Changing Seasons – ImageQuest

June 13, 2018

As the summer/winter solstice draws near, Britannica ImageQuest appreciates the changing cycle of seasons and its impact on our habitat and civilization.


Thunder bolt during the onset of monsoon season in Kalimpong, India

A summer monsoon thunderstorm
IMAGEQUEST: THOMAS WIEWANDT/VISUALS UNLIMITED, INC. /SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY / UIG

A monsoon is a major wind system that seasonally reverses its direction. Monsoon winds typically bring wet summers and dry winters to the regions where they blow. The most prominent monsoons occur in South Asia, Africa, Australia, and the Pacific coast of Central America.

The Chocolate Hills in summer

IMAGEQUEST: Jean-Pierre De Mann / Robert Harding World Imagery / Universal Images Group

The Chocolate Hills are located on Bohol island, in the Philippines. These mounds of earth, which grasses turn from green to brown during summer are of mysterious origin.

Midnight Sun, Antarctic Peninsula

IMAGEQUEST: Geoff Renner / Robert Harding World Imagery / Universal Images Group

During the Summer months, as seen in Antarctica or the Arctic, the tilt of the Earth’s axis relative to the plane of its orbit will produce at least one day of 24 hour sunlight. The ensuing natural phenomenon of the sun remaining visible at midnight is referred to as midnight sun.

Hani Rice Terraces, Yunnan in spring

IMAGEQUEST: Tony Camacho/SPL

During the dry spring months, farmers will transplant rice seedlings into flooded paddies, but the water volume has to be painstakingly regulated. The plants cannot stay immersed in water for more than seven days, or they will die.

 Early rain at the end of the dry season falling on the savannah

IMAGEQUEST: Auscape / Universal Images Group

Unlike most of Australia, which has four seasons, Northern Territory has a monsoonal climate regime with two seasons: a wet summer (November to April) and a dry winter (May to October).

Memorial Avenue in autumn, Mount Macedon, Victoria

IMAGEQUEST: Jochen Schlenker / Robert Harding World Imagery / Universal Images Group

In autumn, leaves from deciduous trees turn from green to brilliant shades of scarlet, gold, orange, and purple, before falling to the ground. A combination of favorable weather conditions is required for red pigments to form in the leaves. Ideal conditions are bright, sunny days followed by cool nights.

People on the beach in summer, Lloret de Mar, Spain

IMAGEQUEST: AGE \ Universal Image Group

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