What is wind? Palm trees blowing during a storm. (Thinkstock)
What is wind?
Lexile

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 and 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 (37)
  • tyn-2-bar
    4/12/2016 - 12:15 a.m.

    Wind can be strong enough to blow down a house. In the article in mentions that "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,". If there is enough pressure, some winds can be catastrophic (such as hurricane Catrina) and knock down houses and trees. That, is how winds can uproot a tree and someone's life at the same time.
    I wonder if a hurricane blew down Hermosa Valley school overnight, how many days or weeks would we get off?

  • nicholasl-2-bar
    4/12/2016 - 12:33 a.m.

    It depends on the pressure of the wind. It also depends on the sun, which heats the earth. The more pressure there is, the more wind there is. I'd the sun is in the right position, the wind will change. I liked this article because it takes about wind. I was surprised at how wind was made.

  • lyler-ver
    4/12/2016 - 01:10 p.m.

    Wind can both uproot a tree and take a life by it being so strong. Wind can be very calm and soothing but other times it can be violent and destructive. High speed winds can uproot trees because of the amount of pressure the wind is putting on the tree. Wind can uproot someones life by destroying there home or even killing them.

  • alexanderc-6-bar
    4/12/2016 - 09:22 p.m.

    Wind can both uproot a tree and someones life because if wind is strong enough to pull a tree out of the ground it can easily take someones life. Wind can take a persons life because when there is a"difference in pressure, the faster the air flows"causing the wind to become stronger taking out trees, buildings or even people.

    My opinion on this article is that I am amazed at the strength of wind and how much damage it can cause.

  • josepht-2-bar
    4/13/2016 - 12:49 a.m.

    Wind can uproot a tree because it has a lot of power. With that much power to lift up a tree then it has enough power to lift up a person. The wind "brings rain and uproots trees along with lives." I think this article is interesting because it told me how wind is formed.

  • dashiellg-3-bar
    4/13/2016 - 05:51 p.m.

    Wind can both uproot a tree and someones life because when the sun is very far away from the cold part of the earth then the warm molecules move out and cool wind moves in. If the wind is strong enough it can take someones life like in many hurricanes this has happened. I found this article very interesting because the more you know the smarter you are and I did not know much about wind except it annoys me when i am golfing.

  • lucasl-3-bar
    4/13/2016 - 07:12 p.m.

    Wind can kill a tree or a person due to its inconsistent power and pressure. As stated by the article, wind is created by varying areas of high and low pressure. The constant changing of these zones makes wind hard to predict and prepare for. Also, very strong gusts can be dangerous to plants and animals alike. Strong storms and hurricanes can pull trees out of the ground or topple buildings and kill people. The article was interesting because it provided facts about an intriguing phenomena on Earth. It shows how wind's variability can be helpful to humans, in the case of powering sailboats and wind turbines, or harmful, in the case of hurricanes and tornadoes.

  • kieranw-3-bar
    4/13/2016 - 11:13 p.m.

    Wind can both uproot a tree and someone's life by falling down and crashing into houses which could put peoples life at risk. Wind is the change in low pressure air particles with high pressure air particles which causes wind to form. I think wind is really cool because it can be fun to run in but also can be deadly! I find this article really interesting because I learned how wind is formed and how wind can also create tornado's.

  • carsonk-2-bar
    4/14/2016 - 10:42 a.m.

    Well, sometimes wind is so powerful that it will eventually pick up someone or something like a tree. "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." This article didn't surprise me because I already knew this. This article is interesting because wind is a cool concept to learn about.

  • dianner-2-bar
    4/14/2016 - 10:51 a.m.

    Wind can uproot a tree and someone's life because because as the article stated " Wind is just air moving around, and air is just a bunch of dancing molecules. Gravity pulls down on the molecules and the closer they get to the Earth's surface, the more tightly packed they become." I like this article because it's true at first it's calm and all but then it can break down someones house. My opinion about this article is that it gives out a lot of information therefor making it a really good article.

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