What causes the seasons?

Discussion in 'Earth Science' started by James R, Jul 12, 2006.

?

See question in first post, below. Indicate your answer here:

Poll closed Jul 14, 2006.
  1. True

    3 vote(s)
    18.8%
  2. False

    13 vote(s)
    81.3%
  1. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,411
    Poll question:

    True or false: The Earth's seasons are caused by the fact that the Earth's orbit is elliptical. The Earth is further away from the Sun in winter, and closer to the Sun in summer.

    This poll will close in 2 days. In answering the poll, please do not look at other people's answers before responding, since that will bias the results.

    Also, please do not post comments on the answer in this thread until after the poll has closed.

    A number of Harvard graduands were recently asked the same question, and I'd like to compare how members of sciforums go with it compared to these "elite" students.
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

    Messages:
    36,411
    Hmm...

    So, roughly one in five respondents to the poll got it wrong. Apparently, the Harvard graduands weren't so great, either. The poll question was one of the most common responses from these students when asked "What causes the seasons?"

    This kind of question shows that even highly educated students often lack basic critical thinking skills.

    For example, an obvious question is: If this explanation is true, why is it summer in Australia at the same time that it is winter in the United States?

    Doesn't this tell you that the explanation cannot be correct?

    So, to clear things up, can one of the 13 correct respondents provide the correct explanation? What causes the seasons?
     
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  5. imaplanck. Banned Banned

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    2,237
    The 0rientation of the earth is such so that the suns rays are either concentated(in the summer) per surface area, or more spread out per given surface area(in winter). This is due to the angle the surface is in respect to the path of the sun rays at that given time.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2006
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  7. S.A.M. uniquely dreadful Valued Senior Member

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    72,825
    The tilt of the earth's axis
     
  8. baumgarten fuck the man Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    1,611
    Fixed that for ya.
     
  9. imaplanck. Banned Banned

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    2,237
    Thanks I forgot to include that it was all due to god fighting with satan in the first place.

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  10. cato less hate, more science Registered Senior Member

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    2,959
    wow, I feel sorry for the people who voted true.
     
  11. Roman Banned Banned

    Messages:
    11,560
    I feel sorry for cato not getting laid.
     
  12. leopold Valued Senior Member

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    17,455
    this would also be my answer
     
  13. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,989
    What? I never saw this poll. This is the first time I ever saw it

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    Anyway I would have voted false. Think about it... why would the southern hemisphere be hot when the northern hemisphere is cold? And then change to the opposite? Seems to have nothing to do with the distance from the sun.
     
  14. leopold Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    17,455
    in america it is the middle of winter in january, january also happens to be the month that the earh is closest to the sun.
    the only thing it can be is the northern hemishere is tilted away from the sun.
     
  15. Absane Rocket Surgeon Valued Senior Member

    Messages:
    8,989
    Exactly. Shame Harvard students did not get it

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  16. TruthSeeker Fancy Virtual Reality Monkey Valued Senior Member

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    You always say that. You also said that in the Zidane thread. Huumm... maybe that means you need to get laid!

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  17. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

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    7,658
    I blame the weather forecasters, messing up the climate with their trickery and lies.

    Where do I vote?
     
  18. imaplanck. Banned Banned

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    I drew this diagram as I probably didn't explain too well.

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    Do I get a wowwy pop?
     
  19. redarmy11 Registered Senior Member

    Messages:
    7,658
    I've drawn a diagram also, as I understand that this isn't an easily-visualised concept:

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    OK, now where do I vote?
     

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