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WikiProject Time assessment rating comment[edit]

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Yamara 02:36, 17 February 2008 (UTC)

Differences in Insolation of North and South Hemisphere[edit]

I quote from the article:

During June, July, and August; the northern hemisphere is exposed to more direct sunlight because the northern hemisphere faces the sun. The same is true of the southern hemisphere in December, January, and February.

That is not completely correct. It's true that During June, July and August the northern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight, and that during December, January and February the southern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight. However, other months aren't mentioned, and one gets the impression that both hemispheres are exposed to the same amount of sunlight during other months. However, it can easily be seen that northern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight from spring equinox to fall equinox (from the second half of March to the second half of September), and tha the southern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight from fall equinox to spring equinox (from the second half of September to the second half of March). Thus, the northern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight in April, May, June, July, August and September, while the southern hemisphere is exposed to more sunlight in October, November, December, January, February, and March. The insolation of the northern hemisphere peaks at the summer solstice (which coincides with beginning of astronomical Summer in the northern hemisphere), while the insolation of the southern hemisphere peaks at the winter solstice (which coincides with the beginning of astronomical Winter in the northern hemisphere), even though June and December aren't the hottest and the coldest month. I hope I pointed out the error clearly, and I'd like to suggest to the author of the piece of the article which I quoted above to correct it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stoko (talkcontribs) 01:59, 14 April 2009 (UTC)

Astronomical Reckoning or Triditional Reckoning?[edit]

Astronomical seasons should be reckoned by insolation. The seasons should begin at the cross-quarter days in the astronomical view of point. In astronomical view, the Summer Solstice is the "hottest" day of the year. So how can Summer Solstice be the beginning the summer?

Dividing seasons using solstices and equinoxes is just a compromise of meteorological reckoning and days with astronomical meaning. They're just approximate dates, aren't they?

The Seasonal Quarters: Dates of the Solstices and Equinoxes[edit]

[|The US Naval Obseravtory publishes "the" national standard data for the dates and times of the solstices and equinoxes. The times given there are in UT (Universal Time -similar to GMT) so they read 5 hours ahead of what clocks are reading in the US's Eastern Standard Time or 4 hours during Eastern Daylight Saving Time. The following values represent the actual/correct dates based on USA time (EST/EDT).

MARCH EQUINOX: usually March 20th; occasionally the 21st; NEVER the 24th or 25th...

JUNE SOLSTICE: usually June 21st; occasionally the 20th...

SEPTEMBER EQUINOX: usually Sept. 23rd; occasionally the 22nd; NEVER (never) the 20th, 21st 24th, 25th...

DECEMBER SOLSTICE: usually Dec. 21st; occasionally the 22nd

So, per the above, the article is incorrect(at 9/11/07 it still was saying "Autumn (90 days) on 21-22 Sept, the autumn equinox"): the Earth NEVER (ever) reaches (USA's) Autumnal Equinox on September 21st. In the US's Eastern Daylight Time zone the Autumnal Equinox usually occurs on September 23rd and occasionally on September 22nd. Therefore I have corrected that line in the main article to say "Sept 22-23" today. earrach9/11/07

Old talk[edit]

They are traditional dates, any American dates are recent imports. See for instance Ronald Hutton, The Stations of the Sun, pp140-141: "From this ceremony the feast took its popular British name of Candlemas; it marked the formal opening of spring...", p218: "Finally in both under 'Cetsoman' is the definition 'First May, i.e. the first motion...of summer'..." etc.
Consider also "darling buds of may" in Shakespeare's "summers day": may is hawthorn, but hawthorn blooms are gone by the time of the summer solstice. —Ashley Y 10:11, Apr 19, 2004 (UTC) (also British)

fall vs autumn[edit]

