Posts Tagged ‘climate change’

My thanks to Astrophysicist Ian Wilson who has left a long comment which I’m reposting here for further discussion, because it contains findings which are as Ian says, amazing (and Ian isn’t a man of hyperbole) . The summary below is further explained in Ian’s new paper which I’ll be putting up a further post on soon: 

Are Changes in the Earth’s Rotation Rate Externally Driven and Do They Affect Climate? 

sun-earth-moonwhich is available from this link. This is a stupendous work, containing many exact period matches, rather than being dominated by tenuous statistical derivations like so many other climate papers are. Top quality science on the talkshop. In the meantime, to whet your appetite:

Ian Wilson:
We know that the strongest planetary tidal forces acting on the lunar orbit come from
the planets Venus, Mars and Jupiter, in order of the size of their respective tidal
influences. In addition, we known that, over the last 4.6 billion years, the Moon has
slowly receded from the Earth. During the course of this lunar recession, there have been
times when the orbital periods of Venus, Mars and Jupiter have been in resonance(s) with
the precession rates for the line-of-nodes and line-of-apse of the lunar orbit. When these resonances have occurred, they would have greatly amplified the effects of the planetary tidal forces upon the shape and tilt of lunar orbit. Hence, the observed synchronization between the precession rates of the line-of-nodes and line-of-apse of the lunar orbit and the orbital periods of Venus, Earth, Mars and Jupiter, could simply be a cumulative fossil record left behind by these historical resonances.

The Rt. Hon. David Cameron MP
Prime Minister
10 Downing Street
London SW1A 2AA
18th January 2013


Dear Prime Minister,

Like you I read PPE at Oxford and I was lucky enough to be taught Economics by Professor Wilfred Beckerman. He has an interest in the economics of environmentalism, having worked in that field with the World Bank in the 1960s, advised the Labour Party on it and he was a member of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution from 1970 to 1973. He wrote an excellent book in 1974 called “In Defence of Economic Growth” which was a rebuttal of the famous Club of Rome 1972 book “The Limits to Growth”.

In 2002, Prof. Beckerman published a book called “A Poverty of Reason: Economic Growth and Sustainable Development”. If you or your advisers on environmental policies haven’t read it before, I thoroughly recommend it as a succinct and massively sensible analysis of many environmentalists’ arguments by a brilliant economist and excellent teacher. He is still going strong at 87; he’s still teaching at UCL, mainly on ethical issues in Economics which he touches on in this book when addressing the mistakes made by many environmentalists about intergenerational ethics, rights and basic economics when considering issues like resource depletion, climate change and the precautionary principle.


I’m reposting this from Erl Happ’s blog because it deserves wider attention. This is a tour de force, pulling together the different strands of climate knowledge and weather lore Erl has been building up over the years. Hi ideas fit well with those of Marcel Leroux, who worked out that climate change is largely driven by longer term changes in the polar oscillations. Erl believes these are largely due to  ozone changes caused by solar variation which drive the global air flows via consequent surface pressure changes. As Hans Jelbring tells us: Wind controls climate. As Nikolov and Zeller tell us, surface pressure and insolation control temperature. Erl delves into the underlying causes of those polar variations, and connects the levels and latitudes of the atmosphere for us in a novel, logical and interesting way.

Climate changes – oh so naturally
Erl Happ Dec 2011


Change in the planetary winds (conceptually documented in the diagram above) is the least remarked but most influential dynamic affecting surface temperature.  Wind is a response to pressure differentials. So, a change in the wind is due to a change in these pressure differentials.

The following post describes why pressure differentials and the the planetary winds change over time.

From Wikipedia we have: “the troposphere is the lowest portion of Earth’s atmosphere. It contains approximately 80% of the atmosphere’s mass and 99% of its water vapor and aerosols. The average depth of the troposphere is approximately 17 km (11 mi) in the middle latitudes. It is deeper in the tropical regions, up to 20 km (12 mi), and shallower near the poles, at 7 km (4.3 mi) in summer, and indistinct in winter.”

The notion that there is  a tropopause in high latitudes or that it is somehow ‘indistinct in winter’ represents sloppy thinking.  At high latitudes, in winter, the air is not heated by the surface (very cold) or the release of latent heat (a cold desert). Neither is it heated directly by the sun (below the horizon). It is heated by the absorption of long wave radiation from the Earth by ozone. In consequence parts of the polar stratosphere and the troposphere are permanently locked together in convection. Consequently ozone descends into the near surface atmosphere.  This process changes the distribution of atmospheric mass and therefore surface pressure. It governs the strength of the planetary winds and cloud cover in the troposphere.  The process manifests as the Northern Annular Mode (or the Arctic Oscillation) and the Southern Annular Mode. These well recognized modes of inter-annual climate variation affect mid and high latitude temperatures and winter snow cover. But this is not the half of it. The influence of the circulation at the winter pole extends to the equator and the alternate hemisphere, especially in the case of the Arctic where stratospheric ozone concentration is more elevated than over Antarctica. If we imagine that this phenomenon is responsible for just the inter-annual climate variation, we reveal a blindness to the evolutionary nature of the phenomenon and its capacity to change climate over decadal and longer time scales.