What Causes the Seasons to Change?

What causes the seasons to change?

Greeks once believed that seasons change because the god of underworld Hades abducted the goddess of spring Persephone.

Angered by his misdeed, Persephone’s mother, Demeter, goddess of earth and agriculture made it compulsory for Hades to marry her daughter and visit her once a year.

As a result, when Hades visited her daughter, it would upset her and she would command the world to become cold so that nothing could grow. Hence, there would be winters.

Nordic Mythology

The myth varied in Nordic mythology. It believed that the god of spring Freyr battled with the forces of cold and darkness.

When he would lose, the winter would prevail. Whereas, upon his victory, the earth experienced summer.


This explanation got better over time. Many people said that the orbit on which the earth rotates isn’t a perfect circle (which is true).

They said that when the earth reaches farthest from the sun (aphelion), it experiences winters. Whereas, reaching closest (perihelion) causes it to have summers.

This did seem intuitive but it was still incorrect. And, it baffled you, it will help you appreciate what causes the seasons to change

The Actuality

The whole earth doesn’t experience winter or summer at the same time, and it was enough for it be refuted.

It was after a lot of absurd explanations, we later learned that the axis on which our earth rotates is tilted.

This causes the northern hemisphere to be tilted towards the sun and southern hemisphere to be tilted away from the sun for half of the year. And, for the remaining half, this will be the other way around.

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As a result, when the sun rays will fall vertically on one hemisphere, it will experience more heat and the other hemisphere will experience less heat causing the change of seasons.

I find it beautiful. And, it is important.

There are two takeaways from the discovery. First, we should never stop our pursuit to find answers. And second, we should never give up if something we believe to be true is proven false.

It is in constant learning and unlearning that we live, grow, and prosper.

Ahmad Khan

I have no blood in my veins. I have ink.

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