Earth motion, LoD and SORCE, mystery

Posted: June 19, 2012 by tchannon in Analysis, Cycles, Dataset, solar system dynamics

I have unexpected results to do with LoD (Length of Day) Earth LoD does have a significant earth oribital factor but it does not amplitude or phase match earth distance. Present this first as pictures.


Figure 1


Figure 2


Figure 3


Figure 4


Figure 5

ratio 47.98 1.13

Figure 6

Figure 6, confirmation of ratio of fundamental to second harmonic via transform.

Something completely unexpected has turned up during data preparation to do with helping someone elsewhere. Perhaps I simply didn’t know about this in which case can someone explain why this result is so? I would appreciate a sanity check in case I have made a mistake.

I was working on LoD (Length of [Earth] Day) daily data, specifically looking at the 1 year and 0.5 year characteristic, which is to do with the orbit around the sun. Although slightly elliptical it is very closely approximated by a Fourier pair, 1y fundamental and 0.5y second harmonic. On using software here to lock to and subtract out this signal, something I do often with data and have done on this dataset before, I noticed it didn’t look right.

Been busy on personal matters. On coming back to the problem I decided to do a compare with earth orbital distance to get the relative phase and ratio of amplitudes. An obvious source of data is SORCE TSI at earth distance. (which I already know) SORCE data of course shows closet approach 4th January. And LoD?

This result is so strange a careful sanity check is needed. I’ve reworked using a common time frame instead of the fancy referencing I tend to do. (completely valid anyway, turns out it doesn’t make the slightest difference)

Reworked, SORCE data commences 20030225.5, 25th February 2003 at 12 hours. Data is common to 15th May 2012, end of LoD dataset.


SORCE using full mission daily. Data column 10.

LoD l’Observatoire of Paris (same data as iers site), take link “Celestial Pole offsets (dX,dY) referred to the precession-nutation model IAU 2000” which produces a text file of daily data 1962 onwards. Data column labelled oddly enough LoD.

Large XLS of data used and working models. (literally used to do the plots etc.) The model phase and amplitudes can be taken as accurate. Phase is relative to data start date.

Post by Tim Channon

(note, might comment little, I still have serious computer problems here, still have to find a fix for backup drive / software failure)

  1. wayne says:

    Tim, would like to help but your ‘xls’ gives an “Office Validation” error upon trying to open it. Maybe you should just pass it as an “.XLSX” file, a zipped conglomerate of xml files for that can be used no matter which exact version of excel is installed if they don’t match.

  2. Roy Martin says:

    File opened OK and saved as .ods with OpenOffice Calc. No silly messages.

  3. tchannon says:

    wayne, there are problems over providing anything at all because WordPress has a very restricted set of allowed file suffix. I am actually using OpenOffice (not current) so that is an export.
    Generally I put effort into providing accessible material, a minefield of incompatibilities.

    In this case I don’t know of a workaround unless stripping out content or turning the spreadsheet static (without calculations) would help, but then I would need to try and write up details of all the calculations. (none of it complex or hairy, all simple stuff)

    In this case if you say it is okay I am assuming you are using MS Excel and I will email the original .ods but please tell me it is okay to email a 2M file.
    See Microsoft saying you can open ODS

    Reminder, as a moderator I can see all given email addresses so I can email files in other formats, you can always ask.

  4. Clive Best says:

    I am not sure I fully understand your analysis but here are some thoughts:
    – A change in angular velocity of the Earth (LOD) means a change in moment of inertia. It is interesting that there seems to be a step function increase in LOD coincident with the Indian Ocean Tsunami. The earthquake moved the asia plate up several meters.
    – The Earth is closest to the Sun during summer in the southern hemisphere which also is 80% ocean. I wonder if expansion increase the moment of inertia, an the phase lag would then be the delay in warming by a month or so.

  5. tchannon says:

    Yes one candidate is the moment of inertia varying with solar heating, the planet gets larger (ballerina effect). The phase looks reasonable for this, with an increase in LoD with increase in solar radiation. A time lag is to be expected.
    This seems so obvious I assume someone must have computed the change in earth parameters and whether it matches LoD data.

    The second harmonic is more troubling. For a start why is it so large? What is the driving parameter?

  6. Tenuc says:

    Thanks Tim. Linkage apparent, but TSI could be a proxy for other forms of solar energy feeding the Earth, like magnetic fields, ions, electrons e.t.c. Perhaps the lag is caused by Earth’s massive inertia?

