Climate and Weather


What is the Coriolis effect?

The nienteenth-century French engineer Gaspard C. Coriolis (1792–1843) discovered that the rotation of Earth deflects streams of air. Because Earth spins to the east, all moving objects in the Northern Hemisphere tend to turn somewhat to the right of a straight path, while those in the Southern Hemisphere turn slightly left. The Coriolis effect explains the lack of northerly and southerly winds in the tropics and polar regions; the northeast and southeast trade winds and the polar easterlies all owe their westward deflection to the Coriolis effect.


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