SEASONAL PATTERNS: What Causes the 4 Seasons?

Seasonal Patterns 4 Seasons Causes
Have you ever wondered what causes the 4 seasons? It turns out that the tilt of the Earth plays a major variation in temperature and seasonal patterns through out the year

Last Updated: Sep 23, 2018

What causes seasonal patterns?

Because the Earth is tilted on its axis, it’s the main reason why we have seasons. As the Earth revolves around the sun, the hemisphere that’s tilted towards the sun receives most sunlight.

When it receives more sunlight, this is summer time. For the hemisphere that’s tilted away from the sun, it receives less sunlight and has shorter days.

As a result, it becomes colder and this is the winter season. At the North Pole, is possible to have 24-hour days in darkness because of the tilt of the Earth.

At the equator, it’s exposed to sunlight more often. This is why is much hotter at the equator year-round. Because it is hotter for longer periods of time, there is less difference between seasons.

Why do we have summer and winter seasons?

The Earth has an imaginary line through the center of Earth. The Earth’s axis goes from pole-to-pole and is tilt at about 23.5 degrees.Our seasons depend on how the Earth is tilted and oriented with the sun.

For example, when the Earth is tilted towards the sun, it’s summer in the northern hemisphere. But at the outer side of the axis, it’s winter. So when it’s summer in North America, it’s winter in Australia.

Northern Hemisphere Summer Season

This is because Australia is tilted away from the sun and North America is tilted towards the sun. The northern hemisphere takes in most of sun’s light rays.

But when the Earth revolves around the sun, now the Earth is tilted in reverse. So the southern hemisphere is summer because the Earth is tilted towards the sun.

Northern Hemispherer Winter Season

Why is the north and south pole so cold?

At the equator, the sun hits the Earth directly. Whereas at the poles, the sun’s rays can barely touch it.

More specifically, it’s not because the equator is closer to the sun. But it’s because the sun is directly shining on the equator. This is why we have the warmest ecosystems on Earth at the equator like tropical rain forests and deserts.

The north and south pole hardly receive any heat from the sun’s rays. This creates the coldest places on Earth like tundra and polar deserts.

earth rotation axis day night cycle

Earth’s 4 seasonal patterns

Not only is the Earth revolving around the sun, but the Earth is also spinning. In fact, it takes about 24 hours to fully spin in a circle.

When you’re facing the sun, it’s daytime. But when you’re on the part of the Earth that’s away from the sun, it’s night time.

But seasons occur because of the tilt of the Earth. When the northern hemisphere is tilted towards the sun, it receives more of the sun’s rays and it’s summer.

But when the Earth revolves around the sun, the northern hemisphere is tilted away from the sun and it’s winter.

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