  7. wayne says:

    Tim, now I’m back and by just saying it was openoffice saved as xls was enough. It opened fine in oo. The app hitting the bad file validation was Excel 2003, my default for xls. In the future if you need to ever pass something, you’ve got my permission. 🙂

  8. tchannon says:

    Cracked it.

    Anyone what to help? Best done in private. Any dab hands at paper search?
    If this is new it ought to be a paper, not my scene.

  9. As to the second harmonic, one of the two peaks coincides with the closest approach to the sun which is when the Earth is on the far side of the sun from the center of the galaxy, and the TSI responds in kind/phase. When the earth is between the center of the galaxy and the sun, the increases in magnetic flux causes the second weaker TSI pulse, but the inductive drives of the homopolar generator effects gives, an almost as strong pulse in LOD shift, you should also see slight (daily scale) shifts (with a pulse length of about a week) in LOD at all Synod conjunctions.

    There is a lot of inductive effects in the orbital dynamics that are assumed to be noise but can be filtered for by their base periods, IE every Jupiter heliocentric conjunction, or of Saturn, and any of the others alone or in concert showing enhancements to the LOD signals daily patterns.

  10. wayne says:

    Seems the half year component may have to do with the increase of rainfall on each of the respective hemispheres moving ‘x’ amount of mass higher than sea level from the oceans. The peaks seem to be at about the right time of year for each and size. Surely that affects the LoD to some degree.

  11. Clive Best says:

    The second harmonic looks like it could be the equinoxes. The sun is overhead at the equator twice a year and seems to be in sync with the maxima. I would be interested to know whether there is a monthly signal as well in the LoD data corresponding to the lunar cycle. There is beautiful evidence of the lunar signal in TSI see here.

  12. Clive, if you sum together the vectors of the declinational movements and the phases they slide in and out of phase with each other through the year, so when the moon is above the equator at spring and fall equinox we have the biggest tides, and the most change in Earth sun distance for a ~30 day month period which is always full moon or new moon depending on season and whether the moon is moving North or South across the equator.

    The full and new moons occur at the maximum culminations North or South at the solstices which would vectorly weaken the distance effect on the TSI for these seasons and should be compensated for in calculating total TSI / lunar phase effects. JMHO.

    The full moons occur at the maximum culmination for each of the poles in their winter time which gives the local hunters enough light to see by.

  13. Joe Lalonde says:


    Your making the EXACT same mistake as climate scientists are with temperature. Ignoring every process involved that creates temperature except you are doing it LOD!
    There are HUGE velocity differences involved as well as solar angles. Different material densities as well with water, land and atmospheric gases in a rotating and tilting planet. Gases cross the equator while water vapor does not due to the tilting velocities and density differences. There is a vast difference in thickness of atmosphere as well as density differences with heat and cold.
    We currently measure the atmospheric gases on what it does to water pressure and NOT the pressure of layers of gases themselves!

    One day you will find averaging as a HUGE mistake to understanding of this planet, but then you will have to understand science has generated vast errors taught for generations.

  14. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Joe Lalonde: IMHO there is no such a mistake because LOD is directly connected to GMF:

  15. OT
    Tomorrow , sun spotless ?
    Where is the solar max ?

  16. adolfogiurfa says:

    @Michele: Happy New Maunder Minimum, hope this time it will bring another global revolution as the last one but on reverse, and this has nothing to do with the LOD 🙂

  17. wayne says:

    “Where is the solar max ?”

    Aw, geesh Michele… I think you just missed it.
    But there will be another going by soon in the ’20s, have a seat. 😉

  18. Joe Lalonde says:


    Woof, woof…your yanking my chain! 🙂

    Too bad our consensus scientists do not have open minds, then they may get somewhere in understanding our planet and stop the political bull crap of trying to be God-like by calling everyone deniers or ignorant to THEIR mindset and theories.
    One day the house of cards that currents scientists are under will collapse and true understanding will move forth.

  19. Tenuc says:

    Michele Casati says:
    June 20, 2012 at 11:03 pm
    “Where is the solar max ? 🙂

    Thanks for the heads-up, Michele – and a very good question.

