# Solar-Terrestrial Coincidence?

Guest post by Paul Vaughan, M.Sc. – August 18, 2010

Scientists characterize Earth rotation velocity using a variable they call length of day (LOD). The rate of change of LOD (LOD’) is related to global average wind patterns. Changes in wind patterns affect temperature patterns.

See the graphic below.

Could it be that apparent relationships between the rate of change of solar cycle length (SCL’), LOD’, & North Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperature (AMO = Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) are independent?

=========================================================

Notes on notation:

GLAAM = global atmospheric angular momentum

NOR = nutation in obliquity residual

[] indicates time-integration

SOI = Southern Oscillation Index

f(x) on the SOI, GLAAM, LOD graph indicates a filter that isolates interannual features. This result has been known to scientists for decades, so my SOI, GLAAM, LOD graph is simply a sample of what I discovered last year when I audited their claims using my own approaches. (If anyone wants the literature references, please feel welcome to request them and I’ll dig them out.)

Solar-Terrestrial Coincidence?

Paul Vaughan, M.Sc. – August 18, 2010

Scientists characterize Earth rotation velocity using a variable they call length of day (LOD). The rate of change of LOD (LOD’) is related to global average wind patterns. Changes in wind patterns affect temperature patterns.

Could it be that apparent relationships between the rate of change of solar cycle length (SCL’), LOD’, & North Atlantic Ocean sea su

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John Lohman
August 18, 2010 4:25 pm

I have long believed LOD and AMO are dependent on SCL. More importantly, it looks like LOD and SCL are footnoted (1) but I see no footnote. Am I missing something?

Jeff L
August 18, 2010 4:27 pm

Questions:
1) Could you cross plot LOD & AMO & give us an R^2? Visual correlations vs time can be mis-leading.
2) Can you plot the LOD vs PDO & ENSO, along with R^2 for those as well.
This will all help clarify this post.
Thanks
JL

ShrNfr
August 18, 2010 4:28 pm

I do not have the numbers, so I can’t say much, but my eyeball non-parametric rank correlation on those things sure does not look to be zero. The correlation on SCL’ seems a little weaker. Conservation of momentum considering the earth and its atmosphere as a closed system would indicate to me that normal cyclonic flow and length of day would have some interaction. How much I would not care to estimate.

sky
August 18, 2010 4:45 pm

Concomittant variables are quite a commonplace phenomenon in geophysics. I’m not sure what you’re ultimately suggesting about the variables shown (which I assume to be first-difference series of one kind or another). Could you give us more of a clue as to plausible mechanisms and provide some indication of the coherence at peak spectral frequencies?

jack morrow
August 18, 2010 4:51 pm

I wonder if Vukcevic has a graph or two to go along with this?

James Sexton
August 18, 2010 4:55 pm

I probably don’t want to get into another facet of correlation of which I’m not aware, but my curiosity prevails.
As stated, I’m not familiar with this at all. Are you saying the winds effect the rotational speed of the earth?

Sean
August 18, 2010 5:00 pm

I’m not the smartest guy in the room but I always though length of day decreased when the world got colder and there was more mass at the poles (snow and ice) rather than as water at the equator. Kind of like a skater concentrating more mass on the axis of rotation. Is this way too simplistic?

Lance Wallace
August 18, 2010 5:16 pm

Sidorenkov has a brilliant and clear explanation from first principles (conservation of angular momentum, friction of winds with surface, friction of magma with crust, etc.) of the earth’s rotational instabiliities, including length of day.
Abstract of his 2005 paper in Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions
Vol. 24, No. 5, October 2005, 425–439:
Physics of the Earth’s rotation instabilities
N. S. SIDORENKOV*
Hydrometeorological Centre of Russia, 11–13 Bolshoi Predtechensky Pereulok,
Moscow 123458, Russia
This paper generalizes the results of investigations on the instabilities of the Earth’s rotation and
related geophysical processes. Long series of observations of the Earth’s orientation parameters are
demonstrated. The tidal variations in the length of the day are described. The temporal variations in the
atmospheric angular momentum and their contribution to the instabilities of the Earth’s rotation are
studied. The mechanisms of seasonal variations in the length of the day and polar motion are discussed.
The probable geophysical processes responsible for the decades-long (2–100 years) instability of the
Earth’s rotation are discussed

John F. Hultquist
August 18, 2010 5:21 pm

In the last line of the post: “…are independent?”
Seems this in not what is meant.

August 18, 2010 5:24 pm

I wonder if Vukcevic has a graph or two to go along with this?
I put the over/under on that at four graphs.

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 5:25 pm

Re: John Lohman
Thank you for your comment John. The prime symbol (‘) indicates rate of change.
Best Regards.

Michael Jankowski
August 18, 2010 5:43 pm

Any chance they could all have the same smoothing as SCL in a separate graphic?

899
August 18, 2010 5:45 pm

“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Three times is enemy action.”
~ Ian Flemming ~
Or, in our case:
“Once is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. Thrice is confirmation.”

R. de Haan
August 18, 2010 5:56 pm

In order to put the cherry on the cake you could consider to add the CO2 graph.

stumpy
August 18, 2010 5:57 pm

The moon and sun both interact with the earths rotation, over various cycles of different length creating these changes in LOD. They both also form a gravitational bulge in the ocean closest to them and its the interaction of these various tides that form the various tides (otherwise everytime would be the same). There is also a documented land tide that co-incides with the tide.
If they can form a bulge in the ocean and the land, could they also not form a buldge in the atmosphere (changing the lapse rate but not pressure)or displacement of it (due to the tidal bulge) and affect wind direction and speed, and maybe even indirectly, cloud cover and precipitation?
Many early civilisations used the moon and to predict good fishing and calm or bad weather, including the Moari here in New Zealand. Also, the movement on the tide, via friction with the air above can also generate wind or move mist, thats why sea mist often rolls in when the tide changes.
I think theres a lot we still dont understand!

Editor
August 18, 2010 6:00 pm

How is SCL (and SCL’) determined at several points within a SC? We got into enough arguments trying to identify the end of SC23, trying to identify “the point where we were 90% through SC23 seems even harder.

