Die Natur im Jahreslauf: Warum es Jahreszeiten gibt - NIKIN EU

Nature through the year: Why there are seasons

A refreshing swim in summer, colorful walks in the forest in autumn, a warming fire in the fireplace under snow-covered roofs in winter and in spring nature awakens again and the cycle begins again - what could be better? Our seasons at a glance.

A refreshing swim in summer, colorful walks in the forest in autumn, a warming fire in the fireplace under snow-covered roofs in winter and in spring nature awakens again and the cycle begins again - what could be better? Our seasons at a glance.

 

4 Seasons

The seasons are familiar to us - we accept as completely "natural" that there are spring, summer, autumn and winter. But are there really “only” four seasons? Or maybe a few more? And what ensures that the seasons change so reliably - until now, anyway?

How do seasons come about?

In order to understand why the weather and solar radiation change so noticeably over the course of the year, you have to go back a long way. On a cosmic level, so to speak. Astronomical factors are involved in the creation of the seasons.

Sure, it's reasonable to assume that the Earth's orbit around the sun has something to do with the seasons. Anyone who has ever seen a model of the solar system probably knows that all planets orbit the sun not in circular, but in elliptical - i.e. more oval - orbits. So does it get colder as the Earth moves further away from the Sun?

No – not at all. The seasons arise due to the fact that the earth's axis rotates approximately tilted 23° from the vertical. With every revolution around its own axis compared to the revolution around the sun, the Earth “spins”. And this so-called precession of the earth's axis is responsible for the fact that there are seasons. Because if the Earth's axis were at right angles to the orbit, we would always have the same climate, worldwide.

Four alternating seasons

Since the Earth is now spinning a little, it turns the northern hemisphere and the southern hemisphere closer to the sun. This ensures that there are different seasons. We are used to following the astronomical dates for the beginning of the seasons:

  • Spring: It begins on the 21st. March, usually also the date of the equinox, even if it still seems cool to cold. Now nature is getting ready and preparing plants and animals to resume their growth and reproduction cycles. All functions that were shut down during the winter will be reactivated. The increased incidence of sunlight contributes to this, which not only awakens animals from hibernation, but also makes us humans significantly more alert.
  • The summer: On the 21st. June is officially the start of the warm season and also the longest day of the year. The flowers that burst open in spring are now bearing fruit that is ripening thanks to the long, warm days. Animal children born in spring grow up in summer under the most favorable conditions imaginable. People are also significantly more productive in summer than in winter, because longer exposure to sunlight is good for our health.
  • Autumn: With the autumnal equinox on the 23rd. September is the end of long summer evenings in the garden (usually) - it's getting cooler, the days are quickly getting shorter, fog and rain determine the climate. Nature is preparing for winter, but very slowly. Some plants are only now ripening their fruits, and courtship is beginning in the animal world. Young animals are now often weaned, so their mothers are now ready for a new pregnancy.
  • Winter: With the winter solstice, i.e. on the 21st. December marks the shortest day of the year and the official start of winter - even if from now on the days are slowly getting longer again. At first glance, the cold and darkness seem hostile to life, but they are not. Winter is just a necessary reprieve. Because it will soon be spring again...

 

Four seasons – really?

We in our latitudes are consciously aware of four seasons, but in fact the year can be divided into many more and more differentiated sections. Phenology, founded by the natural scientist Carl von Linné, distinguishes between ten seasons because spring, summer and autumn are further divided into preliminary, main and late phases.

The meteorological and astronomical start of the seasons is usually not identical either. While astronomers use day length as a guide, meteorologists use calendar months to divide the seasons. With such different perspectives, all we can do is stick our hand out the window to determine how warm or cold it is outside!

Always mild climate? There is!

If you want to escape the seasons - and especially winter - you can quickly identify places around the globe where not much changes over the course of a year.  Whether Uruguay, the Côte d'Azur or Hawaii, they are all located in “temperate” latitudes. The closer you get to the equator, the less the effects of the seasons. The length of the day also varies less. That's why it's so easy to spend the winter on the beach of the Red Sea in Egypt or Madeira. However, being close to the equator does not always guarantee a pleasant climate, as monsoon rain is noticeable in some areas of the world. So not for those who are afraid of water!

Conversely, if you want to experience extreme seasons, you can do so in Scandinavia. The higher the latitude, the longer it stays dark in winter. Whether you would rather stay in Europe and enjoy the different seasons or whether you would like to go to distant countries and under the tropical sun is of course a question of your own preferences.

The right outfit for every season

No matter how wet and cold the winter gets or how hot the summer, we at NIKIN want to help our customers find a suitable outfit for every weather at any time of the year. And ideally as sustainably as possible. One of our concerns is the commitment to preserving forests – all over the world. Forests play an enormously important role in our climate and the preservation of the planet. That's why we want to provide food for thought with our blogs - also about interesting aspects of nature, in this case the seasons.

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