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Last updated on April 17, 2014 at 21:23 EDT

Physical geography Reference Libraries

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Current Sea Level Rise
2013-04-01 10:39:21

The sea levels all around the world are rising. Current sea-level rise has the potential to affect human populations and the natural environment. Two key factors have contributed to the observed sea level rise. The first is thermal expansion: as the ocean water warms, it expands. The second is from the influence of land-based ice because of increased melting. The major store of water on land...

Mediterranean Sea
2013-02-21 13:38:18

The Mediterranean Sea is a sea that is connected to the Atlantic Ocean enclosed by the Mediterranean region and almost totally surrounded by land: by Europe and Anatolia on the north, North Africa to the south, and Levant on the east. The sea is occasionally considered a part of the Atlantic Ocean, although it’s often identified as a totally separate body of water. The name Mediterranean...

Tropic of Cancer
2013-02-19 16:11:13

The Tropic of Cancer, which is also referred to as the Northern tropic, is the circle of latitude on the Earth that serves as a marker for the most northerly position at which the sun may appear directly overhead at its zenith. This event happens once per year, at the time of the June solstice, when the Northern Hemisphere is tilted towards the Sun to its maximum degree. Its Southern...

Asia
2013-02-19 13:06:23

Asia is the world’s largest and most populous continent. It is located mainly in the eastern and northern hemispheres covering 8.7 percent of the Earth’s whole surface area and making up 30 percent of its land area. With about 4.3 billion people, it hosts 60 percent of the world’s current human population. This continent has a high growth rate in the modern era. For example, during the...

North America
2013-02-18 15:40:12

North America is a continent completely within the Northern Hemisphere and almost completely within the Western Hemisphere. It’s also considered a northern subcontinent of the Americas. It’s bordered to the north by the Arctic Ocean, to the west and south by the Pacific Ocean, to the southeast by South America and the Caribbean Sea, and to the east by the Atlantic Ocean. This continent...

Africa
2013-02-18 11:10:17

As the world’s second-largest and second most populous continent, Africa is about 11.7 sq. miles including adjacent islands. It covers 6 percent of the Earth’s total surface area and 20.4 percent of the total land area. With 1 billion people, it accounts for about 15 percent of the world’s human population. It is surrounded by the Mediterranean Sea to the north, both the Suez Canal and...

Antarctica
2013-02-18 10:15:24

Antarctica is the Earths southernmost continent; it contains the geographic South Pole. It’s situated in the Antarctic area of the Southern Hemisphere, almost completely south of the Antarctic Circle, and is bordered by the Southern Ocean. It’s the fifth-largest continent at 5.4 million sq miles. On average, it is the driest, coldest, and windiest continent as well as having the highest...

Foxface Rabbitfish Siganus vulpinus
2013-02-17 07:58:30

Image Credit: Dr. Wayne Meadows (NOAA)/Wikipedia The foxface rabbitfish is found in coral rich lagoons, and reefs in the coastal water of the Western Pacific. Around the western Philippines, Indonesia, New Guinea, the Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, Caroline Islands, and the Marshall Islands. It has also been sighted around Vanuatu, Nauru, Kiribati, and recently Tonga. Adults usually...

Valentinnis Sharpnose Puffer Canthigaster valentini
2013-02-16 08:56:47

Image Credit: Jenny Huang/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.0) The Valentinni’s sharpnose puffer (sometimes called Valentin's sharpnose puffer) is found in shallow lagoons and coastal reefs from 3 - 150 feet in depth. Native to the Indo-Pacific and Indian Oceans around Durban, South Africa, Tuamoto Islands, Japan, Lord Howe Islands and Northern Australia. The male of this species is very...

Basic Ocean Terms
2013-02-05 12:52:11

Image Credit: Meteorologist Joshua Kelly When meteorologists are forecasting for ocean-going vessels, there are a few terms that we need to understand. The first term is wavelength. Wavelength is defined as the distance between two crests or between two troughs as seen in the image above. The example above highlights the crest to crest concept of wavelength. The next term that we use is...