Department of Energy Argonne National Laboratory Office of Science NEWTON's Homepage NEWTON's Homepage
NEWTON, Ask A Scientist!
NEWTON Home Page NEWTON Teachers Visit Our Archives Ask A Question How To Ask A Question Question of the Week Our Expert Scientists Volunteer at NEWTON! Frequently Asked Questions Referencing NEWTON About NEWTON About Ask A Scientist Education At Argonne Land and Water Temperature Lag
Name: Hilary
Status: Student
Grade: 6-8
Location: FL 
Country: United States
Date: February 2007

Is there a difference in the lag in daily temperature experienced over land compare to the daily temperature lag over water?


The air temperature lag over water would be greater than over land, assuming that the air temperature over the water is not influenced by the air temperature from land nearby.

Solar radiation penetrates deeply into water, only raising the surface water temperature slightly (and therefore raising the air temperature only slightly) during the day. The highest air temperature over water should occur later in the afternoon than the high temperature over land.

David R. Cook
Climate Research Section
Environmental Science Division
Argonne National Laboratory

Click here to return to the Environmental and Earth Science Archives

NEWTON is an electronic community for Science, Math, and Computer Science K-12 Educators, sponsored and operated by Argonne National Laboratory's Educational Programs, Andrew Skipor, Ph.D., Head of Educational Programs.

For assistance with NEWTON contact a System Operator (, or at Argonne's Educational Programs

Educational Programs
Building 360
9700 S. Cass Ave.
Argonne, Illinois
60439-4845, USA
Update: June 2012
Weclome To Newton

Argonne National Laboratory