A friend of mine were pondering this question the other day, & like every other fact questions I encounter, I came to the internet for an answer to these questions: 1. Is "fall" the only season with two titles? 2. If so, why? This is not an earth shattering, life altering issue for me, but would be another bit of trivia for my cesspool(sp?) of useless information(Ha,Ha!) So, thanks to anyone for posting the answer to these questions. from Diane in Portland, OR — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:45, 11 December 2005

The season of spring is sometimes referred to as "vernal," such as in "vernal equinox." Both "vernal" and "autumnal" come from Latin. I guess since "spring" and "fall" come from english words, they must come from Germanic roots.--gwc 19:30, 21 January 2007 (UTC) Basiclly, it means Spring.
If my memory serves me correctly, spring was once called Lenten or something of the sort in Middle English ... yeah, 'twas a long time ago ... Jimp 09:24, 22 February 2007 (UTC)

precession of the equinoxes[edit]

Shouldn't something about precession of the equinoxes be included here? I'd imagine that given the various cycles they'd be highly pertinent. John Riemann Soong 10:18, 24 July 2006 (UTC) I believe Fall is caused by Climate Change therefore we should stop driving so we will not have the climate always changing. Who needs the four seasons? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:59, 24 February 2014 (UTC)

Other Cultural Acknowledgement[edit]

Different aboriginal groups in Australia recognise up to 13 seasons a year depending on the region where they are from. I think that this should be noted in here somewhere.See:

Knobcheesedeluxe 23:15, 23 December 2006 (UTC)

Wet/dry division? Expert probably needed here[edit]

I'm surprised to see there's almost no discussion of the division of time into systems of seasons other than four, and in particular the wet/dry division that typifies much of the world's climate. (We have two seasons, wet and dry, where I live, and I live in the United States!) I think most of the article does a very good job, but the focus on temperate seasons is a pretty serious bias. We need an expert, or at least someone who knows more than I do, to write something about how seasons are divided into wet and dry. I've added the expert request tag in response to this specific concern; the rest of the article is, as I said, very good. Elliotreed 08:28, 7 March 2007 (UTC)

I'm no expert on this, but I may have a link that will help, but it may also confuse things. See, by some reckonings, parts of Arizona (which per the page should fit into the hot rainy/dry distinction), have five seasons instead, and they don't fit the dichotomy on the page (Summer has two seasons, one dry, one wet; spring and autumn are both dry). I don't know if this helps, and I am too much of a lurker to do more than provide this, but here's more information: Seasons in the Arizona Upland. (talk) 19:02, 13 April 2010 (UTC)

Move to Season (meteorology) ?[edit]

There are many other uses of the word season, as can be seen from the page Season (disambiguation). I propose to promote that page to the neutral "Season" article name. The current "season" article should then be renamed to "Season (meteorology)". I suspect that many people landing at "Season" are looking for fashion, school, sport or other seasons. −Woodstone 13:23, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure. I have a feeling that people that search "season" are most likely looking for these seasons, and the rest click the hadnote. For one this is by far the longest and most edited article of the bunch. And these are the only seasons that are (always) colloquially referred to as "seasons"--while people often refer to the other seasons as "sport seasons" etc, they don't colloquially call these seasons "meteorological seasons." And also, calling them "meteorological seasons" may also be quite confusing because this page itself uses that term (as well as "traditional seasons" and "astronomical seasons") to refer to a specific definition/reckoning of season. --gwc 17:17, 3 April 2007 (UTC)

Winter is the first season[edit]

Winter is the first season. dose march look like the first month too you? (-anonymous)

Huh? earrach

Has it ever occurred to you that December may have anything to do with "decimal"? Indeed it used to be the tenth month. Just like october and november are named after the Latin numerals for 8 and 9. That makes March the original first month. −Woodstone 13:53, 12 September 2007 (UTC)
Sorry, dear, but you're quite wrong. While it's certainly true that December was once the tenth month, November the ninth, October the eighth, and September the seventh, the first month has always been (at least since Roman (late republic/early empire) times, cf. Ovid, Fasti) January, the month named after Janus, two-faced god of doorways, precisely because January is the doorway from one year into another, the beginning of the new and the end of the old. --Waidawut (talk) 21:47, 21 September 2010 (UTC)

