Why are coldest time of the year not over shortest day of the year?


The shortest day of the year is December 21 in the northern hemisphere and our coldest months are December, January, and February.

Why are our coldest months not November, December, and January?

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It takes time for the Earth to cool down. There’s a lot of air and water and dirt that needs to change temperature. The day with the least sun exposure will cool it the most (out of any particular day), but it will still continue to cool on the following days.

it’s like this….

the earth is like a battery. It sucks up all the heat it’s exposed to and releases it slowly over time (for the region). So, the entire summer it soaks up the heat, and releases it slowly, so december isn’t the coldest time of the year when it’s still releasing hte heat… it’s after december when it runs out of the stored heat.

same for summer. the longest day is in June, but the hottest time is generally august


they’ve actually been able to demonstrated this and apply it to technology. Some people are actually planning on using this behavior to create cheap and sustainable batteries on a large scale. They have huge silo’s of sand, with focusing lenses, to store sunlight generated heat, then they use the heat being released as a power source.

Imagine you put a pot of water on the stove, and turn your stove to “high” for a minute.

After a minute, while the water is still warming up, you turn the heat on the stove down to medium-high. Does the water cool down, or does it keep warming up?

The same thing, in essence, happens with the seasons. The summer and winter solstices are the times when the stove is at its highest or lowest, but the temperature of the pot of water is *chasing* the temperature of the stove, not matching it.

Something called seasonal lag, the land is mainly surrounded by large bodies of water which take an enormous amount of energy to heat up or cool down which takes time. https://youtu.be/2i8MX73Uhyo