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Unformatted text preview: the rays of the Sun strike the ground more directly. Likewise, in the N. Hemisphere Winter the hemisphere is oriented away from the Sun, the Sun only rises low in the sky, is above the horizon for a shorter period, and the rays of the Sun strike the ground more obliquely. In fact, as the diagram indicates, the Earth is actually closer to the Sun in the N. Hemisphere Winter than in the Summer (as usual, we greatly exaggerate the eccentricity of the elliptical orbit in this diagram). The Earth is at its closest approach to the Sun (perihelion) on about January 4 of each year, which is the dead of the N. Hemisphere Winter. (The time for perihelion, aphelion, and the solstices for any year 1992-2000 is available in this compilation .) For a more extensive introduction to how variations in the amount of solar energy reaching the Earth's surface influence climate, see this discussion of solar databases for global change models....
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This note was uploaded on 12/04/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.
- Fall '10