Causes Of Changing Seasons – Assignment Example
The paper "Causes Of Changing Seasons" is an outstanding example of an assignment on environmental studies. Changing seasons are caused by the tilt of the Earths rotational axis away or toward the sun. The earth travels an elliptical path around the sun once every year and makes a complete rotation of its axis every 24 hours. As the earth rotates on its axis, it is tilted 23.5 degrees in relation to the sun. In late June, on the date of the summer solstice, the tilt toward the sun is maximized, leading to a maximum of sunlight reaching the Northern Hemisphere. While on the date of the winter solstice in late December, the tilt away from the sun is maximized, leading to a minimum of sunlight reaching the Northern Hemisphere. The difference in the amount of sunlight reaching the ground in the different hemispheres is what causes the seasons. The Earth is said to be at its closest point distance to the Sun with 91.5 million miles in January called the Perihelion and the furthest with 94.5 million miles in July called the Aphelion. However, this change in distance is not great enough to cause any substantial difference in our climate. Given that the earth tilted toward or away from the sun, the angle of the sun’s elevation above the horizon changes. The sun is high up in the sky during summer and this produces a high elevation angle above the horizon. As a result, the sunlight gets concentrated on a small surface area of ground and eventually gets hot. While in winter the sun is lower in the sky and produces short elevation angle above the horizon, therefore, the sunlight gets scattered over a larger surface area of ground. In addition, sunlight passes the atmosphere where it can be absorbed or reflected. The beam of sunlight travels through the atmosphere at a short distance when the sun is high in the sky. On the contrary, when the sun is low in the sky, the beam of sunlight travels a long distance through the atmosphere.