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 6:12 pm

Re: Jeff L
I have time to address one of your questions now Jeff. (Maybe there will be time to address others later.)
Data sources are as follows:
1) Sunspot Numbers (R):
vertical (in one column) format:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/MONTHLY.PLT
tabular (12 months per row) format:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/MONTHLY
info: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/SS-10CM.txt
2) Length of Day (LOD):
1832-1997:
http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eoppc/series/longterm/jpl_c.eop
The series was extended (1997-2010) by computing summaries from 1962+ daily data:
http://www.iers.org/products/177/11221/orig/eopc04_IAU2000.62-now
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/data/correlation/amon.us.long.data
info: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/data/timeseries/AMO/

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 6:21 pm

R. de Haan wrote:
“In order to put the cherry on the cake you could consider to add the CO2 graph.”
I like this idea. It might be the cherry that attracts funding…

phlogiston
August 18, 2010 6:26 pm

Lance Wallace says:
August 18, 2010 at 5:16 pm
Sidorenkov has a brilliant and clear explanation from first principles (conservation of angular momentum, friction of winds with surface, friction of magma with crust, etc.) of the earth’s rotational instabiliities, including length of day.
Abstract of his 2005 paper in Astronomical and Astrophysical Transactions
Vol. 24, No. 5, October 2005, 425–439:

Sid discussed a lot of interesting stuff. I hate this kind of abstract – “this was discussed, that was discused”. It tells us nothing.

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 6:27 pm

Re: Ric Werme
Solar cycle length was determined objectively using a Morlet 2pi wavelet.

phlogiston
August 18, 2010 6:36 pm

If wind friction is indeed the mechanism of AMO affecting LOD, then why is the AMO predominant – would not the PDO from the larger ocean have a larger effect? WUWT?
One thing is clear – AMO in the last century or two has been regular and sinusoidal, and is not on the downward turn from the peak in about 2005. Combined with negative PDO, this is the basis of predictions by many e.g. Joe Bastardi of a period of cooling ahead, of a couple of decades at least.
Help me with the maths – does SLC’ mean extending solar cycle length, as is now happening? (I’m a biologist.)

David L. Hagen
August 18, 2010 6:58 pm

For a recent paper see:
N. SIDORENKOV, I.R.G. WILSON, THE DECADAL FLUCTUATIONS IN THE EARTH’S ROTATION AND IN THE CLIMATE CHARACTERISTICS, 2009

Ralph
August 18, 2010 7:00 pm

Do you have a future SCL graph, so we can see what the future trends may be?
Thanks.
.

August 18, 2010 7:01 pm

Makes intuitive sense. Sunspots affect the strength of the magnetosphere. It’s harder to rotate a permanent magnet inside an external field (because of hysteresis, I think?) so the earth should be slower, and its own magnetic field should be more variable, when the sun’s field is stronger.

David L. Hagen
August 18, 2010 7:23 pm

Nicola Scafetta, Empirical evidence for a celestial origin of the climate oscillations and its implications, Preprint submitted to J. of Atmospheric and Solar-Terrestrial Physics May 26, 2010
Decadal variations in geophysical processes and asymmetries in the solar motion about the Solar System’s barycentre
Nikolay Sidorenkov, Ian Wilson, and Anatoly Khlystov
Geophysical Research Abstracts, Vol. 12, EGU2010-9559, 2010
Irregularities in the Earth’s rotation and the prognosis for the global component of the atmospheric angular momentum
L. D. Akulenko, Yu. G. Markov, V. V. Perepelkin and I. V. Skorobogatykh
Doklady Physics Volume 55, Number 5, 217-222, DOI: 10.1134/S1028335810050046

RexAlan
August 18, 2010 7:36 pm
Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 8:10 pm

phlogiston wrote:
“Help me with the maths – does SLC’ mean extending solar cycle length, as is now happening? (I’m a biologist.)”
I am also a biologist. Let’s not let that prevent us from understanding wavelet methods, which are simple (when explained using common sense).
SCL simply measures the length of the solar cycle (analagous to, say, car speed, for purposes of illustration here…)
SCL’ is the brake – or the accelerator (depending…)
Elaboration:
Positive SCL’ means the brakes are going on, while negative SCL’ means the gas is being hit.
For example: ~1900 solar cycles were longish; then they got down to 10.4 years (which means the car was driving faster to cover the same distance on the racing loop in less time).
If someone wants to supply the funding, I’ll write the webpages that make wavelet methods dead-simple for lay-people. 70% of my online statistics students (most of whom were social science students) rated my online course material & delivery “excellent” (…but to be clear, I require pay to do such clean work!)

F. Ross
August 18, 2010 8:29 pm

Could it be that apparent relationships between the rate of change of solar cycle length (SCL’), LOD’, & North Atlantic Ocean sea surface temperature (AMO = Atlantic Multidecadal Oscillation) are independent?

Interesting article.
Just curious, did the author mean interdependent for independent?

savethesharks
August 18, 2010 8:32 pm

I wish I had the resources to fund it. Would fund your research in a hot minute, Paul.
Interesting post. Thanks.
Chris
Norfolk, VA, USA

John F. Hultquist
August 18, 2010 8:46 pm

F. Ross says:
And that was my thought also @ 5:21

wayne
August 18, 2010 9:07 pm

Sorry, I don’t tweet so I seem to lack som info out there in the ether.
Interesting graph. How else could short term changes in the LOD vary without a connection in the redistribution of the sea heights around the world? And, how could this not be tied to the currents? And, do the currents then connect to the overall winds therefore the temperatures as Paul pointed out? Some might suspect tectonic variances but that seems rather far fetched on such a short yearly scale.
Its almost like the oceans slosh about on a yearly basic and global scale and always driven by interactions in proper physics. Another example of why we don’t know exactly what the global climate is up to and more importantly what it has in store for us in the near future, yet alone decades away.

