What is wind? Palm trees blowing during a storm. (Thinkstock)
What is wind?
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You asked us, what exactly is wind and how does it get blown around?
 
Wind is a major player here on Earth. It sculpts landscapes, brings rain and uproots trees along with lives.
 
So what's behind this invisible force that can tickle a cheek one second, and topple a building the next?
 
Good question. Wind is just air moving around. And air is just a bunch of dancing molecules. Gravity pulls down on the molecules. The closer they get to the Earth's surface, the more tightly packed they become.
 
Air that's under high pressure like that naturally flows to areas of low pressure. The bigger the difference in pressure, the faster the air flows. And that, my fellow geeks, is wind.
 
But what causes one area to be higher pressure than another? The sun. It heats the Earth's surface unevenly, creating areas with warmer air, which rises, and cooler air that then rushes in.
 
All of these air movements happen at both local and global scales. And of course, it's all a lot more complicated than all of this, making wind and weather a little bit unpredictable.
 
Which is why I never leave home without my trusty cape.

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CRITICAL THINKING QUESTION
How can wind both uproot a tree and someone's life?
Write your answers in the comments section below


COMMENTS (170)
  • paulo-hol
    4/08/2016 - 11:02 p.m.

    Thos article was very interesting,educative,and cool.I also liked it because it taught me things I didn't know about.

  • melissaj-Ste
    4/09/2016 - 10:55 a.m.

    Wind has a lot more power than we give it credit for. Wind can be a simple breeze, a strong gust, or even a dangerous tornado. Depending on the pressure on the air molecules, it has the strength to literally uproot a tree from the ground. It also has the power to uproot someone's life by destroying their home or their environment.

  • dianniem2-pay
    4/09/2016 - 12:56 p.m.

    It can uproot ones life and a tree because as it says in the text. "Gravity pulls down on the molecules. The closer they get to the Earth's surface, the more tightly packed they become." This making wind and causing natural disasters with trees knocking down and peoples houses toppling down and ruining peoples lives.

  • andrewa-ver
    4/11/2016 - 08:25 a.m.

    It can root up air because it is just moving air and air is just a bunch of dancing molecules.

  • judea-buh
    4/11/2016 - 11:03 a.m.

    I've always wondered what wind was and how it always stayed on earth. It only really showed what wind was made of. I wonder if gravity has anything to do with staying on earth or it just has to stay on earth.

  • austinh-ver
    4/11/2016 - 01:00 p.m.

    By knocking over a building with the strength that it uses to uproot trees.

  • christianc-ver
    4/11/2016 - 01:04 p.m.

    The wind can be under high pressure or under low pressure. When the wind is under high pressure flows to areas of low pressure and the bigger difference in pressure the faster the air flows.

  • loganc-bru
    4/11/2016 - 01:59 p.m.

    According to the article,"What is wind," wind can both uproot a tree and someone's life. First of all, the article states that air is a bunch of dancing molecules, and gravity pulls the air down to the earth and the air gets packed together, thus creating air. The second reason is in paragraph 5 it states that the bigger the difference in pressure on the air the faster the air will move. Finally, paragraph 6 states the sun uses its heat to make more pressure, making wind. In conclusion wind is what happens when the gravity pulls down the air and packs it down; and the higher the pressure the faster the wind.

  • samuelr-2-bar
    4/11/2016 - 04:13 p.m.

    Wind can both uproot a tree and and someones life because the wind can form a tornado. When wind forms a tornado it becomes a deadly twist of wind and debris that can be very destructive. The tornado can easily destroy a tree. The tornado could also easily uproot someones life by destroying there houses and make them move somewhere else. In conclusions wind can both uproot a tree and someones life because it can form a tornado and destroy trees and houses.

  • taylore-1-bar
    4/11/2016 - 07:29 p.m.

    Wind can uproot a tree because it is very powerful. Wind can uproot someone's life because it is strong enough to uproot a tree. I didn't think this was interesting because I've already learned about everything in it. This article did not surprise me because I already knew wind could knock over a tall building. One thing I learned is wind is just air that is moving around and under pressure.

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