The Prevailing Westerlies, The Horse Latitudes, and Doldrums: Global Air Circulation

The understanding of complex things… from simple to basic ideas is the goal Professor Greenler sets forth at the onset of this “glimpse into a process of science.” The stated subject is big-scale air circulation patterns around the earth, the hows and whys of the bands of alternating winds circling the globe, as well as a sense of their geographical and human impact, from the location of rainforests and deserts to Columbus’ discovery of the New World. But the main focus is on four ideas concerning the effects of temperature and of the earth’s rotation on air masses, and then on how these principles combine to yield further understanding.