa. It is a continent forming the southern portion of the landmass of the Americas, south, and east of the Panama-Colombia border or south and east of the Panama Canal by some. This continent includes several islands most of which belong to countries within.

Geographically, South America’s structure is deceptively simple for a huge size landmass. It is often compared to a massive bowl owing to its flat interior almost ringed by mountains.

This continent is home to the world’s highest uninterrupted waterfall; Angel Falls in Venezuela; highest single drop waterfall Kaieteur Falls in Guyana; the largest river, the Amazon River; longest mountain range, which is the Andes; the driest non-polar place on Earth, which is the Atacama Desert; the largest rainforest, the Amazon rainforest; the highest capital city, La Paz, Bolivia; the highest commercially navigable lake in the world, which is Lake Titicaca; as well as the world’s southernmost permanently inhabited community, Puerto Toro, Chile.

Cities in South America

Geology

South America’s history of geology is summarized in three developmental stages that each corresponds to a major division in time. Precambrian Time characterized by a complex series of amalgamations of steady blocks of protocontinental crust called Cratons is the first stage. The second stage, the Paleozoic Era, cratons and material accreted to the formation first of the supercontinent Gondwana and the larger Pangea. The last stage, the present continental structure occurred in the Mesozoic and Cenozoic eras. This last stage includes the split-up of the subcontinents Gondwana and Pangea, the opening of the South Atlantic Ocean and the generation of the Andean cordillera.

Climate

As the most extensive part of this continent is in the equatorial zone, this region has more areas of equatorial plains than any other region. In its latitudes, winters are moderate and summers are warmer than in North America.

Demography

With over 420 million inhabitants and population growth to a rate of about 0.6% per year, there are still several areas of sparse demographics such as tropical forests, Atacama Desert and Icy portions of Patagonia. The inhabitants are formed by progenies of Europeans, Africans, and indigenous people. Mestizos presence varies in composition by region. Brazil also has a minor populace of Asians. Spanish and Portuguese with approximately 200 million speakers each are the most spoken languages in South America. While Spanish is the national language in most countries of South America, Brazil remains to have Portuguese as its national language.

Culture

The culture of South America stems from a various set of cultural traditions dating back to pre-Colombian civilizations and indigenous tribes. While many countries here were formed rather recently, indigenous tribes had long been established in this continent. Even before Spanish and Portuguese colonialists came. Large amounts if emigration has contributed to the continents rich culture. In cuisine, food varies with each region so there is something interesting to find in every country. Ancient civilizations to indigenous tribes have a wide variety of art with most cities having many museums to choose from. The European influence is also felt in South American architecture mostly in cities of Buenos Aires and in colonial towns.

Tourism

Many significant countries from this continent rely on their source of income in Tourism as it has increasingly become active. The colorful and loud culture, natural wonders, historical sceneries contribute to why it attracts millions of tourists every year.

Antarctica | History, Animals & Facts

Antarctica – The fifth-largest continent is Antarctica. With 5.4 million square miles it is about 1.3 times as large as Europe. Being the Earth’s southernmost continent located in the Antarctic Region of the Southern Hemisphere, it contains the geographic South Pole. About 98% of this continent is covered by ice sheets averaging to at least 1.6 kilometers thick. It is the coldest of Earth’s continents. As the weather makes it unbearable to live, only about 1000-5000 people inhabit Antarctica. There is no economic activity here except for fishing and small scale tourism.

Only animals adapted to dryness and low temperatures are common in Antarctica. Low temperatures and high exposure caused little biodiversity here compared to the rest of the world.

Antarctica

Antarctica

History

There are no indigenous people in Antarctica. It was also not evident that such a continent existed until it was seen by humans in the 19th century. According to studies, ships captained by Fabian Gottlieb von Bellingshausen, Edward Bransfield, and Nathaniel Palmer sighted the ice shelves of Antarctica in 1820. It wasn’t until John Davis had the first documented landing in West Antarctic in 1821 that people confirmed its existence.

Geography

This southernmost continent in the world is surrounded by the southern ocean. It is positioned lopsidedly around the South Pole. Covering 14000000 square kilometers mainly by ice formations, it is 1.3 times the size of Europe. Rocky makes up 5% of this continent. About 44% is made of up ice shelves floating and the rest is ice walls that rest on the ground. As cold is it may seem to be, it has many active volcanoes.

This continent is positioned in the latitude where it causes it to have long periods of constant darkness and constant sunlight. UV lights reflecting on the ice surface has also caused people in Antarctica to suffer from sunburn.

