Summer has come to a close in the Southern hemisphere and autumn is beginning to color Southern Patagonia with its reds, oranges, and yellows.Meanwhile, in the Northern hemisphere, spring is in full bloom.
But what about Antarctica? Does the White Continent have seasons?
The earth’s tilt is what accounts for the seasons. When the northern hemisphere is closest to the sun, it experiences summertime and when the southern hemisphere is closest to the sun, it is summertime in the Southern hemisphere. However, everything is a little more extreme at the poles. There are only two seasons: summer and winter. In the summer, there are 24 hours of light. In the winter, there are 24 hours of darkness.
Summer in Antarctica
Summer means 24 hours of daylight. Summer also signals the return of migratory wildlife like some whale species. Temperatures are warmer, but not too warm (The highest record Antarctic temperature was 59F or 15C). This is when the ice melts and human visitors can enjoy this extreme but beautiful place.
Winter in Antarctica
With winter, comes darkness. No daylight for 24 hours. This is when the ice forms and expands. The ice formed in the winter more than doubles the size of Antarctica.