In detail

Wind speed


Definition:

wind speed is a measure of the flow velocity of the air. Wind causes pressure differences in the atmosphere. Warm air expands, cold air contracts. Brownian molecular motion offers an explanation for this: the warmer it gets, the faster the atoms move through space and take up more space. The distance between individual oxygen atoms becomes larger (air expands). Conversely, this means that the colder it gets, the slower the particles move. The distance between individual oxygen atoms becomes smaller (air contracts).
When the sun shines on the ground during the day, the air warms up. The air on the mainland heats up faster than the air above the sea, because the water acts like a big cooling battery. The warm air over the land now rises, sending cooler air from the sea, resulting in wind. It's the other way around at night. The air over the sea is now warmer than those on the mainland. The warm sea air rises and cooler air from the interior flows after.
The wind speed or, more generally, the wind, has a not insignificant significance for humans. Wind turbines represent an environmentally friendly alternative to gaining energy. Almost half of Germany's electricity generation from renewable energies comes from wind turbines. This share will increase significantly in the coming decades. Because unlike fossil fuel carriers, wind is practically available to us in infinite quantities.

Animals and plants take advantage of the wind as well. Wind allows many species of birds an energy-saving gliding flight, almost without wing flapping. Plants use the wind to spread their pollen over long distances. But wind can also be destructive. Hurricanes are able to destroy entire cities and uproot trees within a short time. The highest wind speed ever measured in Germany was just over 400km / h.

Measurement of wind speed and classification in wind strengths

Anemometer (altgr. Anemos = wind) is suitable for measuring the wind speed. On the right is a historical anemometer. Today's gauges look more modern in nature, but work on a similar principle.
Wind speed is often indicated by the Beaufort scale. The thirteen-level scale is now recognized worldwide as a simple classification of wind speeds. Wind force acts as a unit.