Suppose that in an alternate universe, Earth has an axial tilt not of 23.5 degrees, but 42. This means that from the equator, tropical climates with binary seasons (wet and dry) would persist from as far north as Spain to as far down south as Tasmania. And tropical zones tend to have 12 hours of sunshine per day every day.

An Earth with an axial tilt of 42 degrees means that polar seasons would extend down to latitudes 48 degrees. Translation--certain areas of France to the north and Patagonia to the south would experience three months without darkness ("midnight sun") and four months without sunshine.

Which means that the temperate zones span a measly six degrees of latitude per hemisphere. This might affect how much light it'd receive per day at any given time of the year, so in an alternate Earth standing at a tilt of 42 degrees, how would the seasons work in the temperate zones? Would they be no different from our temperate seasons, or would they be sub-polar (short nights in the summer followed by short days in the winter)?

  • $\begingroup$ three months without darkness ("midnight sun") and four months without sunshine both North and South? $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 26, 2020 at 4:26
  • $\begingroup$ @L.Dutch-ReinstateMonica Didn't I say that? $\endgroup$ Dec 26, 2020 at 10:42
  • $\begingroup$ It doesn't sound right, that's why I am asking $\endgroup$
    – L.Dutch
    Dec 26, 2020 at 11:20
  • $\begingroup$ Yes, why would the winter dark be longer than the summer light? $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2022 at 1:40
  • $\begingroup$ @AntonSherwood Because that's the case in our polar latitudes. $\endgroup$ Mar 20, 2022 at 1:46

1 Answer 1


The summer nights would be very short as the sun barely dips below the horizon. Much of temperate Earth2 will never see the blackness of night. Winters will be the reverse; very near arctic conditions again. Dark nights with only a sliver of daylight, never seeing any high noons.

This seems to be the entire question, but let’s add that your weather will be horrible. Ocean and jet-stream currents will chase fronts very rapidly. Expect very stormy conditions on most of the planet. Your “polar seasons” will likely be barren wastes. Brutal winters and summers both.

  • $\begingroup$ And it doesn't even take into account the tilt variations and precession (both axial and orbital), which will play further havoc with weather patterns. $\endgroup$
    – AcePL
    Feb 16, 2022 at 8:19

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