(ORDO NEWS) — A ringing bell vibrates simultaneously with a low pitch and many higher overtones, producing a pleasant musical sound.
A study published in the journal Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences by scientists from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and Kyoto University shows that the entire atmosphere of the Earth vibrates in a similar way, which is a clear confirmation of the theories developed by physicists over the past two centuries.
In the case of the atmosphere, the “music” comes not like a sound that we could hear, but in the form of large-scale atmospheric pressure waves spanning the globe and traveling around the equator, some moving from east to west, and others from west to east. Each of these waves is a resonant vibration of the global atmosphere, similar to one of the resonant tones of the bell.
In this study, Takatoshi Sakazaki, assistant professor at the Kyoto University Graduate School of Science, and Kevin Hamilton, professor emeritus at the Department of Atmospheric Sciences EM Manoa and the International Pacific Research Center, provide a detailed analysis of the observed atmospheric pressure on the globe every hour for 38 years. The results obtained clearly showed the presence of dozens of predicted wave modes.
During this study, special attention was paid to waves with periods from 2 to 33 hours, which travel horizontally through the atmosphere, moving around the globe with great speed. This creates a characteristic “chess” pattern of high and low pressure associated with these waves as they propagate (see animated image).
“Our identification of so many modes in real data shows that the atmosphere really rings like a bell,” said Hamilton, co-author of the study. “It finally solves the long-standing and classic problem in atmospheric science, but it also opens up a new path of research to understand both the processes that excite the waves and the processes that act to drown out the waves.”
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