Cold weather and candles:
If a child suddenly asks, why is the wind blowing? Don’t get confused, just take a candle and go to the door. Turn on the light and bring it to the upper hole of the slightest opening. They will observe the flame leaning to the outside and the current being carried away by the warm air. Now, you can explain that this is the wind that comes from the hot air in the house. Hence, they realize the first fact, hot air rises.
Then lower the candle to the lower hole and let them observe that the flame has changed its inclination and is now heading inward. This is because cold air seeks to replace heat. So, they can realize the second fact; cold air tends to replace warmth.
In the world, some places are warm (such as at home) and cold (such as outside). The movement of air between them leads to the appearance of wind. The next way to visually explain the nature of the Wind is a balloon, a hairdryer, and a refrigerator.
Prepare a balloon, take a hairdryer, and blow it up. Not in the literal meaning, of course. Instead, fill up the balloon with air from the hairdryer. Notice how the balloon expands and begins to float.
Hot air tends to rise as high as possible. Now, let us put the balloon in the refrigerator while it’s getting cold there (we’re talking about the fact that the globe is so big that when it’s warm in one place, it’s cold in another). Then, open the refrigerator and see that the cold balloon has shrunk and quickly falls off.
We noted that cold air tends to replace warm air, thus generating wind. In other words, the wind is nothing but a movement of air between cold and warm places. A theoretical discussion would lead to the fact that warm air is lighter than cold air, and that will simplify the explanation.
We will explore the topic of wind from different aspects using questions to facilitate the process of learning. By the time you reach the end, you will have examples and facts that are considered necessary knowledge and information to fully grasp the concept of wind.
Is the wind good or bad? And why?
For them to think independently and be able to explain their point of view, it is very important that children realize that not everything is so simple in the world; in each phenomenon, one can see what we consider the good and the bad sides. Let’s think together!“Why is wind considered good?”
- Because in the summer heat, when the wind blows, it’s not very hot.
- Because the wind blows on sails and so ships can sail.
- Because the wind carries the seeds of plants, and plants can survive.
- Because with the help of the wind, you can fly on a balloon or fly kites.
- Because wind helps windmills work, which in turn benefits us humans.
But why is the wind considered bad as well?
If the winter is cold in your country, then the wind blowing is not a good sign because it becomes freezing cold in some countries. There may be a storm in the sea with strong winds, and ships can sink due to that. A violent storm can even destroy homes and uproot trees.
Now, let’s put our findings into words;
- If there are no winds, you cannot fly a kite.
- If there was no wind, it would be impossible to grain in windmills.
- If there is no wind, you cannot sail.
When wild animals walk through forests and fields, they always walk in the direction of the wind, hear with their ears and smell what awaits them with their nose.
- If there was no wind, they wouldn’t know where to go.
Almost all weeds, shrubs, and trees need a seed to form a herb, fruit, or another tree. For that to happen, the dust must fly from one flower to another flower. However, the flowers are far from each other. So, they cannot send their dust from one to the other, but it can be carried by the wind.
- If there was no wind, half of the plants would be seedless.
The source of the wind:
The heat from the sun is unevenly distributed on the surface of the earth. As the solar rays heat the air in contact. Especially the air that is close to land. It is heated at a higher rate than the air over water bodies, such as seas and oceans.
This can be explained due to the fact that the specific heat of water is greater than the specific heat of the land. As the amount of heat needed to raise the temperature of a mass of water is higher than the amount needed to raise a mass of land.
Thus, the density of air on land becomes less than the density of air over water gatherings because warm air is lighter compared to cold air.
What exactly is wind?
The wind is the movement of large amounts of air. Although we cannot see air, we know that it is made up of molecules of different types of gases, mostly nitrogen and oxygen. When a lot of these particles move, they usually do so in one direction, and we call that wind.
Where does the wind come from, or why does it happen?
The wind is caused by the pressure differences within the Earth’s atmosphere. Air from areas with high pressure moves towards the areas with low pressure. Strong winds occur when air moves between regions where there can be large differences in air pressure.
