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Weather Diary  22 December  The Sunniest Spot on Earth.Still image:
Size: 3893 x 2191
Acquisition: Graphic, Scanned illustration
Frame rate: still
Clearance: No releases required
Location: Antarctica
License: Royalty Free
Usage: Creative and Editorial
Point of view: N/A
Geography: N/A
Still images available: Y
Keywords:   Sun, Energy, Daily weather diary, December Weather Events
Asset ID: 5649
Title: Weather Diary 22 December
Concept: The Sunniest Spot on Earth.
Detail: 22 December - any year: On this day, which generally marks fhe beginning of summer in the southern hemisphere, the South Pole receives more sunlight during a 24 hour period than any other point on earth, on any day of the year! This includes even the tropical equatorial regions. The reasons for this are several. First of all, the sun stays above the horizon, although at a very low elevation angles, for a full 24 hours. Also, the earths elliptical orbit brings our planet closest to the sun about this time of year, which slightly increases the total amount of heat energy received (about 3%). However, temperatures still hover around 0F due to the fact that most of the sun's light is reflected by the snow and ice cover back into space. Also, the sun is at such a low angle, a fair amount of its energy is absorbed into the atmosphere. Furthermore, the interior of the Antartic is also blocked from the moderating effect of winds from the surrounding oceans. So even with all the sunshine, the South Pole at its best, is not all that much warmer than a nice summer day - on Mars.

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