Unique phenomena such as Aurora Australis wherein solar wind that passes by the earth creates some glow in the night sky is widely experienced in this continent. Another is Diamond Dust where ground-level cloud formation composed of tiny ice spectacles make it look like its name.

The population of Antarctica with Politics and Economy

Because there are no permanent settlers in Antarctica, it has no government. Although many countries claim sovereignty in some areas, it is considered to be a place which is politically neutral. In 1959, to regulate the activities of different countries in Antarctica, the Antarctic Treaty has been signed. This treaty aims to keep the continent as a scientific preserve.

No Economic activities take place in this continent except for fishing from small coast and a little tourism-based outside Antarctica. As much as it has deposits of coal, hydrocarbon, iron ore and some other minerals, the Antarctic Treaty has restricted exploitations of them.

Biodiversity

With its extremely cold temperature, this continent is almost impossible to live in by humans and animals. Only cold acclimatized animals such as penguins, whales, orcas, seals can outstand this continent. These animals depend on phytoplanktons from Antarctic sea. Also, the low temperature, lack of sunlight and poor quality of soil have made it impossible to have extensive vegetation here. There are only about a couple of different species of flowering plants found in Antarctica and growth is rationed only during few weeks in summer.

Australia Map – History, Cities, Capital, & Facts

Australia – Situated in the graphical region in Oceania, Australia is the smallest of the continents. Its total land area of 3.3 million square miles, it is home to 29 million of the world’s population and biodiversity. As the rest of the world undergoes significant cooling, Australia has its global cooling effect remain reasonably constant by its gradual movement toward the equator. For that, enormous diversity of animal, fungal and plant life have developed.

Earliest human migrations including that from out of Africa make up the original inhabitants of Australian continent. Immigration to this continent have brought overseas language that make up about 200 that they have. Large proportions of Australia belong to no region while Christianity is predominant in those practicing faith. As small continent as it is, they have Australia which is the only first world country having the largest and most dominant economy in the region. They have federal parliamentary constitutional monarchy with two major political groups that form the government.

Australia

Geography

Australia

Australia, although the world’s smallest continent is the sixth largest country in the world, encircling an extensive diversity if biogeographic regions. This continent’s geography is tremendously diverse, ranging from the snow capped mountains of Australian Alps to large deserts, tropical and temperate forests.

Having no land borders, Australia has the most area of ocean jurisdiction than any country. The total coastline in Australian mainland is 22,293 miles plus 14,825 miles from that of island coastlines. 758 of Australia’s estuaries are mostly located in the tropics and subtropics zones. The Eastern Australian temperate forests being separated relatively from the rest of the continent have the most rainfall and abundant varied flora and fauna and the densest human settlement.

Geology

There are several sections in Australia’s geology; Achaean Cratonic shield, Proterozoic fold belts and sedimentary basins, Phanerozoic sedimentary basins, and Phanerozoic metamorphic and igneous rocks. The break up of Gondwana in the Permian along with the split up of the continental land mass from the African continent and Indian subcontinent made Australia as a separate continent.

Biogeography

Most who study biogeography and zoogeography has considered Australia a realm. The moderately chilly and well-watered Great Dividing Range is the primary refuge for many species. The continent’s flora has a massive collection of species estimating to 20,000 vascular, 14,000 non vascular, 250,000 fungi and more than 3,000 lichens. The fauna also won’t fail us with a huge variety of animals. Endemic to Australia are some 83% of mammals, 89% of reptiles, 24% of fish and 93% of amphibians. The arrival and settlement of humans has had a significant impact on the continent’s flora and fauna. Land use threatens the survival of many species and to target these threats, Australia has long been passing wide range federal and state legislations and established protected areas.

Human Inhabitation

Original inhabitants of the Australian continent or the Indigenous Australians are those who migrated from Africa to Asia around 70,000 years ago and arrived in Australia around 50,000 years ago. They descended from groups that existed in Australia before British Colonization. Although the time of their arrival is still a matter of debate among researchers, it is believed that the earliest human remains found are those which have been dated to around 50,000 years BP.

Economy

The economy of Australia plays the largest and most dominant in the region and is the largest in the world. Their per-capita GDP is higher than UK, Canada, Germany, and France by terms of purchasing power parity. Important factor in Australian economy is Tourism, notably averaging to 7.4 million visitors per year. Natural resources in Papua New Guinea also account for the two thirds of their export earnings.