Earth's Seasons and Tides

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What causes tides?

  • The alternating pattern of rising and falling sea level with respect to land is what we know as the tides. What causes this "motion of the ocean"? In one word, gravity. Specifically, the gravitational forces of the Sun and Moon.

What causes seasons?


  • Nearly everyone enjoys the change of seasons on Earth – from winter to spring, from summer to fall. But why do our seasons change?
  • Some assume our planet’s changing distance from the sun causes the change in the seasons. That’s logical, but not the case, for Earth. Instead, Earth has seasons because our planet’s axis of rotation is tilted at an angle of 23.5 degrees relative to our orbital plane – the plane of Earth’s orbit around the sun.
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Bill Nye explains Seasons