Incorrect Caption for Images and scientifically wrong image[edit]

I am referring here actually two images North_seaosn.jpg and South_season.jpg. Caption of first image is

Diagram of the Earth's seasons as seen from the north. Far right: December solstice

and caption of second image is

Diagram of the Earth's seasons as seen from the south. Far left: June solstice

Direction of orbiting and spinning in lower image shown are wrong. In fact only one image would have suffice to explain scientific cause of season in both the hemisphere. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Pruthvi.vallabh (talkcontribs) 17:46, 29 October 2007 (UTC)

This seems to be discussing same images used in the "equinox" and "solstice" pages, however, it must have been fixed because it now appears to be correct. (talk) 22:27, 1 September 2008 (UTC)

Dry Season Cool/Hot Division?[edit]

Why is there a division between cool dry season and hot dry season? I know it makes a difference, but there isn't any information, or articles.

I, of course, mean on the top navigation table. The one with all the seasons. 02:59, 30 October 2007 (UTC)

Reckoning section[edit]

The "reckoning" section describes the reckoning for the seasons at Denmark, USSR, Australia, UK, Ireland, traditional cultures (Northern hemisphere, East Asian, Irish), plus the Australian Arborigenes. It just misses describing it for the rest of the world... USA, Latin America, Africa and Europe. Also, no word about Mayas, Aztecs, Incas, Egyptian, Persians & other Near East cultures -- all of which acquired very sophisticated astronomical knowledge (and built huge pyramids and monumets) to track the seeasons. No word about Stonehenge either, or the other Neolithic monuments that helped track down the seasons. This is a good article, but overall I was a bit let down as I read it entirely and I still don't know when the seasons start in the USA... Thank you! ;^) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:01, 1 January 2008 (UTC)

Though there are cultural claims, There are no scientific or official beginning dates of calendar seasons in the USA. Even the use of the word "astronomical" is a misnomer, as it in reality cannot distinguish the significance of a solstice or equinox as being either midpoint or beginning point. The source for the categorization of the reckoning section seems highly questionable at best. (talk) 18:42, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

whats up dogs —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

hunting season?[edit]

There ought to be Enelson (talk) 17:27, 11 April 2008 (UTC)

Does Earth's elliptical orbit influence seasons?[edit]

As of 15 May 2008 the article includes the following mutually incompatible statements:

"Seasonal weather differences between hemispheres are further caused by the elliptical orbit of Earth. Earth reaches perihelion (the point in its orbit closest to the Sun) in January, and it reaches aphelion (farthest point from the Sun) in July. Even though the effect this has on Earth's seasons is minor, it does noticeably soften the northern hemisphere's winters and summers. In the southern hemisphere, the opposite effect is observed."

"Compared to axial tilt, other factors contribute little to seasonal temperature changes. The seasons are not the result of the variation in Earth’s distance to the sun because of its elliptical orbit.[2] Orbital eccentricity can influence temperatures, but on Earth, this effect is small and is more than counteracted by other factors; research shows that the Earth as a whole is actually slightly warmer when farther from the sun.[3]"

Can anyone resolve this? Lfh (talk) 18:57, 15 May 2008 (UTC)

"The Earth as a whole is actually slightly warmer when farther from the sun": This is because the northern hemisphere has more land than the southern, and land warms more readily than sea. (added) Humphrey Jungle (talk) 14:37, 31 October 2008 (UTC)
Actually seasons are softer in the southern hemisfere because it has more water compared to the northern hesmisfere, and water soften temperature changes. The first paragraph is wrong (and the second unclear).--Kilo0 (talk) 14:18, 9 December 2008 (UTC)

No Southern Summer[edit]

The diagram in the middle of the article shows northern and southern winters and springs, but has two southern falls and no southern summers. I imagine this is a mistake, if not there is no explaination of this in the article. Someone smarter than me should sort this out! NinjaKid (talk) 14:53, 18 July 2008 (UTC)

