Fact 8: Solar energy is responsible for winds, ocean currents and other weather patterns.
I know some of you just won’t take the simple answer above. For your sake and the sake of science, I like to dig deeper to find out how the whole process work.
As the sun energy heats Earth’s surface, the surface heats the air above. The result of increase in energy will cause the air in the surrounding to move apart lowering the air density. This creates an area of low air pressure. Compare to other area which are not closely exposed to the sun radiation, air are much cooler. This cool air is closer together making it denser and heavier. As such, cool air will form an area of high pressure. To reach equilibrium, air will move from area of higher pressure to the area of lower pressure. Wind is the result of this process.
The Ocean represents a form of natural collection of solar energy. Upon absorbing solar energy, the water surface temperature increase. This increase in temperature causes water to expand creating a rise in altitude. The increase in altitude creates a slope causing the water to move. With the added effect of wind, water tends to move in a certain pattern called ocean currents. There you have it, a quick in-depth explanation of ocean currents.
In addition to winds and ocean currents, other weather patterns are created from solar energy. For instance, rain, lighting, tornado are the indirect results of solar energy. As long as there is a sun, weather patterns will continue to exist making the Earth an interesting place to live.