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 9:08 pm

phlogiston wrote:
“[…] would not the PDO from the larger ocean have a larger effect? WUWT?”
PDO & AMO are related (as can be easily shown via integration), with one notable exception being the interval +/- about a decade either side of the Chandler wobble phase reversal (centred ~1930), when an opposite relation prevails.
This fascinating interval (~1920-1940) corresponds with a wave of heat reaching the Arctic, severe drought in North America, high Antarctic ice specific mass, low Southern Ocean & Southeast Pacific sea surface temperatures (SST), a critical point in lunisolar tides, a low in stratospheric volcanic activity, a low in solar cycle length, a phase reversal in nutation in obliquity residuals, … (this is a truncated list). Given the list of coincidences, the case for something being rather special about ~1920-1940 is compelling. HOWEVER: All of this confounding makes the task of sorting things out tedious.
I have 3 parallel tracks of research.
One track aims to further probe the Chandler wobble phase reversal by improving upon Mursula & Zieger’s interpretation of Figure 3 here:
Mursula, K.; & Zieger, B. (2001). Long-term north-south asymmetry in solar wind speed inferred from geomagnetic activity: A new type of century-scale solar oscillation? Geophysical Research Letters 28(1), 95-98.
http://spaceweb.oulu.fi/~kalevi/publications/MursulaAndZieger2001.pdf
[CAUTION: There are some (fairly substantial) problems with their conclusions …but the middle panel of figure 3 (all by itself) was a valuable contribution.]
Another line of research involves patterns shared by the Southern Ocean, the Southeast Pacific, and stratospheric volcanism. (These patterns also appear to be key to understanding the ~1930 Chandler wobble phase reversal.)
Finally, I have recently started investigating patterns shared by the solar wind, volcanism, & climate indices. (For now I remain very suspicious of the latter results, so I will be consulting with physicists…)

August 18, 2010 9:22 pm

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 9:26 pm

Re: F. Ross and John F. Hultquist
independent

Bill Illis
August 18, 2010 9:27 pm

The ENSO and the LOD are certainly tied together.
Here is the Nino 3.4 index versus Atmospheric Angular Momentum (which is bascially the same measure as LOD) back to 1958.
The July 2010 AAM was one the lowest ever recorded signaling strengthening La Nina conditions.
http://a.imageshack.us/img842/908/ensovsaamjuly2010.png

George Turner
August 18, 2010 9:39 pm

There are other, often overlooked mechanisms by which climate itself affects the length of day. For example, periods of flooding cause everyone to move their back issues of National Geographic magazines from the basement to the attic, slowing the Earth’s rotation due to conservation of angular momentum.
Just thought I’d point that out.
Perhaps this is another reason to quit calculating fancy sidereal gear ratios to turn a 60 Hz clock into 86,164.090538 seconds to an accuracy that would take over 10,000 years to accumulate a one second tracking error, or perhaps it’s an excuse to somehow have North Atlantic sea surface temperatures deflect a bi-metallic strip that engages a series of clutches to automatically compensate!!!!
*tromps back into a basement packed with gear cutters and mildewed National Geographic magazines*

F. Ross
August 18, 2010 9:56 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
August 18, 2010 at 9:26 pm
Re: F. Ross and John F. Hultquist
independent

Hmmmm?
After looking over your SCL/LOD/AMO graph it appears to me that the variables are somewhat “correlated” [and perhaps(?) implying causation]. That was my reason [and possibly John Hultquist’s reason too] for questioning your use of the word “independent.”

wayne
August 18, 2010 9:57 pm

The LOD seems to be lagging the AMO & SCL by a few years but correlating well. Can you see?

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 10:22 pm

Re: Jeff L – and further to this.
I have sent Anthony 2 supplementary graphs (which he is welcome to add in an “update”).
Notes on notation:
GLAAM = global atmospheric angular momentum
NOR = nutation in obliquity residual
[] indicates time-integration
SOI = Southern Oscillation Index
f(x) on the SOI, GLAAM, LOD graph indicates a filter that isolates interannual features. This result has been known to scientists for decades, so my SOI, GLAAM, LOD graph is simply a sample of what I discovered last year when I audited their claims using my own approaches. (If anyone wants the literature references, please feel welcome to request them and I’ll dig them out.)
Also:
Correction:
I’ve noticed that sunspot numbers been moved to a new directory since the last time I looked a few months ago:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/INTERNATIONAL/monthly/
Please keep data URLs stable. This is important to researchers who regularly update files for hundreds of indices. Thank you if this request can be courteously accommodated.

Paul Vaughan
August 18, 2010 10:28 pm

Re: F. Ross
might be “no”? [ :

F. Ross
August 18, 2010 11:16 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
August 18, 2010 at 10:28 pm
Re: F. Ross
might be “no”? [ :

Maybe. If I knew anything about it. 🙂
Thanks again for the interesting post.

aWebSurfer
August 18, 2010 11:36 pm

It’s a bit confusing. Paul, can the answer to the question, as you framed it, be “yes”?
And what do you think? Is a corelation or even a relation not even likely?

August 18, 2010 11:54 pm

Re phlogiston: “AMO in the last century or two has been regular and sinusoidal, and is not on the downward turn from the peak in about 2005. ”
It is on the downward turn, at least temporary as in 1945.
OHC dropping since 2005 confirms that.
http://climexp.knmi.nl/data/inodc_heat700_280-360E_0-70N_na.png

tallbloke
August 19, 2010 12:04 am

When I plotted the EIRS data last year, it looked like the interannual variation related to exchanges of angular momentum between the atmosperic circulation (GLAAM) and the mass of the Earth’s crust were a small signal relative to the approx ten times larger changes in LOD taking place on multi-decadal timescales. It seems unlikely to me that windspeed changes that much over decades, so I came to the conclusion that most of the longer term change in LOD is caused by something else.
I plotted Richard Gross’ LOD data from 1840 against detrended global temperature and also the vertical motion of the solar equatorial plane relative to the centre of mass of the solar system and got this result:
http://tallbloke.wordpress.com/2009/11/29/planetary-solar-climate-connection-found/
This post is well timed because I have a meeting arranged tomorrow with a prof at my university who is a specialist in LOD and terrestrial mechanics. I’ll report back.