"Traditional" section[edit]

This unsourced bit of history revision is at odds with a source at the bottom ( and should be either cited or trashed. (talk) 16:03, 16 December 2008 (UTC)

Err... that actually seems to (at least approximately) agree with the content of the traditional section to me. Perhaps you mean to say that it disagrees with the 'astronomical' section which it explicitly denies, stating that there is no scientific consensus that seasons begin on equinoxes or solstices. JulesH (talk) 19:11, 21 December 2008 (UTC)


The diagram in the astronomical section has the nearest/farthest points labelled as "periapsis" and "apoasis". First, note that "apoasis" is a typo; the correct spelling is "apoapsis". I would further suggest "perihelion" and "aphelion" are better terms, being equivalent terms that are both (a) better known and (b) specific to solar orbits rather than general ones. JulesH (talk) 19:16, 21 December 2008 (UTC)

Seasons in Montreal (Koppen Hemiboreal Zone)[edit]

Hi, this is meant to be a comment, I do not want this to appear on the main page (I'm not too certain how Wikipedia works).

I live in Montreal, which is located in Koppen's Hemiboreal climate zone. I've always found that the traditional 4 seasons never fit Montreal's climate, and probably best fit the climate of Mediterranean Europe (esp. Greece and Italy). In Montreal, we realy have 6 seasons:

Winter is associated with heavy snow, and generally begins in mid-December and ends in late March or early April;

Then we have the Spring Melt season ("le dégel" in French), which lasts a few weeks and can occur anytime in March or April. This season is often associated with Spring flooding;

After that we have Spring which goes into mid-May or early June, which is the season when the leaves come out and the spring flowers bloom;

Summer is associated with hot weather, when you don't need to wear a jacket and it's warm enough to go swimming. This lasts from late June to late August or early September if you're lucky. Most people try to have a two to three week vacation during this period. Quebec's official construction holliday usually takes place during the last two weeks of July, which is the hottest time of year, and many people not part of the construction industry also take their vacations at the same time. In most offices, people take staggered vacations such that up to a quarter of personnel may be on vacation during this season;

Then you have a fall or harvest season, that starts in early September, and includes the leaves changing colour (which is especially dramatic in October)and falling. The beginning of this season is often called "la rentrée" in French, because that's when the school year begins and the new year also begins in entertainment and in politics. It's also the date when most people have taken their summer vacations, so offices are fully staffed again;

Finally you enter our 6th season, which I call the "Grey" season, in which most of the leaves have fallen, and we are waiting for the first major snow fall of Winter. This rather depressing period usually includes November and early December. It's often rainy and overcast;

This 6-season division is probably most appropriate for the Koppen Hemiboreal climate Zone. I believe it should be possible to define "natural" seasons for most climate zones that do not necessarily fit the traditional four seasons that best describe the climates of Southern and Western Europe.

Alex Plante, Montreal, Dec 22 2008 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:47, 22 December 2008 (UTC)

Formatting issue[edit]

Should the names of seasons be capitalised, as is the practice for the names of months? Danceswithzerglings (talk) 19:18, 19 January 2009 (UTC)

My research on Google has led me to believe that no, they are not capitalized. Enelson (talk) 03:31, 20 January 2009 (UTC)
It would depend on how they are used, —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:15, 29 November 2010 (UTC)

Geo-centric bias[edit]

There is an understandable geo-centric bias in the article, which considers only the earth as having seasons. Most, if not all planets do. I personally am not interested in seeing a lot of detail on the known seasons of other planets, but the lead, at least, should change to reflect a more general approach to seasonally-induced weather IMO.Student7 (talk) 13:25, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

problems with "Meteorological" section (under "Reckoning")[edit]

Reference [5] in is broken.