The main reason for the differences in air pressure on Earth is the temperature differences. Cold air causes high air pressure, and warm air causes low air pressure. That warm air wants to go up. When the warm air rises, the cold air will move and replace the warm air, causing winds.
There is another reason that generates winds, which is the rotation of the planet Earth. This is called the Carioles Effect.
How is wind measured?
Meteorologists use two main measurements to study winds: direction and speed.
Wind direction: The wind direction is described using the direction the wind came from. For example, the south wind will be coming from the south to the north. Wind direction is measured in several ways, including; wind vane, flags, and wind sleeves.
Wind Speed: Wind speed is measured in miles per hour or kilometres per hour. Scientists usually use an instrument called an anemometer which is a measurement tool of wind speed.
Did we mention that wind is a great source of renewable energy? Wind turbines and wind farms can generate electricity without burning fossil fuels or producing pollution.
What are the types of winds?
- Primary wind
- Secondary wind
- Tertiary wind
Primary wind or planetary wind
The wind has a very important role in aiding plants and other immobile organisms in the dispersal of seeds, spores, pollen, etc. Although wind is not the primary form of seed dispersal in plants, it provides dispersal for a large percentage of the biomass of land plants.
Throughout the year, certain winds continuously blow in a particular direction. Prevailing winds and planetary winds are also referred to as primary winds. Trade wind, westerly wind, and easterly wind are the three types of primary winds.
Many merchants from ancient times used this type of wind in the conduct of their ship, which was loaded with many goods, so they benefited greatly from it. , the trade winds were given this name because of their importance to merchants when they were walking their goods at sea.
Tropical easterlies are also called trade winds and are found in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres thanks to the Carioles effect and Fer REL’s law. Subtropical high-pressure areas start blowing towards the equatorial low-pressure belt.
The trade winds blow northeast in the Northern hemisphere and southeastern in the Southern hemisphere. In other words, the trade wind’s direction is northeast in the northern part of the planet and is southeast in the southern part of the planet.
Headwinds Crosswinds are also a permanent type of wind, as they come from areas with a high-pressure rate to areas with a low-pressure rate, which is at the northern and southern polar circles.
These winds are called westerly winds, and the direction of this type of wind is always northwest on the southern half of the planet and southwest on the northern half of the planet. These winds are also referred to as the Roaring Forties, the Roaring Fifties, and the Shrieking Sixties.
Unlike the subtropical high-pressure belt, the subpolar low-pressure belt blows from the subtropical high-pressure belt. The westerly winds occur more frequently and consistently in the Southern hemisphere than in the Northern hemisphere.
The polar easterlies are cold, dry winds with a directional movement in both the Northern and Southern hemispheres. They blow southeast to the northwest constantly in both hemispheres. In other words, the direction of the polar winds is always southeast in the southern part of the planet and northeast in the northern part of the planet.
Polar winds are called by this name because the source of their blowing is the northern and southern polar circles of the planet. They come from regions with a significantly low average pressure. Subpolar low-pressure zones produce easterly winds.
The most important characteristic of this type of wind is that it has a very low temperature, and this is due to the source of its blowing, which is at the North and South Pole, and it is always also somewhat weak.
Secondary wind or periodic wind
A secondary wind changes direction according to the season. Other names for secondary winds include seasonal winds and periodic winds. This phenomenon occurs in many places around the world.
Based on the particular geographical location, a second wind is generated due to the physical forces driving it. A monsoon wind is recognizable as one of the secondary winds.
the monsoons are called by this name because they come in the winter and summer seasons, and thus they only come in seasons, so it was given this name. These winds are divided into two types, namely, the winter monsoon and the summer monsoon.
During low-latitude climates, monsoons are wind patterns that frequently change directions between summer and winter. In other words, the direction of this wind differs from when it is in the winter to its direction when it is in the summer.
