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Longitute

FIGURE 8.15. Schematic of the global distributions of atmospheric winds in the upper (top) and lower (bottom) troposphere together with the primary latitudinal climate zones.

Midlatitude westerlies and eddies

Subtropical jet

Hadley circulation

Subtropical jet

Midlatitude westerlies and eddies

Storms and prevailing westerlies

Deserts NE trades Wet

SE trades Deserts

Storms and prevailing westerlies

FIGURE 8.15. Schematic of the global distributions of atmospheric winds in the upper (top) and lower (bottom) troposphere together with the primary latitudinal climate zones.

the Indian Ocean, where intense rain moves onto the Asian continent during the summer monsoon.

Although prevailing westerlies and migrating storms characterize most of the extratropical region throughout the year, there are seasonal variations (generally with more storms in winter, when the temperature gradients are greater, than in summer) and strong longitudinal variations, mostly associated with the distribution of land and sea. Longitudinal variations in climate can be dramatic: consider the contrast across the Atlantic Ocean, where the January mean temperature at Goose Bay, Newfoundland (at about 53° N) is about 30° C colder than that at Galway, at almost the same latitude on the west coast of Ireland. We cannot explain this with our longitudinally symmetric model of the world, but the explanation is nevertheless straightforward. Prevailing winds bring cold continental air to the coast of Newfoundland, but mild oceanic air to the west coast of Ireland. The North Atlantic Ocean is much warmer than the continents at the same latitude in winter, partly because of the large heat capacity of the ocean, and partly because of heat transport by the ocean circulation. The ocean circulation and its role in climate is the subject of the following chapters.

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