The Coriolis Effect, in combination with an area of high pressure, causes the prevailing winds—the trade winds—to move from east to west on both sides of the equator across this 60-degree “belt.”
The rotation of the Earth deflects the atmosphere, resulting in curved wind paths. This deflection, called the Coriolis Effect, sets up the complex global wind patterns that drive surface ocean currents. It is named after the French mathematician Gaspard Gustave de Coriolis (1792-1843), who studied waterwheels to understand the transfer of energy in rotating systems.
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