If the Sun is closest to Earth during the Northern Hemisphere’s winter and farthest from it during the summer, why is summer hotter than winter?
The seasons are not caused by the distance between Earth and Sun, but by the angle of the Sun’s rays hitting Earth. In the summer, the Sun’s rays hit the Northern Hemisphere at the most direct angle, causing maximum warming. The winter Sun’s rays hit Earth at an oblique angle and are less effective at warming it. Learn more about the seasonal cycle here.