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The Winter 2010 issue of The Earth Scientist includes a variety of educational resources, ranging from astronomy to glaciers. Check out the other publications and classroom materials in our online store.

Video courtesy of the Little Shop of Physics.

Global Winds

In places that have differences in air temperature, convection will make the air move around, from hot to cold. So why don't winds on this planet move in a predictable direction: from the equator, where it's warm, to the poles, where it's cold?

There is a complication: Earth is not standing still, is it? It's spinning! So there are other forces involved.

In the studio, Brian and two students demonstrate this with a spinning bowl, water and dry ice - the clouds generated by the water and dry ice show the motion of the air, simple convection complicated by the spinning of the bowl.

Right-click (Windows) or Option-click (Mac) here to download a copy of this video in QuickTime format.

Click here to learn more about the Little Shop of Physics.

Last modified March 26, 2010 by Randy Russell.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part is sponsored in part through grants from federal agencies (NASA and NOAA), and partnerships with affiliated organizations, including the American Geophysical Union, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, the Earth System Information Partnership, the American Meteorological Society, the National Center for Science Education, and TERC. The American Geophysical Union and the American Geosciences Institute are Windows to the Universe Founding Partners. NESTA welcomes new Institutional Affiliates in support of our ongoing programs, as well as collaborations on new projects. Contact NESTA for more information. NASA ESIP NCSE HHMI AGU AGI AMS NOAA