Archive for the ‘solar system dynamics’ Category

Earth and Planetary Science Letters Has an interesting paper in the works. A new proxy informs a model which finds bigger than expected swings in CO2 linked to smaller than expected temperature swings in the past five million years. This indicates that the Earth’s climate system is less sensitive to CO2 levels than previously thought. Maybe they should take more notice of Leaf Stomata calibrations than Antarctic ice cores?


CO2 over the past 5 million years: Continuous simulation and new δ11B-based proxy data

During the past five million yrs, benthic δ18O records indicate a large range of climates, from warmer than today during the Pliocene Warm Period to considerably colder during glacials. Antarctic ice cores have revealed Pleistocene glacial–interglacial CO2 variability of 60–100 ppm, while sea level fluctuations of typically 125 m are documented by proxy data. However, in the pre-ice core period, CO2 and sea level proxy data are scarce and there is disagreement between different proxies and different records of the same proxy. This hampers comprehensive understanding of the long-term relations between CO2, sea level and climate.



Oct 23-24 2015  Yougov   Feb 3-4 2016

Reblogged from Rt Hon David Davis MP’s website, this is a comprehensive look at the case for Brexit.

David Davis: Brexit – what would it look like? – 4 February 2016

It has been over 43 years since Britain joined the European Economic Community. For all that time there have been calls for Europe to reform. For Europe to be more democratic, more competitive, more functional. And for Britain to lead that reform.

The result? If anything Europe has become less democratic, less competitive and more dysfunctional. And Britain has become more side-lined.

The EU has been in decline for some time now. There is no change of course in sight. The risks involved in staying are clear for all to see – low growth, high unemployment, and waning influence.

In 1975 the EU was the bright future, a vision of a better world. Now it is a crumbling relic from a gloomy past. We must raise our eyes to the wider world.


Carrington Rotations = CarRots [credit:]

Carrington Rotations = CarRots [credit:]

Tallbloke recently acquired a book by Hartmut Warm called ‘Signature of the Celestial Spheres: Discovering Order in the Solar System’ which offers this gem:
588 solar Carrington rotations (CarRots) = 587 lunar sidereal months
We’ll call this the HW cycle, about 43.91 years.

‘Richard Christopher Carrington determined the solar rotation rate from low latitude sunspots in the 1850s and arrived at 25.38 days for the sidereal rotation period. Sidereal rotation is measured relative to the stars, but because the Earth is orbiting the Sun, we see this period as 27.2753 days.’ – Wikipedia

Picking this ball up and running with it, we find there are 308 CarRots (27.2753 d) per 331 solar sidereal days (25.38 d) in 23 years (331 – 308). This period, or a multiple of it, can be found in certain identified solar-planetary cycles (as discussed below).


Whether this is the last word on the origin of the Moon remains to be seen.

The moon was formed by a violent, head-on collision between the early Earth and a “planetary embryo” called Theia approximately 100 million years after the Earth formed, UCLA geochemists and colleagues report.

Scientists had already known about this high-speed crash, which occurred almost 4.5 billion years ago, but many thought the Earth collided with Theia (pronounced THAY-eh) at an angle of 45 degrees or more — a powerful side-swipe. New evidence reported Jan. 29 in the journal Science substantially strengthens the case for a head-on assault.


Conversation with Paul Pukite

Posted: February 3, 2016 by tallbloke in Kindness, methodology, solar system dynamics




My thanks to talkshop contributor and PRP author R.J. Salvador for sending me an updated prediction for changes in LOD during 2016. This plot has been produced using R.J.s model, which has been developed using the planetary periodicities we have been working on here at the talkshop over the last few years.

Updated LOD Forecast

R.J. has kindly agreed to send a monthly update showing the progress of the model output against IERS observations as the year progresses. This is real science in progress. Creating a hypothesis, building a model, and testing it against reality.


gore-cornFrom Reuters:

U.S. Republican presidential candidate Ted Cruz’s victory on Monday in corn-rich Iowa could represent a major blow to the nation’s controversial biofuels program, reflecting its waning influence over politicians even in the U.S. farm heartland.

The conservative senator from Texas and outspoken opponent of the Renewable Fuel Standard, or RFS, upset Republican front-runner Donald Trump in the Iowa caucuses, the first of the state-by-state battles to pick nominees for the Nov. 8 election to succeed President Barack Obama.

Cruz won with 28 percent of the vote, compared with 24 percent for Trump, a billionaire businessman..

The result was a setback for corn farmers in the country’s biggest ethanol-producing state, who have lobbied hard to protect the policy from being dismantled after more than a decade.


