The sun, the closest star of the sky, is more than our source of light. It provides heat, energy and acts as the main engine driving the atmosphere on our planet. The sun generates temperature variations so that basically, every weather phenomenon available on earth can be traced to the sun.
The sun typically warms up the earth unevenly due to the earth’s natural tilt at an angle of 23.5 degrees which causes the areas near the equator to be warmed up much more than the Poles. This causes the major climate differences we see between the equatorial areas typically mildly temperated and the Polar regions extremely gelid. The earth’s natural tilt is also what causes weather and climate differences throughout the year known as seasons.
The sun plays a primary role in affecting weather patterns on earth, here are a few examples:
-When the sun warms up air, the area encompassing this warm air in meteorology is known as a warm front. Many weather phenomenons occur when a warm front meets a cold front.
-The sun will warm up the earth’s surface and this warm air will expand and rise, as it rises, the air will then cool and descend. This up and down cycle of rising warm air and descending cool air will generate a weather phenomenon known as wind.
-The sun will warm up air over the sea near the equator and this warm air will rise creating a cloud. Cold air will then replace the warm air that has lifted and the clashes between cold and warm air will be creating spiraling turbulence known as a hurricanes.
-The sun creates warm air which then abruptly turns cold, this creates pressure and turbulence which whips up a tornado.
-The sun warms up the ocean’s, lake’s and soil’s surfaces causing warm air to rise in the athmosphere up to a point where it will meet colder air causing it to condense and generate clouds that in turn, will produce rain, hail or snow. This is know as the water cycle which is fundamental for all living beings on earth.
In the past, people thought that the closest you could get to the sun the warmer it would be. This is actually untrue. If you climb to the top of a mountain you will likely feel a dramatic climate change. This is because as warm air rises it tends to cool, therefore, making mountain tops often cold and capped with snow.
As seen, the sun plays a primarily role on affecting the weather patterns on earth. However, recently the sun has also been perceived as a main contributing factor of global warming.