I'm struggling a bit getting my head around the AM side of things, before I move on to the GWO orbits etc .. to be honest I have for a long time!, so I'm hoping I can tap in to the hive mind and get a better understanding ..
My understanding is:
1)Angular momentum is a property of the mass in motion about the earths axis (Understood!)
2)That 'momentum' is from a combination of: The rotation speed, the mass, the length of the radius arm. In a closed system (i.e. the whole earth) AM is conserved. (Understood!)
3)(Like a skater) - if the length of the radius arm is decreased, the rotation speed increases as the mass stays the same .. I get that bit (unless I have that incorrect of course - Understood!)
4)I have read: Eastward winds circulate around the equator, in the same direction as the earths rotation. This means that parcels of air rotate more rapidly than the earth does (Understood!)
5)I have also read: The frictional drag (surface friction I presume) that is acting to slow these winds down, transfers angular momentum from the earth to the atmosphere.... (Erm ...)
This is the point I start dribbling.. to me if the easterly winds are travelling faster than the earths rotation, then any friction with the surface will slow these winds and transfer that energy to speeding up the earths rotation! (I have read that the Length of day DOES change, much to my surprise!) - but if so then that's not in my book 'transfer of angular momentum from the earth to the atmosphere' - its the opposite.
I also read, and didn't quite understand, that the direction of the air packet itself adds/subtracts to the overall mass from the centre, to the end of the radius arm in a rotating system - but this didn't clear anything up, unless that detracts from rotation in itself..
In short, I'm a deeply confused man .. can you help! Springboarding off into GWO orbits and mountain torques won't help me - I need to get the absolute fundamentals here!
Many thanks, Samos