Paul Vaughan
August 19, 2010 12:25 am

“Could you give us more of a clue as to plausible mechanisms and provide some indication of the coherence at peak spectral frequencies?”
I will leave the former to physicists. Regarding the latter: Just by eyeballing, one can see what cross-wavelet analysis would confirm: both coherence & nonstationarity.
sky wrote:
“I’m not sure what you’re ultimately suggesting […]”
My primary interest is unexplained patterns in terrestrial polar motion ~1930 (+/- ~10 years). Climate modelers have an insufficient grasp of the terrestrial hydrologic cycle. This is not a trivial deficiency.

Ralph
August 19, 2010 12:41 am

>>Haan
>>“In order to put the cherry on the cake you could consider to add the CO2 graph.”
And the temperature record too.
With a peak in the 1940s and a trough 1n the 1970s, this looks like the temperature record too.
.

Ralph
August 19, 2010 1:04 am

New graphs.
Interesting. I seem to see here a correlation between the:
Solar Cycle SCL
and Earth’s rotation speed LOD
and Earth’s nuation NOR (nodding motion)
Is this correlation statistically significant?
And if so, what is the mechanism by which the Solar Cycle can effect the rotation and angle of inclination of the Earth? Or has the Earth just got into a gravitational synchronicity with the Solar Cycle – because the Solar Cycle is effected and controlled by the gravity of Jupiter and Saturn? (like the Moon’s obvious synchronicity with the Earth.)
.

stephen richards
August 19, 2010 1:18 am

BIL ILLIS
The July 2010 AAM was one the lowest ever recorded signaling strengthening La Nina conditions.
What exactly does this phrase mean please? What’s its significance?

Paul Vaughan
August 19, 2010 1:28 am

tallbloke, I see in your article (to which you linked) the following:
“Extra info added: The data is smoothed over 24 years (Two Jupiter orbits) and retarded 30 years. This is indicative of the inertia involved in the LOD variation lagging behind solar motion. H/t to Paul Vaughan for recommending I make this explicit.”
While you are correct in attributing the former to me, I now suggest that you claim ownership for the latter notion, which is at variance with my interpretation of your graph. What you have isolated is primarily the period of Saturn (arbitrarily shifted horizontally). I encourage you to reconsider your interpretation of the work of R. Gross. Gross’ work draws attention to pressure variations. Pressure variations and flows are not independent. Solar system & lunisolar (tidal) variables are confounded.
I encourage everyone to look at the works of R. Gross for themselves (so thank you tallbloke for finding a creative way to put attention where it needs to be). If anyone is seeking the literature references, let me know and I’ll dig them out.

meemoe_uk
August 19, 2010 1:32 am

Looking good. One stamp of approval this correlation has is Leif hasn’t turned up yet and told you it’s all wrong.

August 19, 2010 1:51 am

Paul I tend to find your posts a bit cryptic, which is a shame because I also feel you are on to really important material in opening up the astronomical drivers of climate. This makes me think it’s time for another book like Nigel Calder’s book on Svensmark The Chilling Stars, written so that ordinary people can read and understand it, that explains the science as you go.
I think there are many people here who sense there is important material developing, and would like to see it written up for newcomers, properly underpinned by commonsense scientific method.
Rex Allan’s link I found really helpful this way – good science (tho I have a couple queries), clearly spelled out with nice friendly pics, and an interesting reason why TSI correlates with, but clearly does not drive, our climate fluctuations.
I would love to see a book all about all the solar system correlations with LOD, oceanic and atmospheric fluctuations, and correlations with weather (some correlations being delayed, which shows the direction of causality). A book that can take on Landscheidt, Shaviv, Scafetta, David Archibald, and many others, but at the same time can accommodate Leif’s data where there are serious challenges.
Tallbloke, anyone?

jwurster
August 19, 2010 2:35 am

Is there a correlation or lag factor association between increased earthquake activity and Glaam?

John A
August 19, 2010 2:48 am

Can I ask for all of the sources of the data used in the article to be posted?

August 19, 2010 3:25 am

Hi Paul, I have also noticed the same trends but was unaware of the LOD correlation. Perhaps some of the metrics are results of others (GLAAM, LOD, SOI etc), but looking at the timing when all these events come together gives a clue I think. Now, 1970 and 1900 where we see dips in the graph we also see solar angular momentum at its lows. I dont think this is a coincidence and would presume the same patterns happen during Dalton and Maunder type episodes. Scafetta is also suggesting something similar in his last paper with the PDO line up.
There are so many climate drivers pointing to a big cooling this NH winter.

1DandyTroll
August 19, 2010 4:52 am

I like simple. More sun, warmer, less sun, colder.
I’m betting Mann can manipulate his CO2 schtick to fit you’re data so that the CAGW proponents can take it as CO2 is inflicting changes in LOD. :-()

tallbloke
August 19, 2010 5:30 am

Paul Vaughan says:
August 19, 2010 at 1:28 am
I encourage you to reconsider your interpretation of the work of R. Gross. Gross’ work draws attention to pressure variations. Pressure variations and flows are not independent. Solar system & lunisolar (tidal) variables are confounded.

Sure, the lag explanation is mine not yours.
Richard Gross talks about seabed level pressure changes in the oceans being responsible for the Chandler wobble, not LOD variation, though maybe you think the two are linked? Pressure changes in the ocean above the crust would largely be independent of changes in the flows in molten material below the crust I would have thought.
“July 17, 2000 – Eureka Alert – Washington
Writing in the August 1 issue of Geophysical Research Letters, Richard S. Gross of NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory reports that the principal cause of the Chandler wobble is fluctuating pressure on the bottom of the ocean, caused by temperature and salinity changes and wind-driven changes in the circulation of the oceans. He determined this by applying numerical models of the oceans, which have only recently become available through the work of other researchers, to data on the Chandler wobble obtained during the years 1985-1995. Gross calculated that two-thirds of the Chandler wobble is caused by ocean-bottom pressure changes and the remaining one-third by fluctuations in atmospheric pressure. He says that the effect of atmospheric winds and ocean currents on the wobble was minor.