A monsoon normally occurs in winter when moisture flows from the land to the sea and in summer when water flows from the sea to the land. Resulting in a drastic change in the climate and precipitation patterns in the monsoon-affected areas.
In the Indian subcontinent, the monsoon is caused by variations in temperature caused by the Indian Ocean, Arabian Sea, Bay of Bengal, and Himalayan wall.
Tertiary wind or local wind
There is only one Tertiary wind in a small area for a particular part of the day or year. Different temperatures and air pressure at different locations lead to these winds. There are different types of wind-based on local characteristics, such as hot, cold, ice-filled, dust-filled, etc.
A Loo is a hot and dry wind found primarily in the northern plains of India. In addition to Mistral and Foehn, other local winds include Bora, Foehn, and others. Local winds occur in a short period due to the diversity of atmospheric pressure areas.
It happens in very narrow areas. The short duration of these winds is due to the different factors shaping the surface of the earth, and they are not similar to the monsoons in anything, as they come in irregular phases.
Unlike the monsoons, which come in regular phases, whether in the summer or the winter. There is more than one type of these winds:
- The Khamaseen wind is characterized by a significantly high temperature, which comes from the south of Palestine, and always blows over Egypt.
- The Summon wind always comes in summer and comes from the southern part of the Arabian Peninsula.
- The Mistral wind is characterized by a very low temperature. It always comes in winter and blows over Western Europe.
Some local winds are created due to changes in atmospheric pressure and temperature locally within a region or country. These winds may change direction as conditions change throughout the day. One example of local wind is the wind that blows on the ocean coast.
During the day, the land warms faster than the ocean. This is called a “sea breeze.” It flows from the ocean to the land. During the night, the land cools faster than the ocean, and the opposite will happens.
Warm air will go above the water, and cool air from the land. That is called a “land breeze.” It blows into the ocean. Landforms, such as mountains, valleys, lakes, and deserts, can also influence local wind conditions, like; as speed and direction.
Land breeze and sea breeze
An area of land breeze can be described as a region in which winds blow from land to sea without carrying any moisture. Rather, the sea breeze brings moisture to the land when it blows from the sea to the land. Warm, dry land breezes accompany the sea breezes.
Land breeze and sea breeze are the two types of local winds. When the wind blows from the ocean to land, it is known as the sea breeze, which occurs in the spring and summer. When the wind blows from the land to the ocean, it is a land breeze.
The breeze of mountain and valley
The air fills the gap created by the warming of the slopes during the daytime in mountainous regions. The such wind is referred to as the valley breeze. A mountain breeze descends from the slopes into the valley during the night as the slopes cool.
These winds are called daily winds because they occur throughout the day only, regularly, and uninterruptedly. Such as sea and land breezes and mountain and valley breezes. All of these types are called daily winds.
Generally, to sum it up, the globe has consistent wind patterns that we can observe when we look at it on a global scale. Where the global winds arise through both: the rotation of the Earth (Coriolis effect) and the difference in temperatures between the equator and the polar regions. These winds gather together in the form of trade winds, easterly and westerly.
Trade winds: Trade winds occur near the equator and move either from the north or south to the equator. They are curved to the west due to the Earth’s rotation.
Western winds: They are found in the middle latitudes of the Earth, between 35- and 65-degree latitudes, where the prevailing westerly winds are located. This wind blows from west to east as well as towards the poles.
Eastern polar: these winds blow near the north and south poles. They erupt away from the poles and curve from east to west.
Interesting facts about wind:
- The fastest winds on Earth are ocean hurricanes, where winds can reach 250 miles per hour.
- Meteorologists use barometers to measure air pressure. Barometers can tell us whether the air pressure is going down or up.
- The wind helped shape the land through the process of erosion.
- Other planets with atmospheres have winds. Neptune has the highest sustained wind speed in the solar systems, with a wind speed of 1,300 miles per hour.
- The solar wind is a stream of charged particles that flow from the sun.
