A Brief Introduction to North America
North America is the landmass between the Pacific Ocean and the southernmost of the continental United States. North America is often called the northern hemisphere because it lies entirely inside the Western Hemisphere and is bordered by Mexico to the south, Atlantic Ocean to the north, and the Arctic Ocean to the west. It is also known as the northern hemisphere because it is a part of the European continent. It is the largest continent by far and is home to all three main continents, with each of the continental plates distinguished by their orientation. This means that it is a homogenous land mass, which is made up of seven landmasses with continental shelf and shoreline.
North America is an extremely wide and a very old continent. The younger divide comprises the American Indian tribes along the eastern and northern portions of what is now the United States, and the Spanish-American split of the continent from the north. The Central American countries are currently considered part of the American continent though they are technically considered separate entities.
North America’s geography is defined by a thin line running east-west through the middle of the continent, although the dividing line is less precise along some areas. The most easterly directions tend to be along the upper portion of the continental shelves. These include such locations as Alaska, Canadian provinces, and the four western United States. The eastern continental shelf tends to run southward towards the Gulf of Mexico.
The landscape of North America consists of mountains and plateaus across its interior. The western mountain ranges are those which slope towards the Gulf of Mexico and the eastern ones continue on towards the Arctic. Most of the continent is forested. The boreal forest – which is mainly tundra – dominates the landscape in this area.
Throughout the year, temperatures are warm in the north and cold in the south. However, because of the high land elevation over the ocean, the moisture from the ocean is absorbed and winter conditions are milder than the southern ones. Generally, spring is the best time to experience northern winter.
The peoples and cultures of this continent differ greatly. Some of the most prominent languages are Spanish, French, English, Native American, Chinese, German, Russian, and several others. Traveling to North America is not easy, but with the right planning, you can ensure a memorable experience.