    Quick look at the continuum here (any spots must be on your computer screen and the plage areas are tiny)…

    Magnetogram not much better, with only patchy areas of strong magnetic flux. Image here…

  20. dp says:

    It would be interesting to know what Earth’s iron core is doing while the surface LOD is changing, and what the interaction is with the lunar and solar relative positions. I can’t imagine these are not involved.

  21. Ninderthana says:


    Here’s my two cents – feel free to point out any flaws in my arguments.

    Your first figure shows that (Length-Of-Day) LOD increases and then decreases as the Earth moves closer and then further from the Sun [NB an increase in the nominal length-of-day means a slowing down of the Earth’s rotation rate]. This provides an explanation for the annual oscillation that is observed in the LOD.

    The TSI [Total Solar Insolation in joules of light energy per square meter per second received at a point above the Earth’s atmosphere] goes up an down as the Earth/Moon system moves from
    147.098 million km from the Sun [perihelion on January 5th 2012] to 152.098 million km from the Sun [aphelion on July 5th 2012]. This causes a [152.098/147.098]^2 = 1.0691 change in the TSI.

    i.e. TSI varies from 1320 x 1.0000 = 1320 Joules per square meter per second at aphelion to
    ________________1320 x 1.0691 = 1411 Joules per square meter per second at perihelion.

    Not surprisingly, when the Earth approaches closest to the Sun in January, the atmosphere
    inflates because of the extra thermal heating leading to slow down of the Earth’s rotation rate
    i.e. an increase in LOD. Similarly, when the Earth furthest from the Sun in July, the atmosphere
    deflates because of the decreased thermal heating leading to a speeding up of the Earth’s
    rotation rate i.e. a decrease in LOD.

    Super imposed on all of this is the semi-annual oscillation in LOD which is primarily driven
    by the asymmetry of the mid-latitude westerly winds on the sub-annual (seasonal) time scales,
    and by a combination of the 28 month quasi-biennial oscillation (QBO) and the 4.5 year
    Southern Oscillation Index (i.e. ENSO) on the one to five year time scale.

    The greatest asymmetry in latitude and wind strength between the mid-latitude westerly winds occurs near January and July i.e. the two times of years when the hemispheres experience Summer and Winter. The combined asymmetry in the latitude and strength of the westerly winds between the two hemispheres (at these two times of year) leads to a speeding up of the Earth’s rotation rate [or a decrease in the LOD].

    Similarly, the least asymmetry in latitude and wind strength of the mid-latitude westerly winds
    occurs near October and May i.e. the two times of year when the hemispheres experience Fall (Autumn) and Spring. In this case, the reduced asymmetry in the latitude and strength of the westerly winds between the two hemispheres (at these two times of year) leads to a slowing down of the Earth’s rotation rate [or an increase in the LOD].

  22. Joe Lalonde says:


    Thank you!

    You have given another avenue to venture with distance from the sun and the change of LOD.
    Adding in with the forward momentum of our solar system is where the sun’s density and momentum catches up with our planets rotation around it.
    This too would make our planet most vulnerable to a large object striking the planet compared to being behind the sun in forward momentum.
    In our planets rotational velocity, it is the size difference from poles to equator in a generally perfect circles that is different velocities. Now change the size of the circle and time also changes.

  23. suricat says:

    “Now change the size of the circle and time also changes.”

    No it doesn’t Joe. Only the Earth’s rotation period does, and that’s almost imperceptible for the purposes of this thread.

    Pardon me for being a pedant, but this thread brings to mind a thread I participated in ‘elsewhere’ where the OP (original poster) was fearful of the Earth’s rotation slowing due to the effect of ‘windmills’ (bless).:)

    IMHO, we need to be sure that our remarks, wherever made, are reasonably accurate. This thread is about a perceptible ‘diagnostic’ value of ‘every day’ events and not about a ‘world changing’ event (such as the alteration of time).

    Whilst I’ll admit to the use of ambiguity at times, I do try to avoid it and hope that you’ll attempt the same in the future.

    FWIW, any part of Earth and its atmospheric aberrations can’t affect the ‘long term’ rate of Earth’s rotation. This ‘long term’ alteration to Earth’s rotation can only be achieved by forces applied from extraterrestrial sources such as Earth’s Moon.

    Best regards, Ray Dart.

  24. Ninderthana says:

    suriact (aka Ray Dart),

    This post is about the seasonal changes to LOD that are almost
    completely driven by exchanges of angular momentum between the atmosphere and the solid
    Earth due to a rough conservation of total angular momentum. It is not about long term changes
    in LOD.

