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Atmospheric Circulation

cells What happens to the energy from the sun once it reaches the surface? Incoming solar radiation is strongest at the Equater and weakest at the Poles. If air did not move around the atmosphere, the Equator would get hotter and hotter, and the Poles would get even colder! However, air moves from warm to cold regions and redistributes all of the incoming solar energy. The moving air creates the atmosphere's general circulation patterns.

These general circulation patterns redistribute incoming solar radiation and they play a role in determining the climate of certain regions. These patterns are: Earth is not the only planet with general circulation patterns. You can learn about the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn, and other planets in our solar system at the Windows to the Universe website.

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