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Khan Academy


6th, 7th, 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th


Science, Earth and Space Sciences

Resource Type

  • Videos, 6 minutes, 23 seconds, CC, Subtitles

Regional Focus



YouTube Video

Global Wind Patterns

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  • This Khan Academy video explains how convection cells and the Earth's rotation create global wind patterns. 
  • The video also discusses how wind patterns distribute heat and precipitation unevenly around the globe, which helps form different biomes. 
Teaching Tips


  • The video uses diagrams to simplify the complex topic of global wind patterns.
  • A full transcript of the video is available.
  • Teachers can share this resource on Google Classroom.

Additional Prerequisites

  • Teachers need to create a free account to use Khan Academy.


  • Science classes could use this resource in lessons on global wind patterns, convection, air pressure, density, Earth's biomes, or wind energy.
  • Earth science classes could discuss how climate change might affect global wind patterns and the various biomes they create.
  • The video mentions that water-covered areas and land-covered areas absorb heat from the sun differently. Teachers could ask students to predict how rising sea levels could affect global wind patterns.
  • This video could be used with this real-time interactive map that displays global wind speed and direction.
  • Other similar resources include this NASA video that highlights the importance of wind and this resource that describes how wind and other factors affect climate.
Scientist Notes
This video offers a primer on our best understanding of the global wind patterns, which are driven by solar energy. Earth's rotation also plays a role in the finer details of the circulation patterns. This resource is recommended for teaching.
  • Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS)
    • ESS2: Earth's Systems
      • MS-ESS2-5 Collect data to provide evidence for how the motions and complex interactions of air masses results in changes in weather conditions.
      • MS-ESS2-6 Develop and use a model to describe how unequal heating and rotation of the Earth cause patterns of atmospheric and oceanic circulation that determine regional climates.
      • HS-ESS2-1 Develop a model to illustrate how Earth’s internal and surface processes operate at different spatial and temporal scales to form continental and ocean-floor features.
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