Streetwise Professor

February 26, 2007

Antarctica and Mobile Polar Highs

Filed under: Climate Change — The Professor @ 6:14 am

My post on the Antarctic temperature research neglected to mention a very interesting book by Marcel Leroux titled Global Warming: Myth or Reality. Leroux’s theory of Mobile Polar Highs can perhaps explain some of the discordant data from the polar regions. Specifically, whereas the Antarctic Peninsula is warming rapidly, the rest of the continent is not. Leroux argues that colder polar temperatures (especially in the summers as a result of lower insolation) cause more intense MPHs. As they move towards the equator, the MPHs cause cyclonic movement at their leading edges. These cyclones transport warm, wet air back towards the poles. More intense MPHs result in more intense cyclones. This could explain the more intense winds mentioned in the post. It could also explain warming in the Peninsula occurring simultaneously with cooling in the interior of the continent.

This is an interesting theory that reconciles the varying temperature trajectories in different parts of the Antarctic that the general circulation models cannot readily explain. Overall, Leroux’s book is an entertaining and iconoclastic (and very Gallic) take on the climate change debate. Many of his points are well taken and deserve more attention.

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