There is no supporting reference (citation) for the assertion (last sentence) "So, in meteorology for the Northern hemisphere: spring begins on 1 March, summer on 1 June, autumn on 1 September, and winter on 1 December", which seems to be attributed to the Societas Meteorologica Palatina, for which I notice there is a Wikipedia article in German. (If I had the time I would translate it; German is my second language.)

Simplifier (talk) 13:16, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

serious error in "Astronomical" section (under "Reckoning")[edit]

This section needs to be largely rewritten, since it implies that the thermal lag for continental climates is greater than for oceanic climates, when in fact it is the other way around! My guess is that the convention of starting seasons at the solstices and equinoxes began in (north?)western Europe (under which I include the British Isles), which has a more oceanic climate with greater thermal lag than most of North America because of the general west-to-east movement of air masses. The first paragraph could be repaired by replacing "continental" with "oceanic". The last sentence, however, is almost complete rubbish. To retain it in recognizable form it would have to look something like this:

The oceanic climate of the southern hemisphere produces a longer temperature lag; despite that, the start of each season is usually considered to be several weeks before the respective solstice or equinox in this hemisphere, as in some countries with continental climates and in cultures with Celtic roots.

There is also no citation for the first two sentences of the last paragraph.

Simplifier (talk) 13:39, 8 August 2009 (UTC)

... late relpy ... No, the southern hemisphere definitely has a shorter seasonal temperature lag (see any seasonal data for places there). I see why you make the claim about thermal lag, but thermal capacity doesn't seen to dictate how it works with the seasons. Perhaps conductivity is the predominant influence? Dbfirs 18:37, 27 January 2014 (UTC)

Major modification[edit]

The 'tilt' of the Earth does not cause the seasons,'tilt' determines whether a planet experiences equatorial or polar conditions,with the Earth biased towards the equatorial end of the spectrum.The seasons are due to the specific way the Earth orbits the Sun,this conclusion is derived by modern means which uses the power of contemporary imaging and planetary comparisons Oriel36 (talk) 12:52, 13 August 2009 (UTC)

Huh? What key insight do you think that movie shows? What specific feature of Earth's orbit causes the seasons? Do the northern and southern hemispheres orbit differently (in opposite phase)? —Tamfang (talk) 00:03, 12 April 2010 (UTC)
I can see what Oriel36 is referring to. However, it depends on the frame of reference. Generally, this is the background stars the siderial frame of reference. In this case, the Earth is being used as the frame of reference. The key point here is that if the length of one cycle of the Orbital Precession of the Earth were equal to one tropical year and in the same direction as the Earth's orbit around the Sun, then it would cancel out the Axial Tilt of the Earth and there would be no seasons. Hope this helps. Set Sail For The Seven Seas 235° 38' 59" NET 15:42, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

The easiest means to understand why the seasons happen is through the cause of the single daylight/darkness cycle at the geographical poles where daily rotation is absent or almost absent.At the equinoxes there is an orbital twilight or dawn where the geographical coordinates pass through the circle of illumination and those locations experience 6 months of daylight or 6 months of darkness.The cause of the seasons is that as the planet moves along its orbital circumference it does not keep the same orbital face to the Sun but changes it slowly through 360 degrees and that is why the polar twilight has its origins in the orbital motion of the Earth and not daily rotation . Once that single polar daylight/darkness cycle is explained through an actual cycle,specifically the Earth's orbital cycle,the same mechanism can then replace the old 'axial tilt' explanation for the seasons.Oriel36 (talk) 16:55, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

I guess "orbital face" is your version of an epicycle – a kludge to preserve geocentrism – but what does it mean exactly?
What is the relevance of a picture of a red ball on a hill? —Tamfang (talk) 22:44, 9 May 2010 (UTC)

