Coriolis Effect


The Coriolis Effect is the phenomenon that effects global winds. Because the earth is round and tilted at an axis the sun hits different parts differently through radiation. Radiation is the transfer of heat without making contact. So because the earth heats up differently there are different convection cells all around the world. The convection cell is a form of wind. The soil or water heats up and the hot air coming off it rises leaving low pressure. When the air rises high enough it starts to cool. The cool air sinks but it cannot go directly down because more warm air is rising so it drifts off to either side until it can sink down again. When it sinks it makes high pressure. High pressure air always goes to low pressure air. So the high pressure air goes to the spot where the warm air is rising and the low pressure is. This cycle keeps going on and on.

The convection cells are the first part of the coriolis effect, the second part has to do with the earths rotation. When the air goes from high to low pressure it tries to go in a straight line, but it’s impossible because of the earths rotation. Instead it moves in a curved line. We demonstrated this in the demo by using a balloon to represent the earth and the lines drawn to represent the wind. The person drawing the lines tries to make straight line but can’t because the balloon is being rotated.

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