Video courtesy of the Little Shop of Physics.
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.
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