Don't know how that webpage got there but it has been removed.The 'orbital face' is an awkward expression and better to get rid of it,but the description would hold for the polar coordinates which basically pivot around in a circle over the course of an annual period hence the polar day/night cycle and at lower latitudes, when combined with daily rotation,the cause the seasonal temperature fluctuations and the other issue of variations in the natural noon cycle.The time lapse footage of Uranus showing,for convenience,a North/South component of daily rotation which run parallel with the equatorial ring and the East/West component where the planet turns to the central Sun - .In short,too much information is being piled into right ascension which is blocking the introduction of a proper explanation for the seasons using an orbital cycle and its characteristic turning motion to the central Sun,in the Earth's case,from a point drawn through the center of the Earth from Arctic to Antarctic circles and coincident with the circle of illumination.Gkell1 (talk) 19:06, 7 July 2011 (UTC)

Mostly you seem to be describing the same phenomena as everyone else but with different language; but the part I don't get is where Oriel36 seems to believe the angle between a planet's equator and its orbital plane is irrelevant to all this. —Tamfang (talk) 02:47, 14 July 2011 (UTC)

The seasons or the annual fluctuations in temperature North and South of the daily rotational equator is best explained by considering the interaction between daily and orbital dynamics with special attention given to the orbital 'traveling' axis where a planet turns to the central Sun and best understood on Earth through the polar daylight/darkness cycle.Globally,the Earth has a largely equatorial climate as the relationship between the daily rotational axis and the orbital traveling axis is just over 23 degrees while Uranus has a polar climate as the daily rotational axis is almost 90 degrees in separation from the orbital axis - .The common ground between planets and their respective climates is the range and intensity of temperature swings as the planet orbits the Sun,the Earth having mostly equatorial climate features experiences mild swings over large areas of the planet compared to Uranus Gkell1 (talk) 07:22, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

Australia - what's official about its seasons?[edit]

The article repeats the oft made reference in Australia to the country's "official" seasons. What makes them official? I have never seen any government publication that defines the dates. In my own curiosity about this I once asked the Bureau of Meteorology in writing and received no reply.

I contend that the dates are not official at all, just a convention. HiLo48 (talk) 11:19, 15 October 2009 (UTC)


"The commonly followed dates are as follows: 1st day of March, June, September and December for the start of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer, respectively."

Shouldn't the last part read "1st day of March, June, September, and December for the start of Spring, Summer, Autumn, and Winter?

No. Those seasons are correct for countries in the southern hemisphere. HiLo48 (talk) 02:23, 28 May 2010 (UTC)

Diagram in "astronomical" subsection[edit]

The ellipse in the diagram in the astronomical subsection needs to be redrawn. The major axis of the ellipse should coincide with the line of apsides, not with the line of solstice. Also, the ellipse should be drawn "fat" enough that the perihelion, at one end of the major axis, is the closest point to the sun. See the article Apsis. Duoduoduo (talk) 16:16, 20 June 2010 (UTC)

That's not the only problem that diagram has. The word "apoapsis" is misspelled as "apoasis". Dr. Morbius (talk) 20:45, 25 July 2010 (UTC)
I will try to redraw this diagram in this weekend. --Gothika (talk) 21:53, 26 July 2010 (UTC)

I hope is good now. It was missing an ellipse.--Gothika (talk) 20:55, 27 July 2010 (UTC)

Thanks for working on it. But there is still a problem—the major axis coincides with the line of solstice, but it should coincide with the line of apsides. I think part of the problem is the light blue border around the diagram—it is positioned horizontally, and that forces the ellipse to be positioned horizontally. Also, the fact that the earth appears in two different sizes creates a problem.
I suggest that if you can, you do the following: (1) Delete the light blue border. (2) Replace the four large earths with small ones, so all six will be the same size. (3) Move the earths at 21 June and 21 December closer to the sun. (4) Redraw the ellipse so that its points of sharpest curvature occur at 3 July and 3 January. (So the ellipse will be tilted away from the horizontal.) I hope this is not too hard—your work is very much appreciated! Duoduoduo (talk) 00:43, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks for the detailed description, at least now I understand the problem :).--Gothika (talk) 08:01, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Fantastic! The major axis is now correct. One more tweak and it will be just right: The periapsis (3 January) is by definition the closest point to the sun. To accomplish this: (1) 21 March needs to be pushed straight upward away from the sun, and 23 September needs to be pushed straight downward away from the sun. But not so much as to alter the already correct orientation of the ellipse. (2) The sun needs to be pushed a little toward 3 January, making it off-center (since the sun is a focus of the ellipse, not the center). (But the line of solstice still needs to go through all of 21 June, the sun, and 21 December.) Duoduoduo (talk) 16:09, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Thank again for advice, I hope this one is god. I made one for my homewiki too. Bye.--Gothika (talk) 19:33, 28 July 2010 (UTC)
Thanks very much! Also, a few weeks ago I put this diagram in the article Earth's orbit, where it was updated (automatically, I assume) with the revised version. Duoduoduo (talk) 20:15, 28 July 2010 (UTC)

