Reference Terms
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Atmospheric circulation

Atmospheric circulation is the large-scale movement of air by which heat is distributed on the surface of the Earth.

The wind belts and the jet streams girdling the planet are steered by three convection cells: the Hadley cell, the Ferrel cell, and the Polar cell.

While the Hadley, Ferrel, and Polar cells are major players in global heat transport, they do not act alone.

Disparities in temperature also drive a set of longitudinal circulation cells, and the overall atmospheric motion is known as the zonal overturning circulation.

Note:   The above text is excerpted from the Wikipedia article "Atmospheric circulation", which has been released under the GNU Free Documentation License.
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November 26, 2015

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