Krishnamurti, T. N. Department of Meteorology, Florida State University, Tallahassee, Florida.
Last reviewed:December 2019
- Weather observations
- Trade winds
- Intertropical convergence zones
- Jet streams
- El Niño Southern Oscillation
- Biennial oscillation
- Weather prediction
- Related Primary Literature
- Additional Reading
The study of atmospheric structure and behavior in the areas astride the Equator, roughly between 30° north and south latitude. The weather and climate of the tropics involve phenomena such as trade winds, hurricanes, intertropical convergence zones, jet streams, monsoons and the El Niño Southern Oscillation. More energy is received from the Sun over the tropical latitudes than is lost to outer space (infrared radiation). The reverse is true at higher latitudes, poleward of 30°. The excess energy from the tropics is transported by winds to the higher latitudes, largely by vertical circulations that span roughly 30° in latitudinal extent. These circulations are known as Hadley cells, after George Hadley who first drew attention to the phenomenon in 1735. This type of circulation is an important ingredient of the tropical general circulation.
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