    You say:

    “IMHO, we need to be sure that our remarks, wherever made, are reasonably accurate.”

    I cannot vouch for anyone else by the remarks that I posted are reasonably accurate
    and I can defend them scientifically with reference to at least a dozen recent peer-reviewed publications.

    Ninderthana (aka Ian Wilson)

  25. Joe Lalonde says:


    Is not time different at the poles compared to the equator?
    The same 24 hours of rotation and yet the velocity at the pole at 85 degree latitude is 150km/hr and at the equator it is 1653.6km/hr. The distance around the equator is 39686.4km while at the 85 degree latitude, it is 3600km.
    So, time has to be different by 12 times if you use distance differences to velocity. Time is much slower at the poles by circumference and speed.
    The trick to the eyes is the horizon looks the same distance but it is not by the bending of our atmosphere.


    Angular momentum is the different distances of latitude changes that bend our planets surface. Giving a downhill type of effect while the speed of velocity is stronger on one side giving a greater strength to centrifugal force.
    This is not a flat plane, nor a stilled object. Centrifugal force is very structured to the strongest strength at 90 degrees to the rotating plane. It drops strength very quickly at any angle different from 90 degrees.
    Motion in science very rarely takes into account of motion as laboratory testing does not take that factor in because it is not observed except from a distance.
    This is the technology our forefathers did NOT have but they created many laws and theories without the fore sight of todays abilities in technology.

  26. Joe Lalonde says:


    The approach of averaging by scientists fails in many aspects. It would have been the right approach IF our planet was a cylinder and all parameters equal, but models are finding many, many areas are totally missed and not included.
    Very few people even realize that we have huge velocity differences on this planet so ignorance is high when they have never seen this mapped out before.

    Click to access world-calculations.pdf

    Click to access world-calculations-2.pdf

  27. suricat says:

    Ninderthana, AKA Ian Wilson.

    I wrote: “No it doesn’t Joe”. I thought that was enough to show that my post was addressed to Joe Lalonde, if it wasn’t enough I apologise. 🙂

    However, there is no way that an increase/decrease of angular momentum, or a change in its effective distance of torque, can alter ‘time’, it can only alter the ‘rate of rotation’. A bad choice of words on Joe’s part. It’s possible that Joe’s first language isn’t English, in which case I suspect that Joe would be appreciative of my comment.

    BTW, my ‘user-name’ is ‘suricat’ and not “suriact” (probably just a ‘typo’ 🙂 ).

    Best regards, Ray.

  28. tchannon says:

    I apologise for not handling much on the blog, given Rog is absent.
    I’m not too well at the moment, nothing specific but so tired I am doing micro-sleeps yet can’t sleep. Better if I potter on dumb stuff.

    There are a few comments in moderation where deciding on whether they are appropriate is not something I feel up to doing. Maybe tomorrow.

    I have a raft of blog articles either part written or could be done. This takes a lot of energy.

  29. Ninderthana says:

    Suricat (aka Ray),

    Sorry Ray, I thought your comments were aimed at all of the posters.

    I too am a bit perplexed by Joe Lalonde’s comments on time. Maybe he can clear it up for us. I agree with your comments on this, if that is what Joe meant.

    i am sorry for the typo (Suriact), as well. It was not done intentionally. It was just a combination of a slow brain and a quick set of typing fingers. It happens every so often in the wee hours of the morning.


    Ian Wilson

  30. . says:

    No probs Ian. 🙂


    I’ve been there. Hope it doesn’t last too long. 😦

    Joe Lalonde.

    It seems that our moderators are indisposed and our posts are out of sync. Nevertheless, IIRC you are (now, and probably were originally) referencing ‘acceleration’ due to Earth’s rotation?

    It isn’t ‘time’ that alters with a variance of latitude, it’s ‘velocity’ (distance in a given direction) that alters. FWIW a vertical vector of ‘~a bit more than 3 inches per second squared’ is expected at the equator that is offered in counterpoise to the normally expected ‘G’ ‘down-force’ (compared to nothing in opposition to ‘G’ at a pole). 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  31. Hans says:

    I just wrote a long post on this interesting topic and it was killed by my computer or any other reason when pressing the comment button. This time I forgot to save my comment before sending the message. Maybe I will get time to write it again and it will be interesting to see if this message will be transmitted.

