Why was this question

Why is the ground warm during winter and vice-versa?

deemed to be "about engineering" and closed, when the OP clearly stated he was not asking about how to employ the difference in temperature between surface and ground at a depth but instead why there is a difference in temperature?

"My question is not why we feel it warm, but why is it warm?"

From the meta post linked in the motivation to close it:

"Physics is a natural science. It seeks to study how and/or why nature works the way we observe. Engineering applies our understanding of nature to specific, real-world problems, creating new devices, products, or processes to solve those problems."

Is this not a question on why nature works the way we observe (why the ground layers are not at the same temperature of the surface) and not on how to employ this difference to solve the problem of heating/cooling?

It seems to me this question was closed because some answer focused more on the application of the physics than on the physics itself. But isn't the question about the underlying physics? The book I cited in my answer is "Partial Differential Equations in Physics", not "in engineering". I was entertaining the thought of expanding my answer with the reasoning employed by Sommerfeld, but not anymore.

As an aside: closing this question prevents further answers to the physics question to be added, for example on how much of the heat is due to the surface heating from the sun, and how much comes from the hot core inside. What will the average temperature at 10 or 100 meters be if we switch off the sun, or if we remove the hot core?

  • 2
    $\begingroup$ FWIW, the close review had 2 Leave Open votes, so this was not an unanimous decision. $\endgroup$
    – ACuriousMind Mod
    Commented Sep 11, 2022 at 17:08
  • 5
    $\begingroup$ This is the sort of thing that happens when you reduce the number of votes required to close a question. It would be instructive to look at the fraction of closed questions that were subsequently re-opened, and see how that number has changed since the change from a 5-vote to a 3-vote close. It definitely feels to me like this number has gone up, but I don't know whether it's gotten high enough to be of concern to the community. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 12, 2022 at 11:57
  • 4
    $\begingroup$ @MichaelSeifert on the other hand the review queues are now manageable. (I don’t have an issue with reopening questions.) $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 13, 2022 at 21:54
  • $\begingroup$ If only there were some intermediate position between 3 and 5... $\endgroup$
    – hft
    Commented Sep 21, 2022 at 22:30
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Physicist see house, physicist think engineering. Basically people voted to close without carefully reading and thinking about what was asked. $\endgroup$ Commented Sep 23, 2022 at 9:29
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I made my case on this issue here. Your question should not have been closed. I am sorry on behalf of the usership that it was closed. Let's get it re-opened. $\endgroup$
    – DanielSank
    Commented Sep 24, 2022 at 5:20


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