Does the temp of the air affect the soil temp?

2 Answers

  • 8 months ago

    yes, sort of.  Lots of soil is exposed to sunlight and gets heated that way (and thus acts to warm the air), but mostly there is no active heating from the sun (or anything outside, say at night or in the forests) so the soil cools down or heats up to average air temperature.  It isn't a fast thing, but surface soil will rise to as hot as the peak average daily heat in summer and fall to the peak lowest daily cold in winter.  The superficial variations that relate to air temperatures diminish with depth, so eventually there is a stable temperature (one that does not vary over the course of the year), and that temperature will be the effective average temperature for the location. 

    As a result, depending on where you live, the soil will tend to have some fixed temperature at a relatively shallow depth of a few to several meters at most (usually), and that temperature is the average annual temperature of air for the region.  This is why basements tend to be cool in summer but "warm" in winter (not cold), and it is the idea behind cold cellars or wine cellars as well.  It is even what shallow geothermal heating (used for individual homes) relies upon.

    Places where there is permafrost are locations where the annual average temperature is below freezing.  The upper soil will melt in the summer but that heat never makes it to depth, where the soil is always frozen.

  • 8 months ago

    yes, of course. But slowly as air has a very low thermal capacity. And mostly on the surface of the soil. Below the surface even slower. 

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