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Notes on Special Geographical terms for UPSC

SSBInsights Team
10 Nov 2017

Notes Geographical  terms

Latitudes are imaginary lines drawn parallel to equator. The equator represents 0° latitude, while the North Pole is 90° N and the South Pole is 90° S. 23 1/2° N represents Tropic of Cancer while 23 1/2° S represents Tropic of Capricorn. 661/2° N represents Arctic Circle and 661/2° S represents Antarctic Circle.

Zones of the Earth

Torrid Zone lies between 23 ½ N and 23 ½ S that is between the Tropic of Cancer and the Tropic of Capricorn. This is the hottest zone since the rays of the Sun are more nearly perpendicular here than any other region. This is also known as Tropical Zone.

Temperate Zone lies between 23 ½ N and 66 ½ N as well as between 23 ½ S and 66 ½ S. This zone has temperature range of below 32 for about 8 months of the year.

Frigid Zone lies between 66 12 N/S and 90 N/S. This is extremely cold throughout the year.

Thermal Equator is an imaginary line round the earth running through the point on each meridian with the highest average temperature. It lies mainly to the north because of the larger landmasses and therefore greater summer heating. 

Standard Time is uniform time fixed by each country. It is fixed in relation to mean time of a particular meridian that passes generally, through middle of the country. Indian Standard Time is fixed based on 82 ½ ° E meridian that passes through Varanasi and Kakinada. Larger countries like USA, Canada and USSR, which have a great east-west stretch, have to adopt several Time Zones for practical purposes.

Greenwich Mean Time (GMT) is based on the local time of the meridian passing through Greenwich near London. This time is taken as starting point for working time for any place in the world. U. K. has accepted it as their standard time.

International Date Line is an imaginary line, which passes through the middle of the Pacific Ocean, corresponding along most of its length to 180° longitude. This is the only longitude that zigzags over the surface of the ocean. The line deviates at many places to avoid dividing of countries. There is a time difference of 24 hours between the two sides of this meridian. The date changes by one day when this line is crossed. As one goes from west to east, a day is lost and when one goes from east to west a day is gained.

Meander in general, is a bend in a sinuous watercourse or river. When a meander gets cut off from the main stream, an oxbow lake forms.

Relative humidity is the ratio between the amount of water vapor present in the air and the maximum that could be contained at a given temperature and pressure. It is always expressed as a percentage. Thus RH =gms (Vapor present) *100 /   Gms (Vapor that may be maximum at that temperature)


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