New research: Earth’s atmosphere makes sounds

Scientists from the University of Kyoto and the University of Hawaii at Manoa have conducted a study that shows that the entire atmosphere of the Earth vibrates and makes pleasant musical sounds. Information about this appeared in the Journal of the Atmospheric Sciences.

The “music” of the atmosphere is not the sound we can hear — it is a large-scale wave of atmospheric pressure spanning the globe and traveling around the equator: some waves travel from east to west, and others from west to east.

This phenomenon was discussed at the beginning of the 19th century. The studies of physicists over the next two centuries improved the theory and led to detailed predictions about the frequencies of the waves that should be present in the atmosphere. However, earlier they could not actually be detected.

Particular attention in the study was given to waves with periods from 2 to 33 hours, which travel horizontally through the atmosphere, moving around the globe at a speed of more than 1100 km / h. This creates a characteristic “chess” picture of high and low pressure associated with these waves as they propagate. This is seen in the animation.

Now scientists though understand how the processes act that excite the waves, and which, on the contrary, drown them out.