Understanding the Polar and Equatorial Temperature Differences on Planets

In summary, the poles on Earth are cold and frozen while the equator is warm and humid. This is mainly due to the sun's exposure and the geometry of the Earth. The poles cannot receive more energy than the equator without tilting the entire planet. It is possible for the poles to become warm, but this would require a change in the planet's axial tilt. The current global warming trend may lead to warmer poles, but the equator will always be warm due to its direct exposure to the sun. The universe's expansion does not affect the gravitational forces that keep our solar system together and will not cause significant changes in the Earth's distance from the sun.
  • #1
Liam A
4
1
on earth, we have the poles being very cold and mostly frozen, while the equator is very warm and humid.
i would like to know specifically what causes this. i know it is partially because of their exposure to the sun, but i'd like to know some of the details and factors involved.
i'd also like to know if the process could be reversed, as in the poles would be warm or at least moderate temperature, while the equator of the planet was frozen? if so, how and why?
 
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  • #2
It's mostly the sun. Geometry is the biggest factor here. One square mile of sunlight falls on about one square mile at the equator because it's head on, but at the extreme tangent angles of the poles, that same square mile of sunlight gets spread out over many times more area at the poles.

You can't have poles get more energy than the equator without tilting the entire planet. Uranus has occasions when the poles are warmer than the equator.
 
  • #3
Liam A said:
on earth, we have the poles being very cold and mostly frozen, while the equator is very warm and humid.
i would like to know specifically what causes this. i know it is partially because of their exposure to the sun, but i'd like to know some of the details and factors involved.
i'd also like to know if the process could be reversed, as in the poles would be warm or at least moderate temperature, while the equator of the planet was frozen? if so, how and why?
Earth's poles have not always been frozen. Just over 2.58 million years ago the poles were ice-free. In fact, during the majority of Earth's history the poles have been ice-free. There have been five major ice-ages when the poles have been locked in ice. We are currently experiencing the fifth ice-age, for the last 2.58 million years.

The poles will always be colder than the equator, because the poles receive the least amount of sunlight. The only way to change that is to change the planet's axial tilt.
 
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  • #4
Hello
at the moment our planet is on the path of global warming, so possible that poles will be warm.Equater can't be cold because equater has enough warm from sun. Since the universe is expanding, our planet can keep away from sun, but it is will be insignificantly.
I hope I can help you.:smile:
P.S. I'm sorry for any errors in the text.
 
  • #5
Mary Space said:
...Since the universe is expanding, our planet can keep away from sun ...
The Universe expanding is not applicable to gravitationally bound systems like the solar system.
The force of gravity holding things together completely eliminates expansion.
Even clusters of galaxies remain bound by gravity.
Furthermore the expansion is only detectable over the vast cosmological scale, a star system is tiny compared to that.
Even in empty intergalactic space, a volume the size of the solar system would take a very long time to noticeably expand.
 
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  • #6
Yes, maybe you are right.
 
  • #7
Mary Space said:
Yes, maybe you are right.
He was not offering this as an opinion but as accepted fact based on empirical evidence, so there is no "maybe" here.
 
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1. Can a planet's poles be warm?

Yes, it is possible for a planet's poles to be warm. While we typically associate the poles with ice and freezing temperatures, there are several factors that can cause the poles to have warmer temperatures.

2. What factors contribute to warm poles on a planet?

One factor is the tilt of the planet's axis. If a planet's axis is tilted, it can cause one pole to receive more direct sunlight, leading to warmer temperatures. Another factor is the planet's atmosphere, which can trap heat and warm up the poles.

3. Are there any planets with warm poles in our solar system?

Yes, there are a few planets in our solar system with warm poles. For example, both Venus and Mars have tilted axes that contribute to warmer poles. Additionally, Venus has a thick atmosphere that traps heat, leading to higher temperatures at the poles.

4. Can human activity affect the warmth of a planet's poles?

Yes, human activity can have an impact on the warmth of a planet's poles. The burning of fossil fuels and other human activities release greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, which can contribute to warming at the poles and other regions of the planet.

5. How can studying warm poles on other planets help us understand climate change on Earth?

Studying warm poles on other planets can provide valuable insights into the effects of changing climate and atmospheric conditions. By understanding how other factors, such as tilt and atmosphere, can impact pole temperatures, we can gain a better understanding of how these factors may be affecting Earth's climate and polar regions.

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