Wind

Wind is the flow of gases on a large scale. On Earth, wind consists of the bulk movement of air. In outer space, solar wind is the movement of gases or charged particles from the sun through space, while planetary wind is the outgassing of light chemical elements from a planet's atmosphere into space. Winds are commonly classified by their spatial scale, their speed, the types of forces that cause them, the regions in which they occur, and their effect. The strongest observed winds on a planet in our solar system occur on Neptune and Saturn.

In meteorology, winds are often referred to according to their strength, and the direction from which the wind is blowing. Short bursts of high speed wind are termed gusts. Strong winds of intermediate duration (around one minute) are termed squalls. Long-duration winds have various names associated with their average strength, such as breeze, gale, storm, hurricane, and typhoon. Wind occurs on a range of scales, from thunderstorm flows lasting tens of minutes, to local breezes generated by heating of land surfaces and lasting a few hours, to global winds resulting from the difference in absorption of solar energy between the climate zones on Earth. The two main causes of large-scale atmospheric circulation are the differential heating between the equator and the poles, and the rotation of the planet (Coriolis effect). Within the tropics, thermal low circulations over terrain and high plateaus can drive monsoon circulations. In coastal areas the sea breeze/land breeze cycle can define local winds; in areas that have variable terrain, mountain and valley breezes can dominate local winds.

In human civilization, wind has inspired mythology, influenced the events of history, expanded the range of transport and warfare, and provided a power source for mechanical work, electricity and recreation. Wind powers the voyages of sailing ships across Earth's oceans. Hot air balloons use the wind to take short trips, and powered flight uses it to increase lift and reduce fuel consumption. Areas of wind shear caused by various weather phenomena can lead to dangerous situations for aircraft. When winds become strong, trees and man-made structures are damaged or destroyed.

Winds can shape landforms, via a variety of aeolian processes such as the formation of fertile soils, such as loess, and by erosion. Dust from large deserts can be moved great distances from its source region by the prevailing winds; winds that are accelerated by rough topography and associated with dust outbreaks have been assigned regional names in various parts of the world because of their significant effects on those regions. Wind affects the spread of wildfires. Winds disperse seeds from various plants, enabling the survival and dispersal of those plant species, as well as flying insect populations. When combined with cold temperatures, wind has a negative impact on livestock. Wind affects animals' food stores, as well as their hunting and defensive strategies.

Read more about WindCause, Measurement, Wind Force Scale, Wind Energy, Global Climatology, Average Wind Speeds, Shear, Role in The Natural World, Related Damage, In Outer Space, On Other Planets

Other articles related to "wind, winds":

Wind - On Other Planets
... Strong 300 kilometers per hour (190 mph) winds at Venus's cloud tops circle the planet every four to five earth days ... their winter, the frozen CO2 sublimes, creating significant winds that sweep off the poles as fast as 400 kilometers per hour (250 mph), which subsequently transports large amounts ... Other Martian winds have resulted in cleaning events and dust devils ...

Famous quotes containing the word wind:

    By the North Gate, the wind blows full of sand,
    Lonely from the beginning of time until now!
    Trees fall, the grass goes yellow with autumn.
    Li Po (701–762)

    Sometimes a musical phrase would perfectly sum up
    The mood of a moment. One of those lovelorn sonatas
    For wind instruments was riding past on a solemn white horse.
    Everybody wondered who the new arrival was.
    John Ashbery (b. 1927)

    ... some of my people could have been left [in Africa] and are living there. And I can’t understand them and they don’t know me and I don’t know them because all we had was taken away from us. And I became kind of angry; I felt the anger of why this had to happen to us. We were so stripped and robbed of our background, we wind up with nothing.
    Fannie Lou Hamer (1917–1977)