Atmospheric general circulation
Newton, Chester W. National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado.
- Principal circulations
- Mean temperature and wind
- Angular momentum balance
- Heat energy balance
- Additional Readings
The statistical description of atmospheric motions over the Earth, their role in transporting energy, and the transformations among different forms of energy. Through their influence on the pressure distributions that drive the winds, spatial variations of heating and cooling generate air circulations, but these are continually dissipated by friction. While large day-to-day and seasonal changes occur, the mean circulation during a given season tends to be much the same from year to year. Thus, in the long run and for the global atmosphere as a whole, the generation of motions nearly balances the dissipation. The same is true of the long-term balance between solar radiation absorbed and infrared radiation emitted by the Earth–atmosphere system, as evidenced by its relatively constant temperature. Both air and ocean currents, which are mainly driven by the winds, transport heat. Hence the atmospheric and oceanic general circulations form cooperative systems. See also: Maritime meteorology; Ocean circulation
The content above is only an excerpt.
for your institution. Subscribe
To learn more about subscribing to AccessScience, or to request a no-risk trial of this award-winning scientific reference for your institution, fill in your information and a member of our Sales Team will contact you as soon as possible.
to your librarian. Recommend
Let your librarian know about the award-winning gateway to the most trustworthy and accurate scientific information.
AccessScience provides the most accurate and trustworthy scientific information available.
Recognized as an award-winning gateway to scientific knowledge, AccessScience is an amazing online resource that contains high-quality reference material written specifically for students. Its dedicated editorial team is led by Sagan Award winner John Rennie. Contributors include more than 9000 highly qualified scientists and 39 Nobel Prize winners.
MORE THAN 8500 articles and Research Reviews covering all major scientific disciplines and encompassing the McGraw-Hill Encyclopedia of Science & Technology and McGraw-Hill Yearbook of Science & Technology
115,000-PLUS definitions from the McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms
3000 biographies of notable scientific figures
MORE THAN 17,000 downloadable images and animations illustrating key topics
ENGAGING VIDEOS highlighting the life and work of award-winning scientists
SUGGESTIONS FOR FURTHER STUDY and additional readings to guide students to deeper understanding and research
LINKS TO CITABLE LITERATURE help students expand their knowledge using primary sources of information