- The wind is one of the climate elements that determine life on the surface of the Earth.
- Winds are air masses that move from one place to another on the surface of the Earth.
- Their intensity varies according to the difference in atmosphere in the areas they pass through. It moves from a region of high atmospheric pressure to a region of low atmospheric pressure.
- These winds are divided into several types, including;
- Permanent winds blow throughout the year.
- Monsoon winds blow at specific times of the year due to the difference in atmospheric pressure between winter and summer.
- Local winds blow over specific areas of the Earth as a result of the different terrain levels, and they do not last for long periods.
- Daily winds occur daily and in a regular manner, such as land-sea breezes, and valley and mountain breezes.
- The multiple benefits of wind are to maintain the Earth’s surface temperature as it is. That is, by moving the air close to the surface of the land in case it gets hot, its weight decreases and rises to the top. Then, it is replaced by cold air that reduces its temperature.
- Without this, the temperature of the Earth would increase year after year. Becoming the end, scorch for everything that approaches it, and life on it would cease to exist.
- The transfer of pollen between plants, where the males of the plants produce the pollen that is responsible for pollinating the female plant, but without the wind, the pollen would have remained with the male plant, and the pollination of the female plant would not happen.
- Thus, the plants would die, and everything that depends on it would be destroyed.
- Rain; is when warm winds rise to the cold upper layers of the atmosphere, condense, and rainfalls.
- Moving ships in the seas and oceans, where the air is necessary to complete the combustion process, fuels these ships.
- The wind is a source of permanent, renewable, and clean alternative energy; when the wind is shed on turbines, it generates electrical energy. It is considered healthy because gases and toxic wastes are not released from them.
The importance of wind
The importance of wind plays an important role in the direct impact on humans and their various daily practices. As humans have exploited wind energy since ancient times to operate windmills.
It helped them to raise water from wells. The wind even increases the humidity and the amounts of precipitation in the atmosphere because of the transfer of water vapour from the places of its formation to other regions.
The wind is of great importance in achieving a kind of balance in the temperature on the surface of the Earth through the transfer of thermal energy from one place to another. So, wind contributes greatly to maintaining the average temperature of the planet.
It even transports and deposits soil and rocks as it transfers them to other places. This led to the emergence of some beautiful areas, such as dunes, that arose as a result of this natural phenomenon.
Humans also used the wind in transportation processes through building ships and gliders, which depend mainly on the strength and movement of the wind. It has a special benefit for ships travelling in the oceans.
These ships rely heavily on the wind in their movement to combust the fuel that moves the ship in the sea. Winds have a major role in the process of rain, as the winds with the low-temperature rise gather together to form clouds, and then rain falls down.
The wind even plays a major role in the pollination process of plants by taking the pollen from the males and sending it to the plants. Therefore, the wind is very important for the life of plants, and without it, plants die.
Thus, we find that there are many benefits to this natural phenomenon for the continuation of life on planet Earth. Therefore, we are sure that God Almighty did not create anything in this universe without benefit accruing to those who live in the universe.
The most significant benefit of wind is its use as a clean and permanent energy source. This is being utilized these days, as it is a healthy energy source, unlike oil and natural gas. Thus, the wind has become an important source of electric power generation in some developed countries.
The top 10 countries in the world in terms of installed wind capacity
China has an installed capacity of 221 GW. It is the leader in wind energy, with over a third of the world’s capacity. It has the world’s largest onshore wind farm with a capacity of 7965 megawatts (MW). That is five times larger than its nearest rival.
- United States:
The US comes second with 96.4 GW of installed capacity. The country has six of the 10 largest onshore wind farms. These include Alta Wind Energy Center in California, the world’s second-largest onshore wind farm, with a capacity of 1,548 MW.
With 59.3 GW, Germany has the highest installed wind capacity in Europe. Its largest offshore wind farms are the Gode wind farms, which have a combined capacity of 582 Mw.
