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We now offer the Cool It! card game in our Science Store. Cool It! is the new card game from UCS that teaches kids about the choices we have when it comes to climate change.
This is a drawing depicting the motions in earth's atmosphere.
Image from: Random House Atlas, NOAA

Motions in Earth's Atmosphere

Motions in the atmosphere of a planet help carry heat from the surface back to space.

The drawing to the left shows a kind of motion that is found in the atmosphere as well as inside a planet.

In the top drawing, there are three red sheets of activity in the atmosphere where the air turns over. The bottom is an image of the Earth showing the weak striped pattern of clouds which happens in response to the motion in the atmosphere shown by the red sheets. There is one stripe of clouds in the middle, at the equator, and two other stripes of clouds halfway to the north and south poles.

On Jupiter, this pattern is multiplied a thousand times by the forces of Jupiter's gravity and tremendous spin. Jupiter spins once in 10 hours. For a planet the size of Jupiter, this spin creates a powerful force.

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Windows to the Universe, a project of the National Earth Science Teachers Association, is sponsored in part by the National Science Foundation and NASA, our Founding Partners (the American Geophysical Union and American Geosciences Institute) as well as through Institutional, Contributing, and Affiliate Partners, individual memberships and generous donors. Thank you for your support! NASA AGU AGI NSF