why does air move in the atmosphere

Movement of air is caused by or differences and is eperienced as. Where there are differences of pressure between two places, a pressure gradient exists, across which air moves: from the high-pressure region to the low-pressure region. This movement of air however, does not follow the quickest straight-line path. In fact, the air moving from high to low pressure follows a spiralling route, outwards from high pressure and inwards towards low pressure. This is due to the rotation of the Earth beneath the moving air, which causes an apparent deflection of the wind to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, and to the left in the Southern Hemisphere. The deflection of air is caused by the Coriolis force. Consequently, air blows anticlockwise around a low-pressure centre (
) and clockwise around a high-pressure centre ( ) in the Northern Hemisphere. This situation is reversed in the Southern Hemisphere. caused by differences in is known as or advection. In the atmosphere, convection and advection transfer heat energy from warmer regions to colder regions, either at the Earth surface or higher up in the atmosphere. Small-scale air movement of this nature is observed during the formation of, due to temperature differences between seawater and land.


At a much larger scale, temperature differences across the Earth generate the development of the major wind belts. Such wind belts, to some degree, define the climate zones of the world. Air is generally higher at ground level due to heating by the Sun, and decreases with increasing altitude. This vertical temperature difference creates a significant, since warmer air nearer the surface is lighter than colder air above it. This vertical uplift of air can generate and. Sometimes air from warmer regions of the world collides with air from colder regions. This air mass convergence occurs in the mid-latitudes, where the warm air is forced to rise above the colder air, generating and. he wind blows because of differences in air pressure from one location to another. Wind blows from areas of high pressure toward areas of low pressure. If the high pressure area is very close to the low pressure area, or if the pressure difference is very great, the wind can blow very fast. What is Air Pressure? Imagine a group of acrobats at the circus. One climbs up and stands on another's shoulders. The weight of the acrobat on top puts more pressure on the one below. Then another acrobat climbs up and stands on the second acrobat's shoulders.


Now there's even more pressure on the acrobat on the bottom because he is under the weight of the two acrobats above him. It's the same with air. Yes, air has weight, and probably more than you think. In fact, the weight of the air on your desk at school weighs about 11,000 pounds. That's about the same weight as a school bus! Since air pressure pushes in all directions, the air pressure pushing up from under your desk balances out the air pushing down on it, so the desk doesn't collapse under the weight. Just like an acrobat with two people stacked on his shoulders would want to move to where there wasn't so much pressure on him, air moves from areas where the pressure is higher to where it is lower. What causes Air Pressure? Air pressure depends on the density of the air, or how close together its molecules are. You know that a hard rubber ball is more dense than a Styrofoam ball and that ice cream is more dense than whipped cream. Air lower in the atmosphere is more dense than air above, so air pressure down low is greater than air pressure higher up. (Remember those acrobats; there's a lot more pressure on the one on bottom than on the one on top. ) Temperature also makes changes in air pressure.


In cold air, the molecules are more closely packed together than in warm air, so cold air is more dense than warm air. Since warm air is less dense and creates less air pressure, it will rise; cold air is denser and creates greater air pressure, and so it will sink. When warm air rises, cooler air will often move in to replace it, so wind often moves from areas where it's colder to areas where it's warmer. The greater the difference between the high and low pressure or the shorter the distance between the high and low pressure areas, the faster the wind will blow. Wind also blows faster if there's nothing in its way, so winds are usually stronger over oceans or flat ground. Meteorologists can forecast the speed and direction of wind by measuring air pressure with a barometer. Although wind blows from areas of high pressure to areas of low pressure, it doesn't blow in a straight line. That's because the earth is rotating. In the northern hemisphere, the spin of the earth causes winds to curve to the right (to the left in the southern hemisphere). This is called the coriolis effect. So in the northern hemisphere, winds blow clockwise around an area of high pressure and counter-clockwise around low pressure.

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