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What is Earth's Barometric Belt & Wind Belt? enlightenment

What is the air pressure belt & the wind belt of the earth? Enlightenment

Definition air pressure belt of the earth

Although weather-related high and low pressure areas in the atmosphere are not tied to a specific location, they tend to be repeated globally in terms of their geometric extent. In very specific regions of the earth's surface, high and low pressure areas of different intensity and size form at certain time intervals. This phenomenon is known as the earth's air pressure belt.

Definition of earth's wind belt

Air vortices that arise in the atmosphere, the extent of which can assume continental dimensions, are primarily formed in certain regions of the earth. These air vortices are also not statically bound. The observation shows, however, that in certain areas of the world the winds caused by air vortices always come from similar directions. This natural phenomenon is known as the Earth's Wind Belt.

Earth Atmosphere Considerations

The Earth's atmosphere extends hundreds of kilometers from the Earth's surface into space. Atmospheric air pressure is greatest at the surface of the earth and decreases with increasing altitude. The individual air particles are set in different movements by various influencing factors, which we want to take a closer look at here. The nature of these movements are by no means similar to the rotation of the earth. However, they have their indirect cause in the earth's rotation, in the alternation of day and night and in the intensity of solar radiation.

Effects of the earth's rotation

The earth rotates around an imaginary line, the earth's axis, which runs through the north and south poles. Due to this rotation, every body on the earth's surface experiences a peripheral speed. This circumferential speed is greatest at the equator and decreases with increasing degrees of latitude until it finally becomes completely zero at the earth's poles. If a body moves from near the poles in the direction of the equator, it moves from zones of lower peripheral speed to zones of greater peripheral speed, even if this change of location takes place at constant speed. The body experiences a Coriolis acceleration and the associated Coriolis force (named after its discoverer, Coriolis).

Mathematically, the Coriolis acceleration is defined as:

ac = 2 * v * ω

ac is the Coriolis acceleration,

v is the relative speed from the earth's axis in the direction of the equator,

ω the angular velocity of the rotating earth.

It is easy to see that the Coriolis acceleration and thus also the Coriolis force only exist if the relative velocity v has a value other than zero.

Effects of solar radiation

The solar radiation is greatest during the day near the equator. As a result, warm air rises at the equator. The upward movement of air inevitably causes neighboring layers of air to follow, coming from areas at greater latitudes on earth. This means that the inflowing air masses near the earth have to pass through zones of different peripheral speeds of the earth. As a result, these air masses are inevitably exposed to a Coriolis force during their movement, which causes them to experience an additional lateral deflection in an east-west direction.

Changes at high altitude

The air masses rising in the equatorial zone cool down again at high altitudes and thus sink back towards the earth. In the area of ​​the earth's surface, these air masses heat up again and the same process is repeated. The constant air turbulence in the subtropical equatorial zone extends over an area from 30° north latitude to 30° south latitude. A low-pressure area is thus created around the entire globe in the entire euratorial region.

Three large areas of opposing air circulation in each hemisphere

In the equatorial region, air currents circulate from the north-east in the northern hemisphere, which are also known as north-east trade winds. The sphere of action of these north-east trade winds extends to about 30° north latitude. In the southern hemisphere we find mirror-image air currents from the south-east, which are known as south-east trade winds. Their sphere of action extends to about 30° south latitude.

In areas that extend about 30° to 60° north latitude and also about 30° to 60° south latitude, there is now opposing air circulation compared to the trade winds from the equatorial area .

In areas from about 60° north latitude to the North Pole, large rotating air currents form, the polar east winds. Mirror-invertedly, the same thing happens here in the southern hemisphere from about 60° southern latitude to the South Pole.

Symbolic representation of these rotating air masses

The rotating air movements of each of the three described areas in the northern and southern hemispheres are roughly comparable to oversized gear wheels that mesh with one another and therefore always rotate in opposite directions. Of course, these rotating air vortices are not statically bound locally, but they move within a certain range depending on the weather development. However, the prevailing wind directions do not change significantly throughout the year.

High and low pressure areas

In the polar regions there are always areas of higher air pressure, i.e. high pressure areas. Low pressure areas are always found close to the equator. This is due to the warm air flow rising from the ground, which is caused by the strong solar radiation. In the latitudes in between, the rotating air gyres, which often assume almost continental dimensions, often alternately form a high-pressure and a low-pressure area.


The earth's air pressure and wind belts are essential components of the very complicated weather science . Even in the computer age, it is not yet possible to create a reliable weather forecast over a longer period of time. This underlines the high complexity of many influencing factors on the global weather system.

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