【明報專訊】TOMORROW we will be celebrating Earth Hour. This elegant old planet is sometimes called Gaia — its anthropocentric name — because it has been understood as a self-regulating organism and the mother of all beings including the raging rivers and tiny piles of rocks. How much do you know about Mother Earth? Let's check them out!
You certainly know that the Earth is composed of 70% water and 30% land. However, we know very little about the Ocean, more than 80% of which is unexplored.
Nearly 70% of the land is in the Northern hemisphere while the Southern hemisphere is mostly covered by the Ocean.
Perhaps you do not know that there's a large continent at the South Pole. It is of course the Antarctica, where we can actually walk on. However, at the North Pole, there's no land but water. That is the Arctic Ocean. Man can only set foot on the arctic sea ice, of which there is less and less because of global warming.
Asia and Europe, straightly speaking, are not two separate continents since they are both seated on the Eurasian Plate. They are classified as two different continents mainly because of cultural differences.
Eurasia is connected to Africa as well.
South America and North America look like two triangles. The two continents are linked by the narrow strip of land called Central America.
Geography is closely related to cultural and economic development. Because of the fact that Europe, Asia and Africa are physically connected, our ancestors could successfully establish the Silk Road which served as the cultural corridor between these different civilisations. The Silk Road was instrumental in prompting cultural development and economic growth.
North and Southern African regions are separated by the treacherous Sahara desert and tropical rainforests. These geographic barriers make the Southern part of Africa almost inaccessible to the outside world, thereby hindering its development.
South America and North America are connected by a narrow piece of land between them. Crossing the muddy and thorny land of the tropical rainforest was very difficult. As a result, there was little exchange between the two, hence the slow growth in South America.
If you look at the Earth from outer space, you will see that the equator is often shrouded by a narrow band of cloud. There the warm air rises and the water vapour cools to condense into clouds. These ascending air currents eventually subside on the two sides of the equator, suppressing the formation of cloud and rain. The Sahara desert, the Arabian desert and the desert in inland and outback Australia are closely related to this phenomenon.
GAIA, The Earth Exhibition at Lee Tung Avenue
Date: 19 March-7 May 2019
Venue: Central Piazza, Lee Tung Avenue, Wan Chai
Date: 19 April-19 May 2019
Venue: Open Piazza, Citywalk, Tsuen Wan
■Text: Leung Wing Mo (前天文台助理台長梁榮武)
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