He also talks about sub-crustal currents being responsible for multidecadal LOD variation, which is an order of magnitude bigger than the interannual variation.
http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/news/features.cfm?feature=15
“The annual changes in the length of the day,” says Gross, “are caused mostly by the atmosphere — changes in the strength and direction of the winds, especially the jet stream (Unlike the Chandler Wobble). The Sun warms the equator more than the poles. That temperature difference is largely responsible for the jet stream. Seasonal changes in that temperature difference cause changes in the winds and, hence, the length of the day.”
The longer patterns in changes of the length of the day can last for decades. “These are caused by processes within Earth’s core,” says Gross. “The core is a fluid. Its motion generates Earth’s magnetic field. Changes in its motion can change the rotation of solid Earth. Observing the magnetic field at the surface gives us an idea of how fluid is moving within the core. These changes in the fluid motion inferred from the magnetic field match the longer period changes we see in the length of the day.”

My parentheses and bold.

Lindsay Holland
August 19, 2010 5:41 am

A Study done on the impact of solar flares on LOD showed intence solar flares could slow the planets LOD by several miliseconds and that periods of quiet sun allowed the LOD to increase.
Several miliseconds represents an enormous transfer of energy !
Came from an early russian paper I think.

Jeff L
August 19, 2010 5:47 am

Paul,
JL

phlogiston
August 19, 2010 6:11 am

Juraj V. says:
August 18, 2010 at 11:54 pm
Re phlogiston: “AMO in the last century or two has been regular and sinusoidal, and is not on the downward turn from the peak in about 2005. ”
It is on the downward turn, at least temporary as in 1945.
Thanks, that was a typo, I had meant to say it is on the downward turn.

tallbloke
August 19, 2010 6:13 am

Lucy Skywalker says:
August 19, 2010 at 1:51 am
I would love to see a book all about all the solar system correlations with LOD, oceanic and atmospheric fluctuations, and correlations with weather (some correlations being delayed, which shows the direction of causality). A book that can take on Landscheidt, Shaviv, Scafetta, David Archibald, and many others, but at the same time can accommodate Leif’s data where there are serious challenges.
Tallbloke, anyone?

I’d love to see some metrics on the sales of similar recent books before I took the plunge. 🙂

Gail Combs
August 19, 2010 6:25 am

John A says:
August 19, 2010 at 2:48 am
Can I ask for all of the sources of the data used in the article to be posted?
________________________________________-
Paul answered that here: Paul Vaughan says:
August 18, 2010 at 6:12 pm
Re: Jeff L
I have time to address one of your questions now Jeff. (Maybe there will be time to address others later.)
Data sources are as follows:
1) Sunspot Numbers (R):
vertical (in one column) format:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/MONTHLY.PLT
tabular (12 months per row) format:
ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/MONTHLY
info: ftp://ftp.ngdc.noaa.gov/STP/SOLAR_DATA/SUNSPOT_NUMBERS/SS-10CM.txt
2) Length of Day (LOD):
1832-1997:
http://hpiers.obspm.fr/eoppc/series/longterm/jpl_c.eop
The series was extended (1997-2010) by computing summaries from 1962+ daily data:
http://www.iers.org/products/177/11221/orig/eopc04_IAU2000.62-now
http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/data/correlation/amon.us.long.data
info: http://www.cdc.noaa.gov/data/timeseries/AMO/
Paul Vaughan says:
August 18, 2010 at 6:27 pm
Re: Ric Werme
Solar cycle length was determined objectively using a Morlet 2pi wavelet.

August 19, 2010 7:12 am

Sean says:
August 18, 2010 at 5:00 pm

I’m not the smartest guy in the room but I always though length of day decreased when the world got colder and there was more mass at the poles (snow and ice) rather than as water at the equator. Kind of like a skater concentrating more mass on the axis of rotation. Is this way too simplistic?

Oh, yes. (from downunder where spring is just about to kick in…)

Steve Keohane
August 19, 2010 7:21 am

I have been wondering about the LOD for a few years. The obvious is the change from redistribution of mass towards the poles=faster rotation, shorter days. Others have mentioned above, mechanisms from solar input effecting a change in LOD. At this time we may not be able to separate whether the rotation delta is from a change on earth, or from external effects. The amplitude of rotation change as depicted in the graphs above seem to be small, where it is actually in the 5 millisecond range since 1973.
http://i36.tinypic.com/30d88dh.jpg
Overall, rotation has slowed 22 seconds since 1973. http://www.iris.washington.edu/data/problem/2006/timing_issue.htm

Bill Illis
August 19, 2010 7:57 am

stephen richards says:
August 19, 2010 at 1:18 am; “what is the significance of GLAAM being one of the lowest ever recorded in July, 2010.”
It means the Trade Winds and equatorial ocean currents were very strong towards the west (against the rotation) (mostly between 30N to 40S) (which counter-intuitively actually sped up the rotation and shortened the length of the day a little).
It really just means that conditions that help a La Nina to strengthen were very high in July.
There are a lot of studies on AAM, LOD and the ENSO. Just search it on Google or Google Scholar.
Today’s Ocean SST map shows the Nino 3.4 area, in particular, really cooled off in the last week. It is probably just a short-term blip where the cooler eddies converged for a short time because there is still 3 to 4 months to go before this La Nina peaks and this cooler water in the Nino 3.4 will be near Indonesia by that time.
http://www.osdpd.noaa.gov/data/sst/anomaly/2010/anomnight.8.19.2010.gif

David L. Hagen
August 19, 2010 8:26 am

Interesting the increasing correlation of the angular momentum variations of the solar system with the Sun’s Angular Momentum (AM) and Earth’s Length Of Day (LOD), or angular momentum.
I. R. G. Wilson, B. D. Carter, and I. A. Waite, Does a Spin–Orbit Coupling Between the Sun and the Jovian Planets Govern the Solar Cycle Astronomical Society of Australia 2008
10.1071/AS06018 1323-3580/08/02085
(Sharp is being bashful.) See:
Are Uranus & Neptune responsible for Solar Grand Minima and Solar Cycle Modulation? Sharp G.J., Melbourne Australia, May 31 2010 in Physics/Geophysics, Cornell University Library.
See numerous links and discussion at: Beyond Landscheidt
See especially: Spin Orbit Coupling, the Missing Angular Momentum Found?
Note that the LOD or Angular momentum variations in the earth precede and correlate with the POD which in turn impacts earth’s climate.
I posit that correspondingly, the planetary or solar system’s angular momentum variations driving the Sun’s angular momentum, in turn will drive fluid flows in the Sun which will affect the solar meridonal flow and the sunspot cycles.
(PS This may already be in some of these papers. Have not read them in detail yet.)
Thus the angular momentum of the planets impacts both the sun’s and earth’s angular momentum, and in turn BOTH the fluid flows on the Sun and on the Earth, driving climate changes via BOTH solar cycles, and earth’s ocean and atmospheric oscillations (PDO, AMO etc.) and thus the ENSO, El Nino, La Nina, and temperature changes in ocean surfaces and the atmosphere. i.e. the planetary angular momentum drives earth’s climate change.

