Earth wind patterns, artwork

Earth wind patterns, artwork

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Credit: EUROPEAN SPACE AGENCY/AEOS MEDIALAB/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

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Caption: Earth's wind patterns, schematic view. Atmospheric circulation in each hemisphere consists of three cells. The Hadley Cell (labelled) dominates the tropical atmosphere and is intimately related to the trade winds, tropical rain belts, subtropical deserts and the jet streams. The Polar Cell (labelled) produces the polar easterlies. The outflow from the Polar Cell creates waves in the atmosphere known as Rossby waves which play an important role in determining the path of the jet stream. The polar cell also balances the Hadley Cell in the Earth’s energy equation. The Ferrel Cell (labelled) is dependent upon the Hadley Cell and the Polar Cell and just as the trade winds can be found below the Hadley Cell, the westerlies can be found beneath the Ferrel Cell.

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