North Korea

North Korea
The always bombastic and unpredictable North Koreans go hysterical again. This time the country is prepared to "go to war" with South Korea because that country is playing loudspeakers directed at North Korean territory. A headline from a UK paper reads, "More than 50 North Korea submarines 'leave their bases' as war talks with South continue "

Saturday, August 1, 2015

The 60th parallel north

When looking at a globe, the 60th parallel north is pretty far up the curve towards the North pole, in fact 2/3rds of the way. The Arctic circle is still further north, its parallel is 66 + degrees and it is the line where the sun disappears for 24 straight hours in the winter and stays above the horizon for one full day during the summer.

In Canada, the 60th parallel north is also the line delineating the country's territories from its provinces. Graphic from The Economist.

What is most interesting is to compare the 60th parallel south with that of the north. Looking at the globe again, there is essentially no land mass on the 60th parallel - just ocean. (Though the continental Antarctic land mass of the Southern pole is rather phenomenal itself.)

The 60th parallel south is all cold water ... Graphic from

Another thing about the 60th parallels - both north and south. This latitude is where the Arctic and Antarctic polar air masses sink to the earth in a somewhat closed cell or loop (see graphic below). And where there is no land mass to interfere with or influence that sinkage, ie. the 60th parallel south, it is also especially windy besides being cold. A fascinating read on the science of south swells here.

Warmed air on the equator is eventually mixed with the cold polar air. Their mixing tends to occur most dramatically at certain latitudes.

One last point. Earth's land masses at the equator are traveling a lot faster than their counterpart masses at the 60th parallel north (as there are no land masses at 60th parallel south), because they have a lot more distance to travel in a 24 hour period. Hence, the very quick sunrise and sunset at the equator - a matter of 15-20 minutes from dark to light and vice versa. That is on top of the length of daylight varying little compared to that experienced at the 60th parallels.

The Peter and Paul Fortress at St Petersburg, Russia, in front of a long lingering sunset due to the city's 60th parallel location. Photo from

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