2012 vernal equinox

The coming of spring is an astronomical and biological phenomenon.

The moment of the vernal equinox – the start of spring in the northern hemisphere – is the moment where the length of days is changing fastest. Biologically, spring is characterized by the re-emergence of life. In particular, it is characterized by the resumption of productive photosynthesis as leaf-bearing plants deploy their solar collectors to take advantage of longer days. This process, along with organic decay during the darker months, gives the Keeling Curve its characteristic wiggles.

In a way, each spring is a dawn for renewable energy. Aside from a few chemical-eating bugs in the ocean, pretty much all life on Earth is ultimately powered by sunlight as processed by photosynthetic organisms. Spring shows how the vast energy output of the sun can be used in the service of life.

Author: Milan

In the spring of 2005, I graduated from the University of British Columbia with a degree in International Relations and a general focus in the area of environmental politics. In the fall of 2005, I began reading for an M.Phil in IR at Wadham College, Oxford. Outside school, I am very interested in photography, writing, and the outdoors. I am writing this blog to keep in touch with friends and family around the world, provide a more personal view of graduate student life in Oxford, and pass on some lessons I've learned here.

2 thoughts on “2012 vernal equinox”

  1. Norooz, the Persian New Year, co-incides with the spring equinox. It seems a more appropriate date to start a New Year.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *