From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Wikipedia CD Selection
WikiProject icon Tropics is included in the Wikipedia CD Selection, see Tropics at Schools Wikipedia. Please maintain high quality standards; if you are an established editor your last version in the article history may be used so please don't leave the article with unresolved issues, and make an extra effort to include free images, because non-free images cannot be used on the DVDs.
WikiProject Geography (Rated Start-class, Top-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Geography, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of geography on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 Top  This article has been rated as Top-importance on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Meteorology (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject icon This article is within the scope of WikiProject Meteorology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Meteorology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

I have removed the following fact.[edit]

About 40 percent of the world's population lives within the tropical zone (by 2008 statistics), and it is estimated that by 2060 60% of the population will be in the tropics, owing to high birth rates and migration.[1]

The citation to this is : .

Unfortunately the link is dead. And the fact cannot be confirmed from anywhere else. Hence I have removed it. If anybody finds a reliable source regarding this fact please update it accordingly. Yathish1618 (talk) 06:54, 28 January 2013 (UTC)


Tropical climate is a different concept than the region known as the tropics, so it deserves its own article rather than a one-line blurb at the end of the tropics article. I'm going to perform the move. - Draeco 16:42, 31 May 2006 (UTC)

Defining tropics by tropics... I would recommend removing "the two tropics" from that sentence. Furthermore, the caption for the photo says "A noontime scene from the Philippines, a tropical island where the sun is directly overhead." which is also confusing - is the sun supposed to be directly overhead at the moment this photo was taken? From the picture, it appears that it is, so needs to be clarified. I will make these changes, plus some minor edits. (talk) 14:41, 31 January 2009 (UTC)

That photo is sadly representative of only 0.01% of the tropics, which are not usually such manicured lawns. But true, it does show the sun position nicely. Jidanni 18:40, 24 September 2007 (UTC)

Area of tropical region[edit]

I would like to know the area of the tropical region (as well as sub-tropic, temperate, sub-arctic and arctic regions) in terms of percentage area of the earth's surface. I will have a go at trying to calculate approximate values, making the assumption that the earth is a sphere and rounding up the latitudes to 23.5 degrees. A mathemagician may be able to calculate more precise values. I think the value would make for an interesting addition to the article. Tomid 11:30, 2 January 2007 (UTC)


Neither Torrid zone nor Tropics are appropiate names to be used instead of the Intertropical Zone. Reasons are:

  • First, the Torrid zone is not the one where mean and maximum temperatures are higher than in the temperate zones.
  • Second, the word tropic means change and it was used since beginning to indicate the line where the climate changes from temperate to warm.
  • Third: The two tropics (actually, subtropical zones) are zones of dry climate on the western coasts of continents and much wetter climates on the eastern coasts. Obviously, subtropical climates are much more unstable than intertropical ones.
  • Fourth: The intertropical Zone has the most climatic stability regarding temperatures and rainy seasons. It also has the highest ecological diversity of all geographical zones. Tropics have much less ecological diversity.
  • Fifth: Tropics are lines, not zones.--Fev 03:37, 4 September 2007 (UTC)
I don't really see that this is relevant to the definition of the torrid zone, which is the area in which the sun is directly overhead at least once during the year - this definition has nothing to do with maximum temperatures, climates and climate stability, or ecological diversity. Not sure about tropics, though - maybe someone else can help out... --Greenwoodtree 02:04, 12 September 2007 (UTC)

It is quite relevant. The Webster´s New World Dictionary (College edition, 1968) states that: Torrid (L. torridus; see torrent). 1. dried by or subjected to intense heat, especially of the sun; scorched; parched; arid. 2. so hot as to be parching or oppressive; scorching. It is quite clear that this definition is only an old exaggeration that it is nothing to do with reality. Humboldt was aware of this and he never said the torrid zone, but the equinoccial zone, since night and day last almost the same long around the whole year. --Fev (talk) 00:30, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

Yes you have a point there about the meaning of the word torrid - however, the name Torrid zone has come to have an established meaning referring to a specific area of latitude, independent of the dictionary definition of "torrid", so in my opinion there shouldn't be a problem with this. That being said, if you have a better suggestion for a title please go ahead. --Greenwoodtree 13:50, 1 September 2009 (UTC)
Just a quick comment: The word "tropic" means change in the sense of change of direction of the sun's apparent movement towards the north or south at the Tropics of Cancer and Capricorn. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:14, 2 January 2011 (UTC)


Who thought it was a good idea to have 'Utopia' under the 'see also' for tropics? Doesn't this perpetuate a dichotomy of 'realism' of the northern hemisphere and non-tropical countries versus a stylized, 'unreal' tropical world? I think Utopia is a) irrelevant here and b) actually perpetuates a harmful mindset that the tropics don't have social problems like endemic tropical diseases, malaria control problems, or political strife. I don't edit articles much myself, but I hope other people agree with me. If you do and you're a frequent wikipedia article editor, please consider removing the 'Utopia' link from 'see also.' —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:23, 5 April 2009 (UTC)

I disagree wit this biased commentary: Even the fact that the greek utopia word means "no place", the book Utopia by Thomas More gives a precise location of this place in the american intertropical zone newly discovered, based upon the writings by Americo Vespucci. Also John Milton located the place for the biblical Earth Paradise along the Atlantic coast of present Venezuela. John Milton follows descriptions made by some english and spanish writers from the XVI and starting XVII centuries. Remember that in those centuries, warm climates were considered as much more valuable than temperate ones. And, by the way, malaria (as its latin name explains) was a disease unknown in the intertropical zone and therefore, introduced by europeans in America. Very few diseases were endemic in the intertropical zone, and least, at beginning Modern Times. --Fev (talk) 01:12, 27 June 2009 (UTC)

History of the torrid zone[edit]

Fellow torrid zone page readers and maintainers, I just finished writing an MA thesis on the history of the torrid zone, which is a fascinating topic indeed. A lot of the confusion above (cf. comments under "Utopia" and "Names") actually point at very involved and deep arguments and discussions throughout the millennia regarding the torrid zone. I'd like to share my findings in an encyclopedic manner with the world, but I'm not sure what the best way is. Should I just start a new page entitled "History of the Torrid Zone"? Sorry if I need to RTFM... --Earksiinni (talk) 17:02, 28 May 2009 (UTC)

Definition of Tropics in Introduction[edit]

I'm puzzled by the sentence "The tropics include all the areas on the Earth where the Sun reaches a point directly overhead and a point directly underneath at least once during the solar year." In my mind, it implies that there are places on the Earth's surface where only one of the two requirements (directly overhead or directly underneath) is true. Where? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 17:06, 2 January 2011 (UTC)

Agree. Done. Also I removed the pointless statement that all things which aren't the tropics are not the tropics William M. Connolley (talk) 12:15, 17 January 2011 (UTC)

Relationship to temperate climates[edit]

There's an entire paragraph under Seasons and Climate (about half of the section) about how the position of the sun is related to temperate climates. I don't see the relevance of this, so I'm planning to remove it. ~ Hairouna (talk) 23:03, 26 March 2011 (UTC)


I have removed the image Tropen.JPG because I can't see what it actually relates to. There is no information on the file itself to clarify what it is supposed to be depicting. I have replaced it with another image with better info. Kahuroa (talk) 22:52, 18 August 2011 (UTC)