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What provides the ultimate driving source for the wind?

Posted Aug 22 2019

Answered on Aug 23 2019
The ultimate driving force behind the wind is the heat of the sun, which causes atmospheric convection. The rotation of the earth deflects the motion into cyclonic and anti-cyclonic circulations with turbulence on many scales. Convection requires the entire atmosphere to be in three-dimensional motion. It could not operate in a thin layer because the energy is derived from the buoyancy of density differences over broad ranges in elevation. Winds in the upper atmosphere are stronger than near the surface. This can be attributed to the frictional boundary of the surface and wind speed increases with height, and the energy of the motion is fed downwards.

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