Atmospheric dynamics and Hadley cells


A reading to learn about the Hadley Cell and a simple model for the Hadley Circulation, using the law of conservation of angular momentum.

In this reading, students will discuss and explore the effects of changes in atmospheric dynamics on Hadley circulation and will analyze the potential impacts on climate. Students will also learn to derive atmospheric dynamics equations for a model of Hadley circulation (based on Farrell’s theory).

Use this tool to help students find answers to:

  1. What are Hadley Cells?
  2. According to Farrell’s theory, what factors determine the extent of Hadley cells?
  3. What could be the resulting effects on climate?

Image credit: NASA

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By Mark E. Piana

Hosted at Harvard University

Language: English

Location: Global

Grade: High School, Undergraduate

Access: Online

Computer Skills: Basic

Discipline: Geography, Earth Sciences, Physics

Discipline Topics: Hadley Cell, Hadley Circulation, Heat Transport in the Atmosphere, Atmospheric Circulation, Law of Conservation of Angular Momentum

Climate Topics: Climate and the Atmosphere