Combined precession cycle [credit: wikipedia]

Combined precession cycle [credit: wikipedia]

‘Because of apsidal precession the Earth’s argument of periapsis slowly increases; it takes about 112000 years for the ellipse to revolve once relative to the fixed stars. The Earth’s polar axis, and hence the solstices and equinoxes, precess with a period of about 26000 years in relation to the fixed stars. These two forms of ‘precession’ combine so that it takes about 21000 years for the ellipse to revolve once relative to the vernal equinox, that is, for the perihelion to return to the same date (given a calendar that tracks the seasons perfectly).’Wikipedia

Here we’ll fit the three precession cycles into one model and briefly examine its workings.



UPDATE: The talkshop pledge is now up to £500 + a reserve, see comments.

Brexit: The Movie, is a new project set up by Martin Durkin, of ‘The great Global Warming Swindle’ fame. Martin is a top documentary maker, but none of the big TV channels are going to finance this one. Check out the trailer above and you’ll know why.

Climate sceptics have a lot of reasons to be eurosceptics too, given the nutty energy policy being dictated to the UK from Brussels thanks to their mad climate policies.


A new paper shows how a recently re-discovered 50 year old photo of a clay tablet holds the key to a geometrical method used by the Babylonians to calculate the position of Jupiter.

babylon-jupiterAncient Babylonian astronomers developed many important concepts that are still in use, including the division of the sky into 360 degrees. They could also predict the positions of the planets using arithmetic. Ossendrijver translated several Babylonian cuneiform tablets from 350 to 50 BCE and found that they contain a sophisticated calculation of the position of Jupiter. The method relies on determining the area of a trapezium under a graph. This technique was previously thought to have been invented at least 1400 years later in 14th-century Oxford. This surprising discovery changes our ideas about how Babylonian astronomers worked and may have influenced Western science.

Science, this issue p. 482




J. D. Anderson1,5, G. Schubert2, V. Trimble3 and M. R. Feldman4

Published 9 April 2015Copyright © EPLA, 2015 EPL (Europhysics Letters), Volume 110, Number 1

About a dozen measurements of Newton’s gravitational constant, G, since 1962 have yielded values that differ by far more than their reported random plus systematic errors. We find that these values for G are oscillatory in nature, with a period of $P = 5.899 \pm 0.062\ \text{yr}$ , an amplitude of $(1.619 \pm 0.103) \times 10^{-14}\ \text{m}^3\ \text{kg}^{-1}\ \text{s}^{-2}$ , and mean-value crossings in 1994 and 1997. However, we do not suggest that G is actually varying by this much, this quickly, but instead that something in the measurement process varies. Of other recently reported results, to the best of our knowledge, the only measurement with the same period and phase is the Length of Day (LOD —defined as a frequency measurement such that a positive increase in LOD values means slower Earth rotation rates and therefore longer days).


A very readable paper by NASA scientist Renu Malhotra giving an introduction to the study of orbital resonance as applied to the understanding of the organisation of the solar system. This background validates the study we are undertaking here at the talkshop to understand not only the links between planetary motion, but those links and the variation of the Sun, which correlates strongly with many solar system planetary timings. Many cycles found in paleoproxies also correlate with these periods, implying an effect of solar system timing on variation in Earth’s climate too.

Orbital resonances are ubiquitous in the Solar system. They play a decisive role in the long term dynamics, and in some cases the physical evolution, of the planets and of their natural satellites, as well as the evolution of small bodies (including dust) in the planetary system. The few-body gravitational problem of hierarchical planetary-type systems allows for a complex range of dynamical timescales, from the fast orbital periods to the very slow orbit precession rates. The interaction of fast and slow degrees of freedom produces a rich diversity of resonance phenomena. Weak dissipative eects | such as tides or radiation drag forces | also produce unexpectedly rich dynamical behaviors. This paper provides a mostly qualitative discussion of simple dynamical models for the commonly encountered orbital resonance phenomena in the Solar system.


Chapter-9-Cartoon-CaptionH/T to Josh for this story from the Calcutta Telegraph.

New Delhi, Jan. 26:
India’s monsoon is in no danger of catastrophic collapse in response to global warming and air pollution, two atmospheric scientists said today, refuting earlier predictions that the monsoon could shut down within 100 years.

The scientists at Yale University in the US who used computers to model the Earth’s atmosphere, land and oceans have found that the expected changes in the monsoon will not abruptly alter their strength or their water volume.

Their results contradict earlier forecasts by scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany portending frequent and severe failures and even a breakdown of the monsoon, which is critical to India’s food, water resources and economy.


Out at the unfashionable end of the Asteroid Belt, lies a seldom seen squashed spud of rock known as Sylvia. NASA has this:


Composite image showing the two moons at several locations along their orbits (shown by red dots). Image Credit: NASA

Discovered in 1866, main belt asteroid 87 Sylvia lies 3.5 AU from the Sun, between the orbits of Mars and Jupiter. Also shown in recent years to be one in a growing list of double asteroids, new observations during August and October 2004 made at the Paranal Observatory convincingly demonstrate that 87 Sylvia in fact has two moonlets – the first known triple asteroid system. At the center of this composite of the image data, potato-shaped 87 Sylvia itself is about 380 kilometers wide. The data show inner moon, Remus, orbiting Sylvia at a distance of about 710 kilometers once every 33 hours, while outer moon Romulus orbits at 1360 kilometers in 87.6 hours. Tiny Remus and Romulus are 7 and 18 kilometers across respectively. Because 87 Sylvia was named after Rhea Silvia, the mythical mother of the founders of Rome, the discoverers proposed Romulus and Remus as fitting names for the two moonlets. The triple system is thought to be the not uncommon result of collisions producing low density, rubble pile asteroids that are loose aggregations of debris.


