How do global winds affect climate?


Quick Answer

Global winds help to distribute heat and water vapor around the Earth, which influences temperature and precipitation patterns around the entire globe. Global winds are caused by pressure differences in the atmosphere from warm air rising to the poles. The flowing air carries water vapor and creates specific weather patterns, such as increased rainfall in the tropics.

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Full Answer

Because the sun is much closer to the Earth around the equator, it is there that air gets heated and water evaporates the most. The warm, moist air rises and flows to the poles where there is then a change in pressure, causing clouds and rainfall around the equator. The warm air traveling to the poles carries heat and water vapor to areas that the sun doesn't normally heat as often. These global winds shape the Earth's climate by transporting heat and water vapor.

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