Encyclopedia of Astrobiology

Living Edition
| Editors: Muriel Gargaud, William M. Irvine, Ricardo Amils, Henderson James Cleaves, Daniele Pinti, José Cernicharo Quintanilla, Michel Viso

Hadley Cells

  • Lisa Kaltenegger
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-642-27833-4_689-2


The Hadley cell on the Earth is a circulation pattern that dominates the tropical atmosphere, with rising motion near the equator, a compensatory sinking motion in the subtropics, poleward flow in the upper troposphere (7–20 km above the surface) and equatorward flow near the surface. The Hadley circulation cells, one on each hemisphere, cover about half of the Earth’s surface area. The Hadley cells carry heat and moisture from the tropics to the northern and southern mid-latitudes. Hadley cells are also present on other terrestrial bodies like Mars, Titan, or Venus. On a slowly rotating planet like Venus, the Hadley circulation can extend almost to the poles. Circulation cells like the Hadley cells probably exist also on other rocky exoplanets and influence their climate substantially.

See Also


Bioorganic Chemistry Circulation Pattern Scale Height Hadley Circulation Hadley Cell 
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References and Further Reading

  1. Chamberlain J, Hunten D (1987) Theory of planetary atmospheres. Academic, OrlandoGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Cornell UniversityIthacaUSA