  32. Joe Lalonde says:


    You then miss with time, the factor of more measured planetary distances being missed. The amount of time the sun rays hit the planet surface then also must be quite significantly different as well.
    As our planet slows, time lined to the sun also is changed and so is all the different velocities.

  33. . says:


    Check whether the word processor app you used implements a ‘time save’ facility. You may find most of your posting there (in the ‘time save’ directory). 🙂

    Joe Lalonde.

    I half hoped that Ian would’ve responded to your last post. It’s ambiguous and difficult to reply to. However, I’ll make an attempt as a Q & A session for each sentence. 🙂

    “You then miss with time, the factor of more measured planetary distances being missed.”. This seems to be a dislike of ‘averaging’, with which I concur.
    Q. Does an ‘average’ of data remove the ‘detail’ within the data?
    A. Yes, but for some purposes, the ‘averaging’ of data is acceptable as it can disclose ‘anomalies’ when further investigating the same data for anomalies.

    “The amount of time the sun rays hit the planet surface then also must be quite significantly different as well.”. I must admit that I’m confounded by this. The ‘insolation’ (INcomming SOLar radiATION [INSOLATION]) that Earth receives is constant. Thus, any ‘amount of time’ (unless related to insolation levels) is inconsequential, as this is continuous. I can’t offer a Q & A for this sentence. Sorry. 😦

    “As our planet slows, time lined to the sun also is changed and so is all the different velocities.”. This seems to be the ‘final statement’ of your post.
    Q. Does ‘rate of rotation’ alter Earth’s absorption of ‘insolation’?
    A. No! It only alters the periodicity between absorption and emission (think ‘light side’ and ‘dark side’). The only difference to be seen would be the ‘diurnal absorption extreme’. For example, the diurnal temperature extremes of a faster rotating planet would be less than the diurnal temperature extremes of a more slowly rotating planet.

    All that being said, I think ‘tim’ is looking for ‘finer detail’. Perhaps I’ve not understood your post. 🙂

    Best regards, Ray.

  34. . says:


    What’s going on with the “. says” instead of “suricat says”??? Whatever!

    Have you included any Lunar influence in your data?

    Best regards, Ray Dart (AKA suricat).

  35. tchannon says:

    Ray, I have no idea. Your connection ID has changed too. (your provider but it does match, same company)

  36. tchannon says:

    Lunar influence, deliberately excluded.

    Added this to the later article, if it means anything to you

  37. . says:

    Yes, I see a lot of attenuation for the Lunar periodicity. However, I can’t offer a qualitative comment without becoming more involved with the data acquired (which is a tad too involved for me at this time), but I do note that ‘fig. 1’ may pose a problem.

    Fig. 1 shows TSI greatest during Dec/Jan throughout the year, but your text states TSI data as a NH source which puts the data contrary to the expectation of the time of year for the greatest TSI in the NH for the graph. Why the 180 degree phase shift?

    Hope I’ve read this thread correctly. 🙂

    Best regards, Ray Dart (AKA suricat).

  38. tchannon says:

    The primary harmonics are the fundamental and second, 1y and 0.5y

    The primary makes some sense relative to SORCE data (see earlier article) but the second is wildly larger and different. For SORCE there just a slightly distorted sine, earth orbit but for LoD and ice it is a severely asymmetric sine, caused by that second harmonic.

    Slight mental twist: the rate of change depends on the magnitude of the driver (solar) plus the tilted earth rotation axis, hence the phase lag.

  39. . says:


    “slight mental twist”

    I could have kicked myself after I posted! 😦 It’s quite obvious that TSI is greater to the SH because the Dec solstice is ~Earth’s ‘perihelion’, when Earth is closest to Sol.

    “The primary harmonics are the fundamental and second, 1y and 0.5y”

    What are the ‘primary harmonics’ that are “fundamental and second”? Do these evolve as ‘full wave’ and ‘half wave’ (“1y and 0.5y”), or something else?

    BTW, it seems my ‘gravitar’ identity is now ‘unused’. How odd!

    Best regards, Ray Dart (AKA suricat).

  40. tchannon says:

    Ray, too late to show right now, I’ve just done a crude check on the two model 0.5y. Crude first diff on the ice data and the phase is close to LoD. Need to refine this.

    Keep an eye on this thread.