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Fundamentals of Physical Geography: Distribution of Oceans & Continents Video Lecture | NCERT Video Summary: Class 6 to Class 12 (English) - UPSC

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FAQs on Fundamentals of Physical Geography: Distribution of Oceans & Continents Video Lecture - NCERT Video Summary: Class 6 to Class 12 (English) - UPSC

1. What is the distribution of oceans and continents on Earth?
Ans. The distribution of oceans and continents on Earth refers to the arrangement and location of the major landmasses (continents) and the large bodies of saltwater (oceans). The continents, including Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Europe, North America, Australia, and South America, are distributed unevenly across the planet's surface. The oceans, namely the Atlantic, Indian, Southern, Arctic, and Pacific, occupy larger areas and separate the continents from one another.
2. How do oceans and continents affect the Earth's climate?
Ans. Oceans and continents play a crucial role in shaping the Earth's climate. The oceans act as heat reservoirs, absorbing and storing large amounts of solar radiation. This heat is then redistributed through oceanic currents, influencing the temperature and climate of nearby landmasses. Continents, on the other hand, affect climate through their topography, altitude, and vegetation. Mountains can obstruct air flow, leading to the formation of rain shadows and influencing precipitation patterns. Vegetation cover on continents also affects local and regional climates through processes like evapotranspiration.
3. What are the factors responsible for the distribution of oceans and continents?
Ans. The distribution of oceans and continents is primarily influenced by plate tectonics, which involves the movement and interaction of Earth's lithospheric plates. Plate boundaries, such as divergent boundaries (where new oceanic crust is formed) and convergent boundaries (where crustal collisions occur), determine the location of oceans and continents. Other factors include the processes of seafloor spreading, subduction, and continental drift. Over millions of years, these geological processes have shaped the current distribution of oceans and continents we observe today.
4. How does the distribution of oceans and continents impact biodiversity?
Ans. The distribution of oceans and continents has a significant impact on the planet's biodiversity. Oceans, with their vast size and interconnectedness, support a wide range of marine life, including diverse ecosystems such as coral reefs, deep-sea habitats, and coastal zones. Continents, on the other hand, provide habitats for terrestrial organisms, including plants, animals, and humans. The presence of different landmasses and their geographical features, such as mountains and rivers, contributes to the formation of unique ecosystems and the evolution of distinct species.
5. Are there any ongoing changes in the distribution of oceans and continents?
Ans. Yes, the distribution of oceans and continents is not static and has undergone significant changes throughout Earth's history. Plate tectonics continues to shape the planet's surface, leading to the formation of new oceans and the merging or separation of continents. For example, the Atlantic Ocean is widening due to seafloor spreading, while the Pacific Ocean is gradually shrinking. These changes occur over geologic timescales and are imperceptible in human terms, but they highlight the dynamic nature of Earth's geography.
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