Northern Hemisphere Lesson for Kids: Definition & Facts

Instructor: Suzanne Rose

Suzanne has taught all levels PK-graduate school and has a PhD in Instructional Systems Design. She currently teachers literacy courses to preservice and inservice teachers.

Have you ever heard of the Northern Hemisphere of the Earth? In this lesson, find out where the Northern Hemisphere is located and learn some interesting facts about this half of the Earth.

What's a Hemisphere?

To make it easier to talk about the Earth and to draw maps of it, scientists and cartographers (another word for mapmakers) divided the Earth into sections called hemispheres.

The prefix 'hemi-' means 'half,' so the word 'hemisphere' means 'half of a sphere.' A sphere is 3D circle like a ball. In other words, a hemisphere is half of a ball. In this case, the sphere we're talking about is the Earth.

The Equator is an imaginary line that circles the middle of the Earth. It divides the Earth into two halves. The Northern Hemisphere is the section of the Earth that is north of the Equator. The section of the Earth that is south of the Equator is called the Southern Hemisphere.

The Equator is an imaginary line that divides the Earth into two hemispheres.

Actually, the two halves of the Earth aren't exactly equal in size! Because the Earth is actually shaped more like a pear than a ball, the Southern Hemisphere is slightly larger than the Northern Hemisphere.

Let's find out some more interesting facts about the Northern Hemisphere.

Northern Hemisphere Facts

  • There is more land in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. Believe it or not, about 68% of all the land on Earth is in the Northern Hemisphere!
  • Since the Northern Hemisphere has more land, it makes sense that the Southern Hemisphere has more water than the Northern Hemisphere.
  • The Northern Hemisphere contains parts of five of the seven continents. All of North America and Europe are in the Northern Hemisphere. The northern part of South America, most of Africa, and almost all of Asia are also in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • Because the Northern Hemisphere has more land and less water, its overall climate tends to be cooler than the climate of the Southern Hemisphere. This is because the oceans in the Southern Hemisphere store heat energy.
  • The entire Arctic Ocean is found in the Northern Hemisphere. Parts of the Pacific, Atlantic, and Indian Oceans are also in the Northern Hemisphere.
  • About 90% of the people in the world live in the Northern Hemisphere! That means 9 out of every 10 people live north of the Equator.
  • There's more pollution in the Northern Hemisphere than in the Southern Hemisphere. Since more people live there, they create more pollution with their cars, manufacturing, and other daily activities.

Since there are more people in the Northern Hemisphere, there is also more pollution.

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