Item WC035002: It is colder in the winter at a given place than in the summer because the sun is lower in the sky in the winter so the town recieves less energy from the sun.

A student lives in a town where the summers are very warm and the winters are very cold and snowy. He asks his friends why the winters are colder than the summers and he gets four different explanations. Which of the following explanations is TRUE?

  1. The sun is lower in the sky in the winter, so the town receives less energy from the sun.
  2. The sun gives off less energy in the winter, so the town receives less energy from the sun.
  3. The sunlight has to travel a much longer distance to the town in the winter, so town receives less energy from the sun.
  4. The town receives the same amount of energy from the sun during the entire year, but the wind blows cold air to the town during the winter.
Distribution of responses
Answer Choice
Overall
Grades
Gender
Language
6–8 9–12 Male Female Primary Language is English Primary Language is not English
A. The sun is lower in the sky in the winter, so the town receives less energy from the sun. 23% 22% 24% 25% 21% 23% 25%
B. The sun gives off less energy in the winter, so the town receives less energy from the sun. 19% 19% 18% 17% 21% 19% 17%
C. The sunlight has to travel a much longer distance to the town in the winter, so town receives less energy from the sun. 46% 44% 48% 46% 46% 47% 38%
D. The town receives the same amount of energy from the sun during the entire year, but the wind blows cold air to the town during the winter. 12% 14% 10% 12% 13% 12% 20%