Letter | Published:

Atmospheric Circulation

Nature volume 119, page 194 (05 February 1927) | Download Citation



THE omission of references seldom leads to intelligibility, and I fear I should have been unable to trace the review mentioned by Prof. W. H. Hobbs (NATURE, Dec. 25, p. 915) had Mr. Bonacina not alluded to it in a letter to me. Prof. Hobbs asserts that my result (Q.J.R. Met. Soc., 1926, 85–104) that the prevailing pressures around the poles should be low was explicitly stated by me to refer to an atmosphere circulating symmetrically over a uniform earth and unrestricted by friction. This is not the case. It is true that I worked out the solution of such a problem, but the result I obtained was that, with the highest temperatures over the equator, the pressure would increase all the way to the poles; this is diametrically opposite to Prof. Hobbs's attempted quotation. Prof. Hobbs omits to mention that I went on to examine which of the neglected factors was responsible for the chief difference between theory and observation; that I traced it to friction; and that my final inference of the existence of low pressures about the poles was the result of an argument depending essentially on friction. Incidentally, the despised frictionless theory, if adapted to cooled continents, would be in qualitative agreement with the facts as stated by Prof. Hobbs.

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