Chris Knight
August 19, 2010 8:28 am

The LOD changes because the angular momentum of the atmosphere is exchanged with that of the solid/liquid surface of the earth (and other bits of the solar system.)
The earth’s atmosphere changes somewhat (temperature, height, density, composition) with solar activity. During periods of high solar activity, ultraviolet solar radiation is also high, which heats the stratosphere due to ozone production and other photochemistry. The thermosphere also gets hotter due to stronger solar wind events, associated with increased sunspot activity. The gases are quite rarefied, and obey well-known gas laws.
Nearer the earth’s surface, the troposphere, which depends on longer wavelength solar radiation in the visible spectrum for heating from the earth’s surface, is much less affected since the solar irradiation in the visible spectrum is less variable than UV during the solar cycle.
Presumably the height of the troposphere changes in line with the changes in the upper atmosphere, altering the capacity of the troposphere to contain heat, thus affecting the patterns in the atmospheric turbulence we see as weather, and eventually climate.
This redistribution of atmospheric mass has a “ballerina” effect, slowing down the earth’s rotation.
Short term LOD rate changes are due to seasonal temperature effects at the poles, as the troposphere chills and reduces in height during polar winter, and the amounts of sea ice rotating as a solid, instead of as liquid ocean.
The noise in the system comes from weather pressure systems, and their interaction with land and ocean, phenomena such as ENSO and the lunisolar tides, nodal, apsidal, and other cycles that move masses of water and land in complex and quasi-predictable ways.

August 19, 2010 9:01 am

There has been a decline in strength of the ENSO 3.4 region in the past two weeks which corresponds with the weakening SOI , the GLAAM record is also down slightly. But this may be a short term trend.
BOM Australia measures a sub surface decline of 1 deg C from last months low of -4 deg C in the equatorial region . http://www.bom.gov.au/climate/enso/
With the ultra high AAO, the current La Nina should head south again soon.

David L. Hagen
August 19, 2010 9:48 am

Ian Wilson shows LOD precedes POD. He concludes:

“Orbital motion – Jovian planets > Spin-orbit Coupling > Solar rotation > The level of solar activity
Orbital motion – Jovian planets > External phenomenon > Earth’s Rotation > PDO > Earth’s mean temp.”

Dr T G Watkins
August 19, 2010 1:25 pm

I agree with Lucy Skywalker. I need a primer.Her link was well worth a read.
Very interesting and informative comments from very clever people.
Great to see some Aussies to the fore!

tallbloke
August 19, 2010 3:36 pm

Lindsay Holland says:
August 19, 2010 at 5:41 am (Edit)
A Study done on the impact of solar flares on LOD showed intence solar flares could slow the planets LOD by several miliseconds and that periods of quiet sun allowed the LOD to increase.
Several miliseconds represents an enormous transfer of energy !
Came from an early russian paper I think.

Interesting.I think Lindsay means the quiet Sun allowed the LOD to decrease, i.e. speed up.

AJB
August 19, 2010 3:42 pm
Malcolm Miller
August 19, 2010 4:09 pm

I worked on Earth rotation for 15 years at Mounts Stromlo Observatory. Anything that affecte the mass distribution near the surface of the planet changes the moment of inertia enough to affect the rotation rate, whether distribution of air, water, wind, tree growth, of the movement of magma under the crust.

Paul Vaughan
August 19, 2010 5:30 pm

tallbloke, have you looked at the mismatch between those core models and the observed decadal LOD variations? Those folks have some miles to go. Bear in mind that global atmospheric angular momentum records do not go back to 1930. (That is the reason they give for not being able to explain the phase reversal.) Also, bear in mind that there is redundancy in EOP. (One only needs 3 of the 5 EOP – i.e. they are not independent.) Thanks for sharing the notes.

phlogiston
August 19, 2010 6:14 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
August 18, 2010 at 8:10 pm, 9:08 pm
Thanks for the helpful clarification of the terminology and stats, wavelets etc. Are we in a Chandler wobble now? PDO has gone negative but AMO is still positive, soon to turn negative also. From your list of phenomena, many are evident at present, except North American droughts and “stratospheric volcanos” (been watching Avatar too many times? 🙂
Lot of great research going on here – it would be nice for it to be condensed and simplified / summarised in the form of a short paper on how all these processes implact / drive climate.
David L. Hagen says:
August 18, 2010 at 7:23 pm
Thanks, I just read Sidorenkov, Wilson and Khlystov 2010 from your list. This seems very compelling indeed. Here is an extract:
Ian Wilson et al. (2008) presented evidence that claimed that changes in the Sun’s equatorial rotation rate are synchronized with changes in the Sun’s orbital motion about the barycentre of the Solar System. This paper showed that the recent maximum asymmetries in the Solar motion about the barycentre have occurred in the years 1865, 1900, 1934, 1970 and 2007. These years closely match the points of inflection in the Earth’s LOD.
What jumps out from this is that the years 1865, 1900, 1934, 1970 and 2007 are the max-min-max-min-max global temperature inflections of a 70 year PDO-AMO oceanic cycle. Departures of the barycentre from the sub-Jupiter point appear to directly drive this oscillation. This makes the case strongly for planetary gravitational driving of the multidecadal oceanic-climate cycles, and indeed as you point out later, the solar cycles. So the apparent solar to climate correlation becomes trivial when seen as two systems driven by the same planetary forcing. This feels like cutting through swathes of climate debate and AGW distraction and flipping to the answers at the end of the text book.
This also contradicts Leif Svalgaard who asserts that planetary gravitation effects on solar dynamics are minimal. Perhaps he is referring to a different thing – a lot of complex stuff happens on the sun.
It thus seems hugely important, and would firmly establish a 70 year oceanic-climate oscillation on a mechanistic base (planetary-gravitational). If confirmed it would constitute a foundation stone of climate science. It is more than worth a posting on WUWT in its own right.
However what about the longer term apparent oscillations, associated with the MWP, LIA, current warm period, the 1470yr “Bond event” cycle etc. Can this body of theory involving solar motion asymmetry and LOD etc., be extended to account for these longer term climate oscillations? And then, the glacial-interglacial switching?

