Antarctic Katabatic Winds
Degree GrantorUniversity of Canterbury
Degree LevelPostgraduate Certificate
Degree NamePostgraduate Certificate in Antarctic Studies
Katabatic winds ('kata', from the Greek for downwards) are observed at every latitude of the globe as soon as a coarse of cooled air meets a significant slope, but nowhere are they as strong as Antarctica. Unlike winds in other parts of the world, Antarctica's katabatic winds are caused by the shape of the land: cold, dense air on the high ice sheet flows down the coastal slopes under the influence of gravity. Simply put, katabatic wind is cold dense air that pours down the ice slope to the sea, becoming denser and picking up speed as it goes. Antarctica produces the strongest and most enduring katabatic winds as it is the highest and coldest continent.
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