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Global air circulation

Global air circulation

E050/0687

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Credit

GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY GARY HINCKS / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption

Global air circulation. Artwork of the Earth illustrating the three cell model of global air circulation. In this model, atmospheric circulation occurs in convection cells (pale blue) located at polar, mid-latitude and tropical latitudes. The arrows within these cells indicate the flow of warm air (red) and cool air (blue). The effect of the Earth's rotation causes the flow around the cells to be deflected, giving rise to three main wind patterns, indicated by thick arrows. These are: the polar easterlies (blue), the prevailing westerlies (top and bottom red) and the tropical easterlies (middle red).

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