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Atmospheric Circulation Over the Tropical Atlantic1

Nature volume 88, pages 519520 (15 February 1912) | Download Citation



THE general circulation of the atmosphere proviaes meteorology with one of its most fascinating problems, because the details must ultimately be known by observation, while the theoretical results hitherto obtained cannot, with reasonable values for friction, be made to agree quantitatively with the observed motions. In the region of the trade-winds, the average conditions persist with sufficient regularity to make them the necessary basis of any wind-chart and a fundamental criterion as to the general truth of the conclusions deduced hydrodynamically on the assumption of a known distribution of temperature. It was for a long time confidently believed that above the trade-winds themselves, at no very great heights, there prevailed a counter-current, as steady and regular in its main features as the wind beneath it. Every schematic representation of the circulation by Maury, Ferrel, James Thomson, though differing in other features, agreed in this one, and the conclusions drawn by Hildebrandsson from the observations of clouds supported them.

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