Facts about Summer

ScienceStruck Staff Sep 30, 2018
Annually, the summer season provides the most distinct periodic change in temperature and weather. Though the months may differ, the season is associated with intense sunlight and longer days, due to solar flux.
Different regions on the planet experience different seasons throughout the year due to Earth's rotation on its axis and revolution around the sun. While night and day result from the rotation, seasons are the result of each annual revolution around the Sun.
Summer months are not the same in different regions. The major determining factor is the tilt of the Earth's axis. The angle of inclination to the plane of revolution determines the 'season'.
The Earth is divided into two hemispheres; the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere. While the plane of incline is greater during the months between April and September in the northern hemisphere, the other six months in the southern hemisphere witness the same incline. Hence, summer in the northern hemisphere is winter in the southern hemisphere.
In polar regions and temperate areas, the intensity of sunlight witnesses extreme animal behavior such as hibernation, migration, or resurgence of life. When the northern hemisphere directly faces the sun, it experiences summer.
Seasons are not the result of distance variation between the sun and Earth. It is the tilt on the axis that makes the Earth incline towards the sun more during the summer months, thus increasing day time and temperature.
The monsoon is a distinct feature associated with summer. The intense sunlight leads to excessive evaporation and cloud formation. The precipitation and temperature rise are related and determine intensity and volume.
The effect of tilt of the Earth's axis determines day length, solar zenith at noon, and the length of associated seasons. However, the weather differences noticed between places in the same hemisphere are mainly due to the elliptical orbit of the planet, the path around the sun.
Summer is characterized by the point of perihelion. This is the time when the elliptical orbit is closest to the sun. This proximity is witnessed usually in January. The point of aphelion, or when the Earth is farthest from the sun is in the month of July.
This holds true for the northern hemisphere; in the southern hemisphere, the effect is the opposite. The cause for seasonal fluctuation in weather between regions largely depends on proximity to water bodies, ocean currents, and direction of winds.
Life on the planet is influenced by seasonal changes that are the result of solar intensity. Variations, such as plant dormancy, animal hibernation, and intensity of human activity, are all influenced by temperature variants.
The imaginary grid drawn for accuracy in time and location, called the lines of latitude and longitude, helps bifurcate regions. Temperature extremes are influenced by the water bodies like oceans and seas which act like buffers.
Meteorologically, the summer and winter solstice refers to the maximum and minimum proximity of the hemisphere to the sun. The tilt of the Earth, at any given point of time, on its imaginary axis is a major influence on seasonal temperature variations.
The properties of orbital eccentricity influence Earth temperature; however, it is commonly observed that the Earth is warmer when it is farthest along the elliptical orbit. This is mainly due to the presence of extensive land mass in the northern hemisphere. Land heats faster than open water bodies, and retains heat.
Summer time is characterized by predawn horizon glow, gradual increase in day-time, increased solar insolation, increased temperature pattern, shortening of days from solstice to equinox and increased social agenda.