David L. Hagen
August 19, 2010 6:56 pm

phlogiston

So the apparent solar to climate correlation becomes trivial when seen as two systems driven by the same planetary forcing. This feels like cutting through swathes of climate debate and AGW distraction and flipping to the answers at the end of the text book.

That’s what these papers make it look like it.
Now calling all statisticians to seriously chew over this data and quantify the significance of the correlations and causations. Especially with so many simultaneous effects and auto correlations.
PS “70 year PDO-AMO”
See Don Easterbrook – shows a 60 year PDO cycle.
e.g., See: Where are we headed during the coming century?

tallbloke
August 19, 2010 11:20 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
August 19, 2010 at 5:30 pm
tallbloke, have you looked at the mismatch between those core models and the observed decadal LOD variations? Those folks have some miles to go.

Hi Paul, yes, they frankly admit that they can’t model the ‘chaotic’ nature of the core flows. For Example, Andy Jackson at Zurich says of the Riga experiment:

“In the last decade we’ve made great advances in using numerical simulations to understand planetary magnetic field generation, but there are some real drawbacks with these computations.
“For example, it’s almost impossible for us to model turbulent flow. There’s a place for the experiments to try to fill in the gap that’s left by the numerical simulations.
“The experiments really can reproduce this turbulent regime that’s so important in the core.”

Bear in mind that global atmospheric angular momentum records do not go back to 1930. (That is the reason they give for not being able to explain the phase reversal.) Also, bear in mind that there is redundancy in EOP. (One only needs 3 of the 5 EOP – i.e. they are not independent.)
My model which quantifies my hypothesised link between solar activity and ocean heat content tells me that there was a major ocean heat content regime shift around the time of your Chandler wobble phase reversal. It is masked in the global SST record by the big PDO reversals around 1910 and 1940. Maybe data from other ocean basins could tell us more, and support or refute Gross on his seabed pressure theory.
Thanks for sharing the notes.
Well done for getting Anthony to give airtime to this interesting and important subject on WUWT.

Paul Vaughan
August 20, 2010 1:27 am

tallbloke, the negative of the integral of AMO points right at the Chandler wobble phase reversal. The peak splits a peak in the integral of PDO. When considering this, keep in mind that the integral of GLAAM matches the integral of PDO for the era during which GLAAM records exist. The Chandler wobble phase reversal coincides temporally with a reversal of spatial phase relations across the major northern hemisphere ocean basins. For quite awhile I was thinking about decadal-timescale ocean currents when thinking about this, but further digging into a variety of indices has caused me to begin suspecting a substantial role for atmospheric teleconnections. Looks like an area where Bob Tisdale might be able to contribute further (in the weeks/months/years ahead, without ever needing to mention EOP etc., if/when he has time/interest).

Paul Vaughan
August 20, 2010 2:23 am

Ralph wrote:
“Is this correlation statistically significant? […] what is the mechanism […] ?”
I will leave these matters to statisticians & physicists – and I guarantee them I will show little tolerance for untenable model assumptions, such as randomness, i.i.d. (independent, identically distributed), etc. which are thrown around far too liberally.
If the assumptions do not hold, they cannot form the basis of objective reasoning. Journal editors: Tradition is an insufficient reason for insisting on continuing to pretend. Responsibility is multi-faceted. False modeling assumptions are causing substantial problems for our society & civilization. Misleading conventions can & will be challenged. To respond in a practical & nonradical fashion: Consider simply reserving the option to show some flexibility on a case-by-case basis as a start.

Jeff L wrote:
“Could you […] give us an R^2?”
I’ll leave that exercise to others. The links to the data have been provided. I would not be content with just an r^2. I would want to run a full time-integrated cross-correlation analysis (to be summarized in a color-contour plot with lag on the x-axis, timescale on the y-axis, and cross-correlation on the z-axis), but as with basic spectral analysis (such as simple FFT) resulting summaries can be misleading when dealing with nonstationary series, so I would also do a cross-wavelet analysis (plotting phase-differences on the z-axis as a function of time on the x-axis & timescale on the y-axis). I will produce the analyses if/when I receive substantial funding.

Paul Vaughan
August 20, 2010 3:11 am

Cautionary note to those who have posted about indices of solar system dynamics: They are confounded with lunisolar tides.
Also: Those of you quoting Ian Wilson appear to be missing some of the recent advances in his thinking.
In particular: I strongly recommend that those of you citing the spin-orbit coupling paper make the effort to update your knowledge in light of developments.
One way to make time for new lines of research is to abandon other lines of research. This does not necessarily mean old lines of research were not worthwhile; however, sometimes sequence matters (“cart before the horse” thing) – (in this case research sequence).

meemoe_uk wrote: “One stamp of approval this correlation has is Leif hasn’t turned up yet and told you it’s all wrong.”
I do not interpret Leif’s absence from this thread as an endorsement. The graph proves nothing. I have simply introduced a question. Until physicists can explain everything, there will be questions.

Chris and Lucy, Thanks for your supportive comments. Bill: great graph. Chris, Bill, and Malcolm, Thanks for the notes.

phlogiston
August 20, 2010 11:02 am

Paul Vaughan says:
August 20, 2010 at 3:11 am
Also: Those of you quoting Ian Wilson appear to be missing some of the recent advances in his thinking.
In particular: I strongly recommend that those of you citing the spin-orbit coupling paper make the effort to update your knowledge in light of developments.
One way to make time for new lines of research is to abandon other lines of research. This does not necessarily mean old lines of research were not worthwhile; however, sometimes sequence matters (“cart before the horse” thing) – (in this case research sequence).

