The Seasons

A season is a period of time in which things happen that do NOT happen at other times (or seasons). When we talk about a season, we usually think of the four main weather or growing seasons, which are Spring, Summer, Fall (Autumn) & Winter.

winter

Why we have seasons

We have different seasons because of the earth’s constant movement around the sun. The closer a place on earth is to the sun, the warmer it will be. The farther away it is, the colder it will be. Here is how it works…

The earth orbits the sun and because it rotates on its axis (an imaginary pole running through the middle of the earth). To orbit means to move around something. It takes the earth 365 days (a year) to orbit or move completely around the sun. To rotate means to turn around in a circle. It takes the earth 24 hours (1 day) to rotate on its axis.

Whichever side of the earth is closest to the sun as it is rotating is having its day time and the other side is having night time.

Whichever side of the earth is closest to the sun as it orbits is having summer, while the other side is having winter.

So why do some places on earth never get cold

The earth isn’t standing up straight. It tilts or leans—the top half of the earth leans back away from the sun. This means that the bottom half of the sun is always closer to the sun than the top half of the earth. So…the bottom half of the earth is always warmer than the top half of the earth. Even the bottom half of the earth that is turned away from the sun is warmer than the top half of the earth facing the sun is.

Are you confused??? Let’s see if we can make it a bit easier….

The reason the people in South America and other tropical places never have cold weather is because these places are on the lower half of the earth (Southern Hemisphere)—which is always closer to the sun than the top half (Northern Hemisphere).

To see how this works, look at the picture below:

Do you see that no matter what stage of orbit the Southern Hemisphere is in, it will be closer to the sun? THAT is why these places never get cold.

Hemisphere

Why do we need different seasons

In places where the different seasons bring different temperatures, the seasons give plants and trees a rest period. You might even say they hibernate. This rest period also gives the ground time to rest so that it can be ready to grow flowers, fruits, vegetables and grasses when it is warm.

spring

 

Other facts about the seasons

 

  • The seasons don’t come at the same time of the year for everyone. For example…When it is winter in the United States, Australia is having summer. That means Christmas in Australia is warm and sunny!
  • The different seasons mean different kinds of precipitation in many parts of the world; rain in the summer and snow in the winter.
  • The first day of winter isn’t until December 21st—long after it has turned cold in many places.

autumn

Not everyone has four different seasons where they live, but if you do, you know that each one has something special to look forward to and enjoy.