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Coriolis Force

 Coriolis Force

  • In general atmospheric circulation theory, areas of low pressure exists over the equatorial regions and areas of high pressure exist over the polar regions due to a difference in temperature.
  • The resulting low pressure allows the high pressure air at the poles to flow along the planet’s surface toward the equator.
  •  While this pattern of air circulation is correct in theory, the circulation of air is modified by several forces, the most important of which is the rotation of the Earth.
  • The force created by the rotation of the Earth is known as the Coriolis force. This force is not perceptible to humans as they walk around because humans move slowly and travel relatively short distances compared to the size and rotation rate of the Earth.
  •  However, the Coriolis force significantly affects bodies that move over great distances, such as an air
  • mass or body of water.
  • The Coriolis force deflects air to the right in the Northern Hemisphere, causing it to follow a curved path instead of a straight line.
  •  The amount of deflection differs depending on the latitude.
  •  It is greatest at the poles and diminishes to zero at the equator. The magnitude of Coriolis force also differs with the speed of the moving body—the greater the speed, the greater the deviation. In the Northern Hemisphere, the rotation of the Earth deflects moving air to the right and changes the general circulation pattern of the air.

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