What are you saying here? – that a planetary gravitational basis of the AMO/PDO via solar rotation asymmetry is just seooooooo last year!
And what developments – have the orbits of the planets changed?
I’m sure it would be a priviledge to talk to Ian Wilson and find out his latest thinking. There is this phenomenon called the death of the artist – once a work is created, it has an independent life of its own. The paper by Sidorenkov, Wilson and Khlystov that we were so unfashionably discussing (published in 2010 but apparently already passee) presented a compelling idea of movements of the solar system barycentre having a significant climate influence, and this is important stuff. Even if Wilson has now converted to 6 day creationism and believes in a flat earth, this work is important. In its own right.
Is there a reason for the model proposed by Sidorenkov et al. being wrong, other than being past its sell by date? /sarc off 🙂

David O. Smith
August 20, 2010 11:44 am

I am not surprised that LOD’, AMO, and SCL are positively correlated. While not generally recognized by mainstream science, the earth is a charged body in the electric field of the sun. A charged body in an electric field will spin and the rate of spin is determined by the strength of the electric field and the charge on the body. The sunspot number is a proxy for the strength of the sun’s electric field (the more sunspots the stronger the field). One variable that climate scientists do not take into account when modeling climatic changes is the amount of electric energy imparted to the earth from the sun. The sunspot cycle is probably correlated with the positions of Saturn and Jupiter for the most part, but it is also affected by the solar system’s position in the galactic electric field. The correlations shown by Paul Vaughn tend to corroborate the electrical nature of the universe and falsify the assumption of mainstream astronomers and cosmologists that the sun (and every other star) is a nuclear fusion furnace.

sky
August 20, 2010 12:01 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
August 19, 2010 at 12:25 am
I always applaud when someone uses genuine time-series analysis methods, instead of some ad hoc contrivance, on climate data. That’s why I assumed you had done the cross-wavelet analysis that would quantify the coherence between LOD’ and AMO or the sunspot cycle. Eyeballing is OK, but is seldom well-calibrated. Can you give us some values for the frequency band with the highest coherence between LOD’ and AMO? Also, how do you obtain a continuous variable for the apparent sunspot cycle-length? Did you use the Hilbert transform, which provides the instantaneous amplitude and frequency for narrow band-signals?
I’m glad that as a biologist you leave the physics to physicists. Purely phenomenological analyses, however, run the risk attributing a more intimate physical relationship to concommitant variables than they possess. I doubt that LOD’, which lags AMO, can be its driver. And your attention to the Chandler wobble leaves me puzzled. The entire wobble is contained within a radius of a dozen meters. How can this materially affect the climate system?

Paul Vaughan
August 20, 2010 6:26 pm

Re: David O. Smith
While I’ve little knowledge of the branch of physics you discuss, I’m quite sure that the physicists who regularly comment at WUWT disagree absolutely with what you are suggesting. In any case, it is not the physics that interests me, but rather the timing

Re: phlogiston
I appreciate your sense of humor – (meant sincerely).
Lunisolar tides are confounded with solar system dynamics. People like to believe all sorts of things. In this case, there is an option to believe in something that is both close to home and inoffensive to conventional minds. [I’ve heard that the confounding is addressed in a paper which has been drafted by a physicist… (no further comment on the paper at this time).]

Paul Vaughan
August 20, 2010 6:59 pm

Re: sky
SCL was determined using a complex Morlet 2pi wavelet.
The coherence band will be strong & nonstationary. (I have enough experience running cross-wavelet analyses to see this without running the analysis.)
If/when funding comes through, I’ll consider publicizing the results of a cross-wavelet analysis. (Note: Private investment is welcome.)
Important clarification: I’m viewing EOP (Earth orientation parameters [polar motion, LOD, nutation residuals]) as climate indicators (not drivers!).
One thing I haven’t figured out how to do yet is put more than one curve on a graph without having people start assuming I am proposing physical drivers. I investigate timing using methodology drawn mainly from ecology, physical geography, engineering, & statistics.
Thank you sincerely for your comments & interest. I look forward to future exchanges.

phlogiston
August 20, 2010 11:18 pm

Paul Vaughan says:
August 20, 2010 at 6:26 pm
Lunisolar tides – looks like I’ve got some homework to do. I’ll look out for any new papers by “a physicist”.
Thanks for this interesting and thought-provoking post and thread.

Paul Vaughan
August 21, 2010 4:42 am

phlogiston,
My computing account (from my previous research work) is due to expire, but for now this remains posted:
Note on Confounding of Lunisolar Harmonic Spectrum & Solar System Dynamics – http://www.sfu.ca/~plv/Confounding.htm
[Note: Although I have stopped updating the notes on volcanism, the work has continued. There are newer results (not yet written up) that eclipse what is posted.]
Keep an eye on Ian Wilson’s evolving research.

Stephen Wilde
September 4, 2010 12:54 pm

Interesting stuff and at present somewhat beyond my capability to comment constructively.
However the mechanisms that give rise to oceanic and solar cycles are very important to top and tail my attempt at setting out a coherent climate overview and describing the way the troposphere then deals with (possibly independent) influences from within the oceans and from variable solar activity.
However I do have some questions.
How significant are all these potential mechanisms compared to the variability that the sun and oceans would be quite capable of setting up on their own within the climate system from just changing the global albedo via latitudinal shifts in all the main cloud bands and thus introducing variability of solar shortwave input into the oceans ? Then the internal structure of the oceans and density/ salinity/ temperature driven cycling movement within them would do the rest.
Couldn’t the sun and oceans pretty much do it all on their own ?
Wouldn’t all those potential mechanisms just provide a modulating effect possibly a whole order of magnitude weaker ?

Paul Vaughan
September 4, 2010 8:23 pm

Lots of interesting questions you’ve raised for the physicists Stephen.
The following is intended to be more provocative than accurate:
Solar cycle length RATCHETS against THE SEASONS of the year.
Further discussion has moved to:
http://wattsupwiththat.com/2010/09/04/the-north-pacific-solar-cycle-change/
Best Regards,
Paul.

Ulric Lyons
September 5, 2010 4:15 am

P.V.
“Changes in wind patterns affect temperature patterns.”
And the contrary ?