It has the second-highest wind capacity in Asia, with a total capacity of 35 Gw. Apart from China, India is the only Asian country to make it on the list. The country has the third and fourth-largest onshore wind farms in the world.
That includes the 1,500-MW Muppandal wind farm in Tamil Nadu and the 1,064-MW Jaisalmer wind park in Rajasthan.
Spain’s 23 GW wind energy capacity covers 18 percent of its electricity supply. The Spanish wind industry has been in a steep decline over the past few years, with just 104 MW. In addition to its energy mix in 2016- 2017.
- United Kingdom:
The UK has a total capacity of just over 20.7 GW. It has six of the 10 highest-capacity offshore wind projects in the world. One of these is the Walney project off the coast of Cambria, North West England. It is the largest offshore wind project in the world.
It has an installed capacity of 15.3 GW. According to the report, France is currently moving away from nuclear power, which previously fulfilled 75 percent of the country’s needs.
With 14.5 GW, Brazil has the largest wind capacity in South America. Wind power increased by 8.9 percent, year-on-year, in February 2019. It further added that wind power comes forth in Brazil’s total energy mix, forming about 8 percent of its 162.5 GW energy capacity.
Canada’s renewable energy capacity stands at 12.8 GW, with 566 MW of new installed capacity added in 2018. This energy is generated by a total of 299 wind farms with 6,596 turbines, as the report stated. The 300-MW Riviera-du-Moulin project is the largest wind farm in Canada.
At the bottom of the list is Italy, which reached just 10GW in wind energy capacity in 2018. Italy’s wind industry is heavily concentrated in the south and on its islands.
The wind and Aristotle
Aristotle believed that the main source of wind is hot, dry steam or smoke rising from the heat of the sun. He explained that the sun’s rays are two types of hot steam that were generated, namely: hot, wet steam, which forms rain, and hot, dry steam, which forms winds.
By this, Aristotle was able to show the difference in nature through which both rain and wind were formed. As he showed that wind and air differ in formation. The wind has a self-movement of its own without being affected by the movement of the air.
Therefore, Aristotle considered the wind to represent one of the assets of a complex nature. The previous conclusions of the scientist Aristotle regarding winds are incorrect. In fact, wind and air are no different.
As the wind is considered air moving horizontally on the surface of the Earth. This air is a mixture of gases that belong to the atmosphere surrounding the planet Earth. Also, winds do not move on their own, as Aristotle mentioned, but the reason for their movement is due to the temperature.
That, as we mentioned, determines whether the atmospheric pressure is high or low. As the wind moves from cold regions with high pressure to regions of low pressure that are hot and its strength is determined based on the difference in pressure between the two regions.
The definition of wind
The definition of wind and its types is one of the most sought-after by those interested in studying geography. As the wind is one of the most important phenomena. It is a phenomenon that we have not seen explicitly, but we feel its presence.
The definition of wind is the movement of huge amounts of air. That air is always moving in only one direction. It is the free movement of air from a region with a high-pressure rate to a region with a low-pressure rate. This occurs as a result of the Earth’s rotation around itself.
The most significant reason for the existence of these huge amounts of air is the significant temperature change. This leads to an increase in the rate of pressure on air, which causes the occurrence of the phenomenon of wind.
If the air’s temperature is too low, the average air pressure is too high. When the air has a slightly high temperature, the air pressure average becomes low. Thus, we find that the change in the air pressure rate is due to the difference in the air temperature.
Finally, we find that this natural phenomenon has become of great interest to more than one specialist in the study of geography. Some of them search hard for the definition of wind and its types in detail. Others search for its causes and its importance to the planet as well.
We came to a more accurate and brief definition of wind, which is that it is one of the natural phenomena that we feel its presence without seeing it. The wind is more or less a group of air that moves horizontally and at a rapid rate.
Explore the previous examples and facts, and you will find yourself getting the necessary knowledge and information to fully grasp the concept of wind. So, keep on visiting our Learning Mole to get more knowledge and information about all different kinds of stuff.