Tim Channon’s LOD model output, for the interest of R.J. Salvador. Hopefully Paul Vaughan might find a moment to weigh in too.

Deadal Earth

As a result of helping someone out with lunar effects in Earth length of day I wondered if a slightly more comprehensive version would work.

The result  is an interactive spreadsheet which might be useful.

I would not usually  produce such a monster, this is an xls >30Mbyte but it does include reconstruction of the lunar LoD signal, subtraction from the raw LoD and decimation for plotting. It is live, you can turn on or off individual terms/factors and see the effect.

This needs a great deal of explanation, codas, and so on.

For now here is the file lod-work

Do not try this unless you have a fairly large computer. Checked it works with gnumeric, openoffice/libreoffice. Excel should not have a problem but recursion is used.

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Posted: January 16, 2016 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics


In George Bernard Shaw’s play ‘Pygmalion’ that gave rise to the Lerner and Loewe musical ‘My Fair Lady’, Henry Higgins declares that he can tell where a person comes according to the accent in their speech. Equally, it may be possible to detect the origin of temperature change, natural or otherwise, via a close study of the evolution of temperature over time.

Departures from the 1948-2015 average monthly air temperature are presented below.  The spread on the axes has been adjusted to a common interval of +4 to -4°C to facilitate  comparison.

We are looking for the month that shows the greatest variability over time. We are also interested in the course of temperature change over the entire sixty seven year period.

For economy of effort, we look at two months at a time starting with January and February in the Arctic.

Air T 60-90nAit T MAAir T MJAir T JAAir T SOAir T NDAir T 60-90n

We see that January and February are the months when…

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Some worthwhile thoughts on Ocean Heat Content.

Fabius Maximus website

Summary:  This might be one of the more important of our 3500 posts. It looks at an often asked question about climate science — how accurate are its findings, a key factor when we make decisions about trillions of dollars (and affecting billions of people). This looks at the ocean heat content, a vital metric with the oceans absorbing 90%+ of global warming. How accurate are those numbers? The error bars look oddly small, especially compared to those of sea surface temperatures. This also shows how work from the frontiers of climate science can provide problematic evidence for policy action. Different fields have different standards.

I have circulated this among some experts. I’ll post any answers received in the comments.

“The spatial pattern of ocean heat content change is the appropriate metric to assess climate system heat changes including global warming.”
— Climate scientists Roger Pielke Sr. (source

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Perihelion precession by season [credit: Wikipedia]

Perihelion precession by season [credit: Wikipedia]

Willy de Rop of the Royal Observatory of Belgium wrote a paper entitled ‘A tidal period of 1800 years’ in 1971 about tides and the motion of the Moon. It generated some interest and was referred to in at least one other paper, but on closer consideration leads to some ideas we can put forward here.

The opening paragraph states:
‘The Swedish oceanographer O. Pettersson
has presented evidence indicating that the last
maximum of oceanic tides occurred about 1433.
He pointed out that there is a coincidence
between a tidal period of 1800 years and climatic
changes of the same period. We think we
can explain this period as follows.’


Our magnetic Sun [image credit:]

Our magnetic Sun [image credit:]

If you’re wondering why this is news, read on – it has taken at least some scientists by surprise, reports
No magnetism without electricity

Strong magnetic fields discovered in majority of stars—Finding to impact understanding of stellar evolution

An international group of astronomers led by the University of Sydney has discovered strong magnetic fields are common in stars, not rare as previously thought, which will dramatically impact our understanding of how stars evolve.



Posted: January 1, 2016 by tallbloke in solar system dynamics

Erl Happ has started his new blog, which is well worth a read by any student of meteorology, climate and atmospheric science.


From the outset let me say that my investigations suggest that the ‘Greenhouse Effect’ is not something that we have to contend with in atmospheric reality. There is another mode of climate change that appears to be responsible for the change in the temperature of the globe over the period of record. That mode of change is capable of explaining variations in both the short and long term in both directions,  both warming and cooling . It can explain  warming in one place and simultaneous cooling in another. In short it is very well adapted to explain the climate changes that we observe from daily through to centennial time scales ……. and to do so, exclusively and completely.

Geopotential height is a measure of the elevation of a pressure level in the atmosphere.  Low heights indicate low pressure zones where the lower atmosphere is dense and cool. High heights indicate…

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