What Causes Wind

What Causes Wind
There are several interesting things to know about wind, and what causes wind is just one of them. Continue reading, to know more about one of the most fascinating process in the nature - wind formation.Going by the simplest possible definition, wind is the flow of gases from one place to another. This is just a basic definition though, and there is a lot more to know about this natural phenomenon. Basically, there are different types of winds grouped on the basis of numerous underlying factors. While the definition of wind on planet Earth would be the bulk movement of air, the same in outer space would either be movement of gases and charged particles ejected from the Sun into the space (solar wind) or atmospheric escape of gases from the planets into the outer space (planetary winds). The fact about occurrence of wind in outer space may come as a surprise to many, but that is just one of the various simple facts about wind that we are not aware of. Other things include what causes winds, what are wind patterns etc. Exploring such natural phenomena can be fun in itself and you don't need to be some stalwart for that, just the basics of geography is more than enough.

What Causes Wind to Blow?
That brings us back to the core topic - factors which cause wind formation. Basically, wind is formed as a result of the movement of air from the high pressure area to the low pressure area. The most important factor when it comes to wind formation is atmospheric pressure. Differences in atmospheric pressure result in formation of high pressure and low pressure areas on the planet which are studied with great interest in prediction of weather. Once these pressure areas are formed air starts moving from high pressure region to low pressure region. On the basis of the strength the wind is classified into several types ranging from a simple breeze to devastating thunderstorms.

What Causes Wind Patterns?
Even though wind flows from the high pressure region to a low pressure region, it doesn't directly move from one area to another. The two major factors which contribute to the global wind pattern are rotation and differential heating of the planet. As a result of the Earth's rotation, the wind is deflected when it moves from a high pressure area to a low pressure area. This deflection is attributed to the Coriolis Force, which deflects the wind towards right in the northern hemisphere and left in the southern hemisphere. Secondly, incoming solar radiations are not uniform. While the equatorial region gets more of direct sunlight, the condition towards the poles is exactly opposite. This results in differences in the atmospheric circulation of air, and influences the global pattern of wind.

Other Factors Which Influence the Wind
There also exist other factors which contribute to the velocity of the wind, one of the prime determinant of the different types of wind. Atmospheric pressure gradient is determined by the distance between high pressure and low pressure area. Lesser the pressure gradient, stronger are the winds formed in this regions. Similarly, the speed of wind blowing at high altitude is always faster as compared to the speed of wind blowing closer to the surface of the planet. This can be attributed to the fact that the wind moving near the surface is subjected to friction with the various man-made and geological structures on the planet. Similarly, the speed of wind over the ocean is more than it is over the land surface, as the number of obstructions which hamper the movement of wind are less over the water body.

That was the detailed explanation about what causes wind to blow and various factors which influence its formation. Wind has always been resourceful for human beings, with numerous uses which can be traced back to the ancient times. While the early civilizations used this force of nature to facilitate transportation, today it is being used to generate power. In fact, wind energy i.e. the energy created by harnessing wind, is considered to be one of most environment friendly source of energy and pitched as one of the best alternative for fossil fuels.

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