Australian Seasons[edit]

This mention seems either gratuitous or limited. Gratuitous in the sense that exceedingly few people coming to this page are looking for information on how Australian aboriginal people reckoned the seasons. Limited in the sense that it mentions just one alternative to the contemporary reckoning of seasons. It seems that instead of this off hand reference, there out to be a link to a page featuring "Seasons in Ancient Cultures". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:13, 10 September 2010 (UTC)

Start of the Seasons[edit]

It seems over the last few years people have been trying to change the date that a season begins. This is especially true if an equinox or solstice falls late in the day. For example the March equinox recently fell on March 20, 2011 @ 23:21 UT. Since it was late in the day, many referred to March 21 as the first "full day" of the season. Not so: in the Gregorian calendar, the first day of a season is not required to be an integer - and never has been! The first day of a season is the date of the equinox or solstice. Nothing more - nothing less - no matter what local time it falls. So in this example the first "full day" of Spring for the Northern Hemisphere was March 20 - not the 21st. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:24, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

What part of he world are you talking about? Do you have a source for such a certain claim? I ask that coming from a country where for some unexplainable reason we don't start the seasons at the equinoxes or solstices at all. HiLo48 (talk) 06:33, 22 March 2011 (UTC)

Certainly -- just scan some of the headlines for March 21. (I'd provide links but Wikipedia won't accept shortened links from tinyURL or Bitly) Note the references to the first "full day" as if March 20 didn't count. I've seen this many times over the past couple of years in newspaper articles and blogs. (This of course applies to Temperate latitudes that follow the 'traditional' four seasons) —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:28, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm willing to take your word that there exist writers who disagree with you; I'd ask rather, and I think HiLo48 was asking, for some support for "such a certain claim" that the Real Legitimate Official Authoritative beginning of Spring is as you say. I wasn't aware that the Gregorian Calendar, as such, had any such provision — on the contrary, as I understand it, the Gregorian reform expressly rejected astronomical measurements in favor of an artificial Moon, and an artificial Equinox on March 21 (the day as a unit, not some particular time on that date) in every year.
Is there legislation where you live, or perhaps a treaty convention, defining the season as beginning with the calendar date of the equinox? Or is it something that you simply know because you learned it in school when you were six years old and never heard contradicted until now? —Tamfang (talk) 17:52, 28 March 2011 (UTC)
Again I ask - What part of he world are you talking about? I'm in Australia, and the convention here is that the seasons start on 1st of March, June, September and December. I don't know why. People speak of those dates as being "official", but I once wrote to our government weather body, the Bureau of Meteorology (who normally answer queries), and got no reply. There is not as much certainty about these things as you seem to believe. And when I asked if you had a source for your view, I meant a reliable source that could be referenced from the article to support your point of view, or not, as they case may be. It's not a situation where you ask ME to scan the headlines. HiLo48 (talk) 19:02, 28 March 2011 (UTC)

I'm talking about temperate areas that observe four seasons. Real Legitimate Official Authoritative source? I'll ignore Tamfang's insults here - The Julian & Gregorian calendars of course. If you don't believe me go read the papal bull "Inter gravissimas". —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:06, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

