OK, I’m sure there is a mind-numbingly obvious answer to this, but my sleep-addled brain hasn’t been able to come up with it.
My understanding of why it’s hot in the Summer and cold in the Winter (at least here in the northern hemisphere) is that it has to do with the fact that the Earth as a 23 degree tilt to its axis. In the summertime, the northern hemisphere is tilted toward the sun, meaning more sunlight per day, meaning more heat. [And yes, I know that it has nothing to do with how close the Earth is to the sun, since the Earth is actually further from the sun in the Summer than in the Winter.]
If all that is true, howrever, why isn’t the North Pole the hottest place on Earth in the summertime? Isn’t it receiving more direct sunlight than any other place on the planet during that period? I have heard that the sun never sets in the summertime way up north – wouldn’t 24 hours of daylight make things a little toasty? What am I missing here? Is it the presence of all the stored ice from the Winter? Is it the weather patterns? Is the sunlight not as “direct” as I am assuning it to be? Or does Santa Clause just have a very large air conditioner?