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world's Pressure Belts

Pressure Belts of the World
a) Equatorial Low Pressure Belt:

At the Equator heated air rises leaving a low-pressure area at the surface. This low pressure area is known as equatorial low pressure. This area extends between 5°N and 5°S latitudes. The zone shifts along with the northward or southward movement of sun during summer solstice and winter solstice respectively. The pressure belt is thermally induced because the ground surface gets heated during the day. Thus warm air expands, rises up and creates low pressure.


b) Sub-tropical High Pressure Belt:
The warm air risen up at the equator due to heating reaches the troposphere and bend towards the pole. Due to coriolis force the air descends at 30-35ยบ latitude thus creates the belt of sub-tropical high pressure. The pressure belt is dynamically induced as it owes its origin to the rotation of the earth and sinking and settling of winds. This zone is characterized by anticyclonic conditions which cause atmospheric stability and aridity. Thus the hot deserts of the world are present in this region extending between 25-35 degrees in both the hemisphere.

c) Sub-Polar Low Pressure Belt:
This belt is located between 60-65 degrees latitudes in both the hemisphere. This pressure belt is also dynamically induced. The surface air spreads outward from this zone due to rotation of the earth thus produces low pressure. The belt is more developed and regular in the southern hemisphere than the northern due to over dominance of water in the former.

d) Polar High Pressure Belt: 

High pressure persists at the pole due to low temperature. Thus the Polar High Pressure Belt is thermally induced as well as dynamically induced as the rotation of earth also plays a minor role.

Coriolis force

The rotation of the Earth creates force, termed Coriolis force, which acts upon wind. Instead of wind blowing directly from high to low pressure, the rotation of the Earth causes wind to be deflected off course. In the Northern Hemisphere, wind is deflected to the right of its path, while in the Southern Hemisphere it is deflected to the left. Coriolis force is absent at the equator, and its strength increases as one approaches either pole. Furthermore, an increase in wind speed also results in a stronger Coriolis force, and thus in greater deflection of the wind.