This translation of Inter gravissimas does not contain the word season or spring or summer or autumn or winter. Nor does it give much consideration to the possibility that the astronomical equinox can fall on March 20; it defines the equinox (for liturgical purposes) as March 21.
Can you quote the passage of Inter gravissimas that defines the beginning of a season? —Tamfang (talk) 06:07, 25 April 2011 (UTC)

This is horses for courses and no need to fret over the start of the seasons.Those who live in areas of the world where there are large swings in temperature between summer and winter such as New York while the fluctuations between daylight and darkness is of less relevance will opt for the solstices and equinoxes as an anchor for when the seasons start and end while the Western isles of Europe where there are fairly large seasonal swings in daylight/darkness hours and not so much focus on temperature fluctuations,the beginning of the calendar months are most favorable given that it places December 21st roughly in the middle of winter.Astronomers work within more restrictive guidelines as the seasons are demarcated by hemispheres while the root cause of both daylight/darkness asymmetries and temperature fluctuations require global solutions and cannot be conveniently explained by hemispherical means.This issue is important for many reasons,not least the contentious issue of 'what is a planet' and why flexibility is required sometimes.Gkell1 (talk) 07:45, 3 September 2011 (UTC)

"Geocentric view of the seasons"[edit]

I split off some content from the article Solstice into a new article, Geocentric view of the seasons. The content also overlaps with a section in the article Equinox. I want to bring this to the attention of contributors to the Season article in case someone thinks a merge is desirable. Mathew5000 (talk) 05:48, 25 December 2011 (UTC)

It is unhelpful as the 'Heliocentric view of the seasons' article doesn't reflect an accurate view of the seasons nor its cause.A recent and more reasoned approach does not dwell on the 'no tilt/no seasons' aspect but rather re-directs rotational inclination towards planetary climate as being equatorial,polar of somewhere in-between.For instance,the climate of Uranus is almost totally polar due to its inclination while the Earth has a largely equatorial climate hence the 'no tilt/no seasons' perspective fades into obscurity.Gkell1 (talk) 13:31, 2 January 2012 (UTC)

Since the split-off article now redirects to Sun path, I'm removing the old notification. I can't see any argument for re-merging. Dbfirs 07:45, 2 October 2014 (UTC)

Picture of seasons in Manchester is in wrong section?[edit]

This picture is located in the "traditional seasons" section, which refers to seasons in terms of insolation. However, the photo clearly denotes meteorological or phenological seasons, not insolational ones. It should be moved to either the meteorological or phenological section. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:15, 29 February 2012 (UTC)

Section merge to reduce temperate zone bias[edit]

The former "Traditional" section epitomized this page's heavy bias toward temperate zones by presuming to declare their traditions to be universal. I merged that section with "Official" thereby gathering the three main methods for designation into one section.

The astronomical discussion needs to note that "greatest insolation" occurs twice each year in the tropics as the sun passes directly overhead. This negates the universality of the cross-quarter days, which are meaningless in the tropics.

The page is still rather wordy (excessive discussion of Ellesmere, for example) and contains other temperate biases. For example, wet/dry is basically only given lip service. In fact, if one considers flowering trees, there are numerous seasons in the tropics: mango will bear fruit just before the monsoon starts, rambutan bears early in the monsoon, and mangosteen later in the monsoon. The "Ecological" section really should note this relative aspect of seasonality. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Martindo (talkcontribs)

Autumn / Fall[edit]

I've seen the third season is mostly being referred to as "autumn" (British) in this article (and the Latin term "autumnal"), but the term "fall" (American) was also used three times. This is confusing and following Wikipedia's policy on British/American English, we should stick with one of both. I've taken the liberty of removing the three instances of "fall", thus using British English.

Sorry to any Americans, and if you're going to contribute to the article, please use "autumn" for cohesion. (talk) 01:27, 23 November 2014 (UTC)